With libraries closed or limiting access to the reading public, options for patrons to browse are limited. Or are they? Yes, the days of wandering the aisles may be temporarily on pause for some of us, but alternatives abound for those willing to take a step online. 

NextReads newsletters, by their very nature, offer readers a curated browsing opportunity. And we’ve seen that open rates for newsletters of all kinds have risen in the last six months. Take advantage of the looks you’re getting on your open-24/7, reaching-patrons-where-they-are digital branch by making full use of your NextReads newsletters (and any others you create in LibraryAware). Here are some suggestions, in two broad categories: 

Things to add to your NextReads newsletters: 

  • Cross-promote other services. Add links to your digital collections and advertise your virtual programming!  
  • Explain current policies, including curbside pickup. News to share? Put it here! 
  • Are you offering specialized reading recommendations services to help those who miss browsing or chatting with library staff? Checking out pre-packaged “book bundles”? Tell your patrons all about it! 
  • Do you have NoveList Plus, or NoveList Select in your catalog? Link to a blog post that explains how your patrons can use the database or the catalog to look up a favorite book to use as a jumping off point for more like it.  
  • Are you offering homework help, wifi in the parking lot, or online tutoring? Add a link to your options for students and their parents. 
  • Add extra titles or create new newsletters to increase the number of books people are looking at — you don’t have to create annotations for them but your patrons will appreciate having more options.  

Ways to make better use of NextReads and LibraryAware’s newsletter functionality: 

  • Use NextReads and other book-based LibraryAware newsletters (you can create them yourselves easily!) to create beautiful book carousels (also known as book rivers or “widgets”) that you can place on your website, letting patrons browse virtually at any time, day or night. Promote new books, staff favorites, genre-based lists...the options are endless. 
  • NextReads newsletters make quick and easy bookmarks and flyers to tuck into holds for curbside service (or on the holds shelf, depending on what your library is offering), which is helpful for reaching patrons who don’t have regular access to the Internet. (For those that do —  you can use these bookmarks to promote NextReads! 

Regardless of how you’re using NextReads, it’s a great way to expand your reach. Give one of the above suggestions a try, and let us know how it works out! 

Shauna Griffin is a Content Strategy Manager for NoveList. She is currently reading Transcendant Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi.