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Springfield-Greene County Library

The Springfield-Greene County Library District in Springfield, Missouri was one of the recipients of the 2017 Grow Your NoveList Usage Grant. The grant turned out to be the perfect launching point for offering more readers’ advisory programming and exploring the possibility of online form-based readers’ advisory for patrons.


  1. Increase patron usage of NoveList by 20%
  2. Improve staff readers’ advisory skills
  3. Help patrons find more great books to read

What they did

Like many past and present grant recipients, the first step to Springfield-Greene’s success was training. Five Reference Department staff members participated in in-depth training sessions in using NoveList. This group of new NoveList “power users” then shared their knowledge in a training session with other department members -- culminating in a wider NoveList training throughout the district. Staff who participated received district training credit, and had the opportunity to complete a take-home NoveList scavenger hunt and enter a prize drawing. 

One of the NoveList training sessions

Next, the library’s Community Relations Department created bookmarks providing basic instructions for using NoveList. The bookmarks were handed out freely at events and during daily patron interactions, as well as located on displays for patrons to grab. Online graphics promoting NoveList were given more visible placement on the library’s homepage and catalog page.

NoveList bookmark created by SGCL

Book club flyer
Flyer advertising the book club event

In December 2016, the Reference and Youth Services departments collaborated for a public program called “Books Make Great Gifts.” The program included an overview of how to use NoveList as well as a panel discussion of recommended titles. Refreshments and prize drawings were offered to attendees. 

Books make great gifts
"Books Make Great Gifts" program

Gift wrap ideas
Book gift wrap ideas

Finally, in May of this year, the Reference Department presented a public program for community book groups. In addition to presenting information on NoveList, staff members provided tips on running book groups and selecting titles. It was also an opportunity for local book club members to share their experiences and talk to others looking to join book groups. 

The outcomes

Overall, NoveList usage increased by an average of 68% during the grant period -- well over the goal of 20%! Springfield-Greene will continue to use this project as the impetus for increasing and improving their readers’ advisory services into the future.