Last week we shared our very first NoveList Idea Calendar full of tips, search suggestions, a free printable, and more to help you save time and connect readers to their next great read. I had a lot of fun working on this month’s calendar, but two things stood out to me. One, NoveList has SO MANY great resources that there just wasn’t enough room on the calendar to include every tip and piece of content that’s available. And two, these ideas can be used year-round! 

With that in mind, I want to take a closer look at some ways you can use NoveList products for booklists, display ideas, storytime help, promotional content, and more to tie into National Gardening Week. 

Garden-related events happen often! June 5th - 11th is this year's National Gardening Week, April is National Garden Month, May 19 is World Plant a Vegetable Garden Day, and January 10 is Houseplant Appreciation Day, just to name a few. But there are even more! And really, plants, gardens, flowers, and trees can be celebrated anytime so keep these tips handy all year. 

NoveList Plus 
Let’s dig into NoveList Plus and look at some easy ways to find titles.  

A simple subject search for SU gardens turns up all kinds of options from picture books for children to gentle reads for adults. 

I’m a children’s librarian at heart so my first thought is often about storytime, and NoveList Plus makes it easy to find great titles to share with young readers. On the left of the results page, you can limit to ages 0-8 and limit the genre to picture books for children. Sort by date newest to uncover titles to look forward to, as well as recent titles such as Amara’s Farm by JaNay Brown-Wood or Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever by Ruth Spiro, to always have something new to share.  

From here you can narrow down even more depending on what you’re looking for. Try the genre stories in rhyme for read-alouds like The Hidden Rainbow by Christie Matheson or choose anthropomorphic under character for a silly story like That’s My Carrot by Il Sung Na because who doesn’t love a good garden story about bunnies. Refining by tone can help you find stories that are sweet (If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson), whimsical (Dig In! by Cynthia L. Jenson-Elliott), or quiet (Ojiichan's Gift by Chieri Uegaki).   

You can try similar searches with subjects such as gardening, flowers, trees, vegetables, community gardens, and more. 

Gardening books aren’t just for kids either! Limit that original SU gardens search to nonfiction titles for adults and you’ll find nature writing, life stories, memoirs, histories, essays, and more for readers who prefer narrative nonfiction. Or choose fiction and limit the genre to cozy mysteries perfect for reading, where else, in the garden! 

Themes are a fantastic way to pinpoint just-right books for readers by finding the (sometimes) hard-to-define elements of a book that hook a reader. The theme green reads includes titles for all ages that are about our relationship with the natural world around us and the impact of our actions on natural spaces. Think outside the garden with titles such as The Girl from the Sea by Molly Ostertag, Prodigal Summer by Barabara Kingsolver or We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom, which have subjects such as environmentalism or nature conservation.

Another way to find titles is to mix and match NoveList story elements. Here are a few examples of how you can combine subject headings, themes, appeals, and more. Try searching for: 

  • SU gardens AND GN mystery  
  • SU gardens AND TH celebrating identity  
  • TH green reads AND SC own voices  
  • GN book club best bets AND TH green reads

And the winner is! NoveList Plus tracks hundreds of awards and makes it easy for you to find them all in one place. The National Outdoor Book Awards recognize the best in outdoor writing and publishing in several categories and might be a great place to look for even more garden or nature related titles. Quickly find the winners in NoveList Plus by searching National Outdoor Book Awards and clicking the Lists & Articles tab. 

You’ve found the books, or planned the program. Now search LibraryAware for professionally designed materials to get the word out to your patrons. 

With templates created specifically for libraries, LibraryAware makes it easy to find exactly what you need! Start with a search for garden and narrow down from there.

If you limit by Collections on the left in LibraryAware you can look for items in the Events & Programs collection to promote your events. LibraryAware has templates for spring gardening events, fall gardening events, gardening events for kids, and more. 

Limit to the Seasonal collection instead to find widgets and flyers for National Gardening Week or book display signs. 

And that’s not all! Search seed for seed library templates, flower for spring themed templates, carrot for super cute springy templates, or vegetable for templates on healthy eating. Bonus: search adult coloring for bookmark templates full of flowers to color, relax, and de-stress with. 

And of course, all these templates can be customized to fit your needs! So, whether you’re hosting a Master Gardener Class, offering a Read to Seed Club, or starting a community garden at the library, you can change as much or as little on any of the templates as you need or want to. 

Core Collections 
If you need to refresh or purchase more books to round out your gardening collection, Core Collections can help. 

Core Collections uses NoveList vocabulary to capture genres and subjects, making it easy to search for titles related to gardening! Some suggestions might be:

  • gardens
  • organic gardening
  • nature writing -- gardens
  • arts and entertainment -- crafts and hobbies -- garden and nature

Alternatively, you might prefer to start with an advanced search where you can search by Dewey range. For example, search by Dewey range 635 to find books on horticulture. The Core Collections levels of recommendations can ensure that you have the essential and recommended titles, while also allowing you to quickly check supplemental titles. 

From the search results page you can sort or limit by relevance to find books we recommend at all levels for all ages. If you’ve connected Core Collections to your library’s catalog, you can easily see which titles you already own right in the database and add any that you’re missing to a folder – a quick way to create a list of things to order. 

Linked Library Service 
Linked Library Service gets your data into the Google knowledge panel and other web services that help attract new users to your library. But did you know you can use your linked data to create book carousels to embed on your website, within blog posts, or on partner websites? 

Easily find content using the Resource Navigator and with only a few clicks you can create a responsive widget that contains books that share the subject gardens, or organic gardening, for example, all linking back to your catalog. 

And because Linked Library Service is enriched with NoveList metadata you can also create carousels based on NoveList Recommended Reads Lists and award winners. That means you can find the winners of the National Outdoor Book Awards and create a widget that includes any winning titles that your library owns. If your collection changes, or as new winners are added, the widget will automatically update! 

These easy-to-embed carousels can be placed on your library’s website or shared with community partners to increase your collection's visibility. 

I hope these suggestions have planted some seeds of inspiration and given helpful tips on how to grow awareness of your garden-related books and events! If you’re not into gardening, you can use a lot of the tricks above to use the power of NoveList products and services to home in on the subjects you and your patrons are interested in. 

Download your own copy of the NoveList Idea Calendar. 

Lauren Campbell is a NoveList Consultant. She is currently reading Blue-Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu.