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Improving staff skills and efficiency

With nearly $9 million in funding cuts in 2009, Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) decided to take a focused approach to improving their service and efficiency. The CML team chose to take a new approach to readers’ advisory, utilizing products from NoveList, including NextReads, NoveList Select, and NoveList Plus.

Problems Faced

The CML team often referred to their online catalogue as their ‘24/7 branch.’ “We know not everybody walks up to a desk anymore and asks what they should read,” shares Robin Nesbitt, Director of Technical Services, “but 95,000 cards in our system are used more than once per month.” Serving these ‘power users,’ as well as CML’s growing virtual user audience, was a growing challenge.

In recent years, CML created library newsletters to share readers’ advisory tips, but the effort had become very labor-intensive, keeping 12-15 staff members busy at a time. And newsletter content was often an issue, since many staff members were not well-read in certain genres.

“With these tools, we can provide readers’ advisory at 3:00 AM, with more robust information than any staff member could remember!"


CML’s catalogue usage was significant, so utilizing NoveList Select to incorporate readers’ advisory into catalogue records made sense. “Readers’ advisory is critical as we continue to move into a digital future, especially if we want to keep reading alive in this country,” says Nesbitt.

Since implementing NextReads for their readers’ advisory newsletters, CML has saved tremendous time and staff efficiency. What once took 12 to 15 people over a month to create, now takes just 4 or 5 people within a few days. Available staff members have now been reassigned to more strategic roles and responsibilities.

And NoveList Plus has become a trusted resource in all of CML’s branch locations, as well as a valuable tool for virtual users. “With these tools, we can provide readers’ advisory at 3:00 AM, with more robust information than any staff member could remember!” points out Nesbitt. NoveList Plus has also assisted with collection development, pointing out gaps in the library’s collection.

Robin Nesbitt is Director of Technical Services at Columbus Metropolitan Library.

Want to know more about NoveList Plus, NoveList Select, or LibraryAware? Schedule a custom demo.