If you work in a library, you know that browsing trends are valuable for collection development and readers’ advisory. When we released Reader Insights in the NoveList Select Analytics Dashboard, we were excited to offer a new way to accurately measure that engagement.  Libraries could look beyond checkouts and holds — often for the first time — to see how their users browse titles within their online catalog. 

Reader Insights help libraries keep their front-line staff informed, making it easier for them to be the book experts patrons see them as. So you may wonder, how can your library use the information in Reader Insights to position your front-line staff for success? Like getting access to the Analytics Dashboard, it’s pretty easy. 

  1. Get all your staff signed up for the dashboard. I said getting access to the dashboard was easy, and I meant it! If your library has NoveList Select, email novelistselectsupport@ebsco.com and ask for access. Our awesome support team will set you up, and you can add as many users as you'd like.  
  2. Make sure your staff know the top ten titles and top five authors and series. One quick glance once a month is all they need to stay informed about what’s popular among your readers. Whether your staff is answering readers’ advisory questions on social, making suggestions at checkout, or creating browsable displays on the website, top authors and series is an immediate way to find inspiration.
  3. Help your staff talk about these titles, authors, and series. Staff aren’t always comfortable talking about books, but NoveList Select makes this easy! Show your staff where to find NoveList read-alikes in their catalog, and point them to the reasoning language we provide with each recommendation to quickly explain why a reader would enjoy the title. As they are helping a patron put Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens on hold, they can say, “While you’re waiting, have you read The Scent Keeper? It’s an atmospheric, coming-of-age story about a young woman with a unique connection to the natural world, raised by her father in a remote environment. And we have a copy checked in.” (Want to be able to quickly tell if titles in the NoveList databases and NoveList Select are checked in? Learn more about the On the Shelf feature).  
  4. Encourage staff to talk more about books they enjoy. This suggestion seems obvious, but it helps to practice with a receptive audience. Regular conversations about books among colleagues can help lower staff members’ anxiety about talking books with library customers. Encourage staff to share why they enjoyed a top title, or suggest that they look at the catalog to find books they’ve enjoyed and review some of the read-alikes from NoveList Select. Colleagues’ reading tastes can often surprise you, and you may find that you have more than a few niche or genre experts at the desk already.  
  5. Use the read-alikes in physical and digital displays. The "Search for More” area of NoveList Plus makes it easy to quickly find gobs of titles to fill up that display. Follow a trail of appeal factors, themes, and genres as you build up a pull list for your display, saving everything in a folder for easy reference later. Pick some titles with the most appealing covers and make a quick flyer in LibraryAware. Use the same titles in our widgets, perfect for posting to all your favorite social channels.  

Libraries with NoveList Select can use our Analytics Dashboard to see their NoveList Select usage data from any web-enabled device, anywhere, any time. This dashboard provides a window into how your library’s patrons view and interact with information in the catalog. If you have questions about setup or your organization’s dashboard, email us at novelistselectsupport@ebsco.com

NoveList Select

Create gateways of book discovery in your catalog, self-checkout, and other patron experience systems.

Sam Stover is a Senior Product Manager at NoveList. He is currently reading Nudge by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein.