I’m lucky to work in two areas I feel passionately about:  as a librarian with Monash Public libraries and also as a Customer Engagement Manager with EBSCO Information Services, doing quite a bit of training to share information about electronic resources. My favourite webinars to facilitate for our Oceania libraries are those focusing on NoveList Plus, our premier readers’ advisory resource. It’s fun to use and full of useful information to assist with all of those tricky patron reader development enquiries such as “What can I read next,” “Which author writes like…,” and “What’s another series you can recommend for my child?” — NoveList can help!

As you’d expect, a lot of questions pop up during my NoveList webinars. Here are my top 5 questions (and answers you can use to test your own NoveList knowledge): 

Is NoveList Plus a tool for library staff only?
Not at all! NoveList Plus is a resource that can and should be used by anyone in your library — library staff, library patrons, parents, teachers, students. Anyone with an interest in books and lifelong reading will love using NoveList Plus to help them discover their next best read, a new favourite author, or even the next fabulous series to work their way through!

How much Australian and New Zealand content is included in NoveList Plus?
The NoveList team has undertaken a great deal of work to enhance the NoveList Plus content from both Australia and New Zealand; now, more than 17,000 titles and almost 3,000 authors local to this part of the world are included. Those interested in Australian and New Zealand Award winners will find lists along with a number of Book Discussion Guides for some very well-known titles — Trent Dalton’s Boy Swallows Universe, Richard Flanagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish, Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang and Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites

Are upcoming publications included in NoveList Plus?
Yes, upcoming titles are included in NoveList Plus, we distinguish these titles as ‘forthcoming.’ If you are viewing a results list of titles within NoveList Plus, you can also change your ‘Sort By’ to Date Newest — any forthcoming titles will appear at the top of your results list.

How are the NoveList reading recommendations made?
NoveList Plus offers reading recommendations at the title, author, and series level. Our detailed reading recommendations are collated by NoveList librarians and advisors, all of whom are avid readers. As a book lover myself, I am always interested in the reason as to why a title has been recommended in NoveList as a next best read. With personalized recommendations, end users can *see* this reasoning.

Our sophisticated algorithm also considers aspects such as genre, subjects, and all of the NoveList story elements

Can I limit my search results to find a book at the ‘just right reading level’ for younger patrons?
NoveList Plus incorporates two standards into most title records for youth found in the database: Lexile Levels and Accelerated Reader. Lexile measures text difficulty so that readers can choose a book that matches the level at which they’re reading, ensuring a successful reading experience. Accelerated Reader levels can also be used to find ‘just right’ books based on appropriateness and difficulty. Both of these standards are searchable when using the Advanced Search page in NoveList Plus, and details are easily viewable from the detailed record page of a title. 

Want to learn more about NoveList? Australian and New Zealanders can sign up for my upcoming NoveList training sessions here. Or, get immediate gratification through the Improve page on the NoveList Idea Center.

Happy reading!

Kylie Peckham is the Customer Engagement Manager for EBSCO in Melbourne, Australia.