The warmer weather ushers in promises of beautiful new blooms and delightful days outside as we shake off the cardigans of winter. For libraries, it also starts that inevitable rollercoaster of balancing increased patron demands with preparing for robust spring and summer programming.  

Despite the uncertainty and daily changes around COVID, libraries are as busy as ever. Whether you are open to the public, offering limited hours, or sticking to curbside, we know that you still have much to do on the daily and that a year of pandemic may have left you feeling less-than-inspired. We’ve gathered some ideas for offering quick and effective readers’ advisory to your patrons regardless of your library’s open status. 

Bundle It

Offer a range of Grab and Go Book Bundles, curated selections of books handpicked by your staff. No forms needed!  

Simply create a selection of bundles around themes, genres, appeals, or other topics of interest. Provide different bundles based on age levels; for example, adult bundles based on NoveList appeals could include stylistically complex AND unconventional or well-researched AND issue-oriented, while teen bundles could include heartwarming AND upbeat or richly detailed AND sweeping.  

How do you get the word out about these bundles? Put it everywhere! Include a blurb about it in your library e-newsletter, post it on social media and your website, create a bookmark or flyer to include in pick-up materials.  

Unsure where to start? Have no fear, we have a wealth of resources for Grab and Go Book Bundles in LibraryAware, including e-blasts, signage, websites, and social media widgets, bookmarks, and tags (for applying to your new and exciting bundles). Search “Book Bundles” or “Grab and Go” and start creating. 

Mark It

Use cost-efficient bookmarks to give your readers ideas for their next check-out. Tuck bookmarks featuring themed reading lists into books ready for pick up, providing super sneaky and helpful RA for your readers (because who doesn’t need a bookmark?!). Create lists for recent award winners, seasonal selections, local authors, Summer Reading, NoveList Recommended Reads Lists and more. These can focus exclusively on reading recommendations or can also serve double duty by providing library updates, program information, e-resource reminders, or your newly instituted book bundle initiative. Need some ideas? Search “bookmarks” in LibraryAware for a range of templates featuring pre-populated reading recommendations. 

Post It

Many libraries have been turning to social media platforms throughout the pandemic to help promote both titles and programs. Build patron engagement and open RA opportunities by asking a question on the platform of your choice. Start with something like, “What was the best book your read in 2020” or “What was the last book you recommended to a friend?” Use colorful, eye-catching graphics for even better chances to get your readers talking and clicking. 

Have you created an attractive flyer featuring reading recommendations? Repurpose these for both your social media accounts and website to drive traffic to your catalog.

LibraryAware provides the perfect tool for sharing to digital channels. While you can create a range of social media posts and website widgets (search “social media” or “social question” for inspiration), you can also use traditional print templates for digital purposes. We offer a wealth of ready-made RA flyers that transfer easily to social media and display beautifully on websites. Search “Book Display,” “Recommended Reads,” or “Appeal” in the search box for a quick start. 

Not sure exactly what you need? Check out the “New Releases” and “Trending Now” sections on the LibraryAware home page. These feature designs that are hot-off-the-press and that other LibraryAware users are choosing.   

If you’re not yet a LibraryAware customer and would like to learn more about how its print, web, social media, and email reach, and its content — created by experienced library staff — can help your organization, ask for a demo

Jen Heuer Scott is a NoveList Consultant. She is currently drooling over Secrets of a Devon Wood: My Nature Journal by Jo Brown.