NoveList Select: Built Especially for You

Library Resources | Danielle Borasky| November 14, 2018

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NoveList Vice President Danielle Borasky uncovers key components of NoveList Select, and discusses how the team at NoveList incorporates customer feedback into product enhancements.

I am lucky to work with a team that loves libraries and librarians. About half of the employees at NoveList are librarians, so it’s really no surprise that we feel that way. We get downright giddy when we get some love back, such as when our customers write articles about us like The best book database you’ve never heard of, and Things I Love: NoveList. We love you too!

As believers in the mission of libraries, we consider it our responsibility to create great products that meet your needs. And to do that, we first need to listen and understand those needs. Here are a few examples of how we do that:

  1. Listening to your feedback: We care about hearing both positive and negative comments. Sometimes people are surprised to learn that we read each and every piece of feedback and/or comment, but it’s true. There’s an entire team dedicated to answering them, and I read most of them myself as well. Share your feedback with us anytime using this handy form.
  2. Gathering survey responses: We send out periodic email surveys to users because it’s often a great way to get answers from a lot of you at once. In these days of email overload, we really appreciate that you take the time to respond to our questions — we promise to make it worthwhile!
  3. 1:1 interviews: Although the time commitment is high, 1:1 interviews are probably the best way for us to listen deeply. We genuinely enjoy talking to librarians about their daily work because it reminds us of why we love libraries in the first place. We’re always looking for participants — if you’re someone who works with books or readers and would like to talk with us in depth, let us know.

I am lucky to work with a team that loves libraries and librarians. About half of the employees at NoveList are librarians, so it’s really no surprise that we feel that way.

The next step is obviously for us to translate what we’ve heard into products built especially for you. That’s a fun challenge. Here’s a snapshot of a recent session where we sorted through ideas gathered from our listening sessions:

Magical things happen when our customers (YOU!) let us know what you need from NoveList. A recent case in point: we heard from many of you that you wanted to be able to mix and match our story elements right inside your catalog. Previously, that was only available in the NoveList databases. I’m happy to say that as a result of your feedback, the story mixer is now a reality in our catalog enrichment service, NoveList Select.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, this is a peek at the story mixer:

A couple things to notice about the story mixer:

  • It is based on the unique story elements that NoveList librarians apply to titles. Appeal terms, genres, and themes are all part of a custom taxonomy of metadata that NoveList creates and applies to our titles.
  • The story mixer allows you to mix and match story elements to your heart’s content. You can play around with it until you find the right mix. I took the above example from the Williamsburg Regional Library catalog – go there to try it out yourself.
  • The power of having the story mixer in your catalog is that we can filter the results to show only titles you own so that patrons are directed to what you have in your collection. The availability option (showing whether copies are available) is a helpful addition as well so that readers can find something right away.

Our specialty at NoveList is helping connect readers with books. We do it because 1) we love libraries and 2) we believe that reading is transformative. My hope is that the next time you open up one of our products, you feel the love that went into creating it and know that it was made especially for you.

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Danielle Borasky
General Manager, NoveList

Danielle Borasky is the Vice President of NoveList, a division of EBSCO Information Services. NoveList has been helping readers find their next favorite book for more than 20 years, and continues to develop innovative solutions for connecting readers, books, and libraries. NoveList is located in Durham, North Carolina.

Prior to joining NoveList in 2011, she gained broad experience in the library industry through her work in many different settings including academic, special, and public libraries. Danielle holds a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science.

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