Friday, July 31, 2015

Why I Love NoveList, and You Should, Too: Part Three

By now, we hope you have gotten a chance to read Part One and Part Two of our NoveList series. We weren't even planning on writing a third installment, but our friends at NoveList (specifically, the lovely and talented Danielle Borasky) saw the first two installments of our NoveList love-fest, and were kind enough to give us an introduction to some amazing new features. These went live only two days ago, giving us a jump on all the cool new information, and we just have to share. (Unfortunately, that means that the screen-shots from the previous NoveList articles are out of date. Hopefully, this will be fixed soon.)

User Interface

One of the criticisms that NoveList has gotten is that it's a professional database. That is, librarians use it, but we don't introduce it to our patrons because there's a lot to it, and it can be intimidating for the casual user. EBSCO has heard this, and has made their interface a lot more layman-friendly. One of the ways they've done this is by making it a lot easier to browse for books. Yes, you can still look for specific books by title or description, and do all the things you could do before, but you can also...

Browse by Appeal

I love this. Do you want something that's funny? Lyrical? Haunting? Just by asking what you're in the mood for, NoveList has changed the game entirely. Just this simple line: "I'm in the mood for..." has turned this database from something strictly for information professionals, to a user-friendly wealth of information. Go ahead; you've been invited to click around and decide what kind of entertainment can be tailored specifically to suit how you're feeling.
You can choose from some of the database's pre-mixed appeal terms, or you can mix and match your own with their appeal mixer.  Please note that you can also specify the age range of the books you're searching for; this is great for older kids or their parents.

Please note that, yes, recommended appeal terms change when you change the age. While it is technically possible for there to be sweeping and dramatic books for kids, it's more likely that they will be in the mood for "silly and whimsical."

The Appeal Mixer

If you're not in the mood for any of the pre-mixed appeal terms, fear not! You can make your own combination. The Appeal Mixer looks like this:
You can choose from several categories: character, illustration, pace, story line, tone, and writing style. Each category has its own appeal terms; the numbers in parentheses indicate how many items are listed as having that trait.

When you choose two or more appeal terms, the database will search and find books that have both traits, which you can browse through or view as a page.

Very occasionally, you might run across a combination that doesn't find any results, and you will get a note that nothing was found. While Danielle did show me this when showing me around all the new features, I should note that it actually took me several tries to get the note up on my own.  There are just that many books in this database! 
If you do encounter this, the easiest thing to do is probably to choose a similar appeal term that has more titles attached to it, and try again.

Browse by Genre

Yes, you could browse by genre before, but now it's even easier! On the main NoveList page, you can click on the age of the reader (adult, teen, kids 9-12, kids 0-8), and be sent to a page specific to that group.
Here, we clicked on "Adult," and it brought us to what's new and popular in various genres. When you click to"explore" a genre it will bring you to a whole new page about that genre, with sub-categories. 

For example, Forthcoming Fantasy and Contemporary  Fantasy. Each sub-genre will have a quick description of the books you can find.  I really like how visual this is; I know they say you can't judge a book by its cover, but sometimes you see a cover and just know you want to read the book!

On the right side of the genre page, you'll also find a handy list of genre-friendly links, including lists of recommended titles, a link to the "Keeping Up" section of the database, and articles to help with readers' advisory.


As before, NoveList has lists of read-alikes for your enjoyment. The main difference is that it's now much more visual. Instead of one book cover and a list of names, now you get several book covers. It's much more visually appealing.

 Featured Award Winners

 Back on the landing page again, there is a link toward the bottom of the page that highlights a recent award-winning book. The award will be explained, and link to the winning book.  If you click on "Browse Awards..." get to another page, which highlights recent award winning titles, and lists popular awards in different categories.  Again, clicking the link to a specific award will give you information about that award, and a list of every single book that has won it, by year.  Fabulous.

On the left side of the page, you'll also see a list of genres; from there, you can find out all the different awards that are given for any genre in which you are interested. Each of these headings includes many different awards, and information about them. 

In Conclusion

I really hope you've enjoyed our tour through the NoveList kingdom.  If there are any questions you have, I can do my best to answer, or you can, of course, use the FAQ available on the NoveList database, or watch any of their how-to videos.  As you can probably tell, this is my favorite database. Do you have one?

Want to Read More About NoveList? Check out:

Why I Love NoveList, and You Should, Too: Part One
Why I Love NoveList, and You Should, Too: Part Two

Friday, July 24, 2015

15 Viral Content Ideas for Your Library's FB Page!

What works on a Library's Facebook Page? What is considered "Viral Content" for library patrons?

To find this answer, last January I created a Facebook Group for librarians to share their viral content (The Shareable Clique). And throughout the six months, librarians shared posts that scored high reach. The ones that were generic, other libraries have reshared, many receiving the same great results.

There is a science behind posting on Facebook. These libraries (over 500 members!) have cracked the code.

So, what works? I've gone through all of the posts and put together a list of 30 different content ideas you can post on your library's Facebook Page. Today, we're sharing the first 15! (All images are linked to the original poster.)

1. Local History Articles/Pictures

Patrons love their local history (and this can be city/town or even state). Time and time again, these posts garner over 1,000 reach with an impressive number of clicks, likes and shares. "Like" your local History Society's Facebook page for precious (easy) content to reshare (Bonus points -- this also generates goodwill between organizations). And don't forget to tag other pages if they are featured in the content (i.e. for the example below, they posted a photo of the Farmer's Market in 1978 and tagged the Farmer's Market FB page).

