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Pikes Peak Library District

The Pikes Peak Library District in Pikes Peak, CO is one of the recipients of the 2017 Grow Your NoveList Usage Grant. Serving a population of over 600,000 residents across 14 locations, PPLD has almost 262,000 active library card holders.


At the beginning of the grant period, the library set their overarching goal of increasing NoveList usage by 20% after implementing the following programs:

  1. A monthly readers’ advisory podcast from November 2016-May 2017. Episodes were 30-45 minutes long and hosted by three resident librarians, and covered a range of topics from spotlighting different genres, to highlighting features of NoveList Plus, to providing information on new and upcoming books and library programs.
  2. Engaging staff and increasing internal use of NoveList Plus through a scavenger hunt for staff.
  3. A Blind Date with a Book display at three locations.
  4. Three Book Lovers Mixer programs featuring a mixologist concocting non-alcoholic literary-themed drink to play off the Appeal Mixer feature in NoveList – including appeal terms to describe each drink. Each drink was accompanied by book recommendations with those appeal terms.

What they did

The first episode of the podcast, PPLD in the Stacks, was released in January. The library is lucky to have their own in-house video and recording studio which they utilized for record the podcast. Five total episodes were produced and released, each focusing on a different genre and mentioning NoveList as a way to find great reads.

To ramp up excitement, a “Get to Know NoveList” scavenger hunt was created for staff to hone and improve their skills using NoveList. Consisting of three parts and lasting almost two months, the scavenger hunt saw participation from multiple departments and around 40 staff members with the winners receiving gift card prizes. 

For the Blind Date with a Book display, staff wrapped the selected books in brown paper preventing patrons from seeing any information about the cover, title, or author. Labels were placed on the front and back with appeal terms for character and tone, as well as the genre of the book. The back label included information on how to access NoveList. These book selections went quickly -- one patron even commented that the book she chose based on the appeal terms turned out to be her very favorite book!

Blind Date with a Book cover

Blind date with a book display
Blind Date with a Book display

Each of the three Book Lovers Mixers had a different focus, but carried the theme of ‘NoveList as a resource for finding great books’ throughout all the events. The first Book Lovers Mixer had a 1920s theme, featuring a storyteller performing a story set in that time period, custom bookmarks for books set in the 1920s, and mocktails like the “Bee’s Knees” and the “NoveList Bellini.” An Alexander Hamilton theme and 1960s-70s theme rounded out the program, complete with appropriate mocktails and book displays. 

Hamilton event flyer
Hamilton Book Lover's Mixer flyer

70s flyer
60's and 70's Book Lover's Mixer flyer

NoveList Bellini
Blind Date with a Book cover

Blind date with a book display
Bee's Knees mocktail

The outcomes

During the grant period, PPLD saw their searches increase by 22% -- meeting the goal they set out at the start of the program. A total of 117 people attend the three Book Lovers Mixer events, with many of those inquiring about similar events in the future. Staff members report viewing the program as a success, and are more excited than ever to introduce patrons to NoveList as a way to find their next favorite book.