When Core Collections became a NoveList product, we took to heart the idea that it would be “powered by NoveList.”  That meant doing things like reevaluating genre and subject headings, as well as which classics are really essential for libraries to have. This work brought our attention to the recommendation levels in Core Collections. Honestly, the terms were vague when we want them to be specific. So we’re happy to unveil both the new terms AND provide some clarity into how we’re using them. 

First up are the sure bets, the must-haves, the don’t miss ‘em titles your patrons will clamor for, often for years after they’ve been published: these used to be called “Most Highly Recommended.” Now, they’re Essential. Makes sense, right? You’ll see great new titles like Hidden Valley Road and The Vanishing Half here, as well as longstanding popular books like The Hate U Give or award-winners like Speak. You can find these (or limit your search results) by using the search phrase RM 1

Next, we have another category of great books for a well-rounded collection. These were the “Core Collection” titles. Now, they’re Recommended — because they are. Ideally, all libraries would have these books too, but we know that different communities have different needs, and are limited by space, budget, and community interests. You’ll find “midlist” titles here, less popular books by well-known authors, books with limited appeal, and promising debut authors who haven’t gotten a lot of buzz going yet. There’s a lot of good stuff here, especially for readers who have read everything on the bestseller lists. You can find these books by using the search phrase RM 2.   

Last but not least are those titles that fill out a large collection or are suggested for libraries who want more titles in a particular content area. These will remain Supplemental. (We figured that captured the essence of those titles beautifully, so we simply removed the word “title” from the descriptor.) You can find these by using the search phrase RM 3

We hope that changing the names slightly makes these categories easier to understand. Keep in mind as you use Core Collections that the same book may have different recommendation levels for different audiences, so you may see both Essential and Recommended on a title. Don’t worry — the recommendation levels are clearly associated with the particular audience.


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Shauna Griffin is a Content Strategy Manager for NoveList. She is currently reading Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid.