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Pittsford Community Library

Pittsford Community Library was one of the recipients of the 2017 Grow Your NoveList Usage Grant. Located in the village of Pittsford, New York, the library serves a population of 29,405 residents.


At the start of the grant period, PCL had three main goals they set out to achieve:

  1. Increase usage of NoveList by staff and members of the community by at least 20%.
  2. Create, supplement, and update their readers’ advisory materials.
  3. Create a staff reading challenging to encourage and excite staff members to read more widely and explore new genres though the use of NoveList suggestions, booklists, and read-alikes.

What they did

PCL took a three-pronged approach towards achieving the goals they set out for themselves. First, they built a custom photo booth with the Pocketbooth Party iPad app that prints a series of photos of the patron and directs them to the NoveList landing page.  Using the photo booth at family events at the library, patrons were able to take a series of photos of themselves with various book-related props and walk away with a 4x6 photo card with the library name and information about accessing NoveList. The photo booth itself was created with an iPad with a tripod, photo backdrop, Airprint printer, and various props. 

Photo booth
Young patrons enjoying the photo booth

Photo booth print out
A photo booth print out

Next, PCL focused on updating their readers’ advisory materials. Using NoveList’s Title & Author read-alike lists, they created a pop culture display (always popular with patrons!) in addition to revamping their book club kits, book group flyers, and printed book lists. The browsable readers’ advisory binder was updated with info and lists from NoveList as well.

Pop culture display

RA binder
Readers' advisory binder

The final step was ramping up staff excitement and involvement with a NoveList BINGO challenge. Staff completed bingo cards that prompted them to use NoveList search features, lists, articles, and read-alikes. This challenge served to both familiarize staff with NoveList as well as hone their readers’ advisory skills. And of course, prizes were awarded to the first four staff members who got BINGO! first. 

Bingo card front
Front of the BINGO card

Bingo card back
Back of the BINGO card

The outcomes

PCL far exceed their goal of increasing usage by 20% with an over 320% increase in sessions over the same period in the previous year. Wow!

The staff BINGO challenge proved to be a big hit with almost all of the librarians and clerks participating; it was so popular that the library is considering adapting the challenge for patrons over the summer to keep usage numbers up. The updated RA binder and materials, as well as the pop culture display, have been wonderful for self-directed browsing. The photo booth was quite popular with visitors to the library, especially with teens – who enjoyed having the physical photos at the end.

All of these mini projects contributed to the major growth in the number of searches and sessions. Says librarian(?) Laura Herold. “Our project provided some great training opportunities and lots of fun for staff and patrons to explore NoveList.”