2. Pictures of Parents with their Kids or Even Just Kids Reading w/a Quote

Is there any other image that pulls at the patron's heart strings than kids learning to love reading? People can't help but like them!

3. Articles About Reading

Patrons love to read articles that support their reading habits! Mix it up with fun one and serious ones. Try to share from sources that already have a lot of engagement on Facebook so you know you're sharing quality information (and Facebook rewards you for doing so!).

Can Reading Make You Happier?
11 Books To Read While Hiking That Are Totally Worth Their Weight in Your Backpack
Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who Still Read Fiction
Why Digital Natives Prefer Reading in Print. Yes, You Read That Right.

4. Book Humor images

People love to laugh! So, give them something to laugh about.

5. Author Quote images

Share words of wisdom from our clever writing friends. It is just as good as getting a celebrity spokesperson! The quotes can be about the library or just messages that produce a reaction from readers.

6. Bookworm Problems

What patron can't relate?

7. Interactive Articles

Quick articles that help readers learn a little more about themselves through the lens of books.
51 of the Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature
Quiz: Can Your Age Be Guessed Based on Your Taste in Books?
What Kind of Reader Are You?

8. Prompt Comments with a Great Image.

9. Where Were You?

Everett Public Library wrote a post about where staff were when Mount St. Helens erupted 35 years ago. Patrons responded with their own experiences. Do you have any local events where could you do this for your own library page?

10. Library Facts

Patrons are proud of their library! And people love info charts! Mixing them together is a win/win!

11. Library Mascots

Use mascots, action figures, and stuffed animals to highlight things in a fun way. We also talked about this in a previous article.

12. Fascinating Facts about Classic/Popular Books

Fascinating facts about classic and popular books have resonated well with patrons. Sharing posts about upcoming movies (adapted by books) and new releases (like the announcement of Harper Lee's sequel) may work well for some library pages, too.

13. Unusual Library Stories

Don't forget to include unusual library stories, putting a friendly face on your account. Did you see something amusing in the stacks? Did you come across a happy coincidence? Did something happen to a familiar library mascot? Don't forget to share it here.

14. Library Appreciation

Chances are, if patrons are following you on Facebook, they care a lot about you. Sharing quotes about libraries in general tends to get a positive response.

15. Fun Book/Library Related Videos

Bonus reach points if it is uploaded to Facebook so it automatically plays!

Ikea's Parody of eBooks

Stay tuned for next month when we share 15 more content ideas! In the meantime, you can join The Shareable Clique to learn of other things you can repost or read our other articles about Facebook and Libraries:

Happy Facebooking!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Ready to Go Book Display: Fashion

Welcome to our series, "Ready to Go!" Book Display. Once a month, we'll highlight the latest or greatest for every age group (Adults, Teens and Children) that you can promote within your library or order for your collection. 

Recommendations for Adults:

The American model and actress known for Sports Illustrated swimsuit and the television show Las Vegas offers advice on beauty, health, fitness and fashion, describing what has worked, and what hasn't worked, for her personally.

An ingenious book of simple wardrobe solutions, clever tools, and straightforward advice from a Hollywood costume designer.

Provides photos and details for over 300 sneaker designs, each a unique, limited edition, that showcases collaborations between companies and graffiti artists, superstar musicians and popular fashion designers.

A guide for fashion illustration covers everything from assembling tools to mixing skin tones to creating natural looking poses and proper fabric drape.

Recommendations for Teens:

Girl in Dior by Annie Goetzinger (April 2015)
In graphic novel format, relates the launch and rise of Christian Dior's revolutionary fashion house through the eyes of a fictional aspiring fashion columnist who is hand-picked by the couturier to be a model in 1947.

Geek Girl by Holly Smale (Jan 2015)
When she is accidentally discovered by a modeling agent, fifteen-year-old Harriet jumps at the chance to transform herself from a geek to a fashion model.

Material Girls by Elaine Dimopoulos (May 2015)
Ivy Wilde and Marla Klein face major lifestyle changes as pop-star Ivy questions the consumerism required to maintain her image, and fashionista Marla sees first-hand the appalling working conditions that allowed her to be a trend-setter.

Designers on Instagram: #fashion by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (April 2015)
An original collection of photography from the biggest names in American fashion collecting the most interesting, stylish and unique photographs on Instagram.

Chloe By Design: Making the Cut by Margaret Gurevich (Aug 2014)
Sixteen-year-old Chloe Montgomery gets a chance to travel from Santa Cruz to New York City to compete in Teen Design Diva, a competitive game show for aspiring teenage fashion designers.

The Fashion Book by Alexandra Black (Sept 2014)
A sassy style guide for girls shares insight into the fashion world and how to personalize one's appearance for best results, chronicling fashion trends throughout history while sharing practical tips from top designers and models.

 Recommendations for Children:

Why'd They Wear That?: Fashion as the Mirror of History by Sarah Albee (Feb 2015)
In this humorous and approachable narrative, kids will learn about outrageous, politically-perilous, funky, disgusting, regrettable, and life-threatening creations people have worn throughout the course of human history, all the way up the present day.
Presents a sewing guide for girls to help them create dresses and accessories, including skirts, cardigans, and totes.

Fab Fashions: You Can Make and Share by Mari Bolte (July 2014)
Step-by-step instructions teach readers how to create clothing and accessories, including bags, jewelry, shirts, and skirts.