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Dover Public Library

The Dover Public Library in Dover, NH is one of the recipients of the 2017 Grow Your NoveList Usage Grant. Serving a population of around 30,000 people, the DPL sees high usage of NoveList among their staff, but wanted to use the grant opportunity to help spread the word about it to the readers in their community.


DPL’s goals for this project were straightforward and to the point:

  1. Increase usage of NoveList by 50%
  2. Expand patron awareness of NoveList

What they did

Dover Public Library got started with the project by creating prominent displays of NoveList read-alike recommendations in their New Book section, featuring accompanying bookmarks and a Chromebook locked to NoveList for performing searches. This is the busiest part of the library, and also called attention to the raffle the library held for Kindle Fires; raffle entries required a patron checking out a book they discovered with NoveList’s read-alike recommendations. The raffle provided staff with talking points to call attention to NoveList while simultaneously providing a perk to patrons.

NoveList display
NoveList display area in the Browse Room

By displaying read-alike recommendations for titles with long waiting lists, DPL demonstrated that NoveList can help readers almost instantly. When a reader enjoyed a recommended title, it proved that the database offers great reading suggestions and these readers were more likely to seek further recommendations. By making it simple for patrons to experience the benefits of NoveList with little effort on their part (and rewarding them for doing so with the raffle), many were motivated to take the next step and learn how to use it for themselves. 

Promoting the raffle

Mystery display

The button on the library’s homepage made it easy for readers to find and use NoveList. Instructions were short, simple, and focused on finding read-alikes. While the raffle provided a physical reward for trying out NoveList, readers were also rewarded with quality recommendations for great books. 

Showing off the Kindle Fire up for raffle

The outcomes

Overall, the Dover Public Library saw their NoveList usage trend upwards throughout the grant period. Patrons become more aware of NoveList with the campaign and familiar with the term “read-alike.” It was particularly effective to talk to patrons one-on-one as they browsed for books. The displays were effective at helping patrons on the waitlist for popular titles, and the raffle provided a great starting point for talking about NoveList. By the end of the grant period, almost every patron asked had heard about NoveList, and statistics indicate readers did go in and perform searches on their own.

The project will continue with new displays, as well as keeping the Chromebook locked on NoveList in the Browse Room.