August 22, 2019
There’s no question that podcasts become more popular with each passing year, but with so many varieties out there, it can be hard to figure out how to translate a patron’s love of podcasts into readers’ advisory gold.
Even if you know your patron is, say, a true crime podcast aficionado, there’s a world of difference between My Favorite Murder (MFM) and Serial. Both fit clearly into the true crime genre, sure, but it might actually be the irreverent humor, conversational tone, and familiar dynamic between the hosts that has your patron hooked on MFM. Similarly, a Serial fan might love it for the in-depth investigation, the balance between professionalism and personal reflection, and the exploration of the justice system. But once you know what the real draw of your patron’s favorite podcast is, NoveList’s themes, genres, subjects, and appeal terms make it easy to find just the right book.
Subject headings and genre are an essential part of matching readers to books they’ll enjoy but adding in appeal terms can change it from a good match to a perfect one. For example, using the advanced search (or searching with NoveList’s field codes), you might be able to find just the right book for a My Favorite Murder fan by searching SU *crime AND AP irreverent, or even SU *crime AND (AP irreverent OR AP darkly humorous). If your patron wants to stick to nonfiction only, you can check the Nonfiction limiter box on the left-hand side. This way, your patron can still get their true crime fix without sacrificing the tone and humor that makes MFM so unique.
Adding themes to your search can be especially useful if your patron is a fan of fictional podcasts. Even without subject headings, genres, or appeal terms, for instance, you’ve got a pretty good chance of finding a match for someone who loves The Magnus Archives with the themes Found footage and Lovecraftian horror. Once you add appeal terms and genres, you’ve basically got a mini-collection ready to go. For example, searching (TH found footage OR TH lovecraftian horror) AND (AP creepy OR AP menacing) AND (GX short stories OR GX anthologies) pulls up a comprehensive list of books for any Magnus fan.
New to field codes? Learn more here.
The world of podcasts is vast and only growing vaster, giving librarians a whole new arsenal of tools to help readers find the right books. Have you used podcasts to match readers to their next book? Got a great podcast-book pair that you’re dying to share? We'd love to hear from you!
Isabel Crevasse is a Book Discovery Intern at NoveList. She is currently reading Bunny by Mona Awad.