New Hanover County Public Library

NoveList and LibraryAware enhance readers’ advisory services at public library in North Carolina

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At a Glance

New Hanover County Public Library
North Carolina

Institution Type:   Public Libraries
Related Products:   NoveList

Overview

Located in North Carolina, New Hanover County Public Library includes four branches that serve a population of more than 213,000. To support its readers’ advisory services, the Library subscribes to NoveList Plus, NoveList Select, and LibraryAware, a suite of products designed to enrich a patron’s library experience. NoveList Select has turned the Library’s existing catalog into a place for book discovery by pulling in the reader-focused features of NoveList Plus, such as reading recommendations, series information, and reviews. To promote its reader services to the public, the institution uses LibraryAware to create eye-catching flyers, bookmarks, and newsletters. Together, these EBSCO resources are helping the Library to better connect with the community it serves.

LibraryAware is the perfect solution for a smaller library system that has to do its own publicity on a regular basis.

Rachel Langlois
Virtual Services Librarian
New Hanover County Public Library

Solutions

New Hanover County Public Library has long-subscribed to NoveList Plus, a comprehensive database containing thousands of reading recommendations, read-alikes, and book reviews for fiction and nonfiction titles. According to Library Assistant Anna Connelly, NoveList Plus has been an effective tool in supporting the Library’s readers’ advisory service. “Patrons are always really surprised at how quickly we can find a title for them using NoveList Plus,” Connelly says.

In 2013, the institution added NoveList Select, which allows the Library to pull related NoveList Plus content into its existing catalog records.

“When I show patrons how to use the catalog, I always show them the related titles on the records, and they are totally in awe of that,” Connelly says. “It’s like having a reference librarian at their fingertips. A lot of patrons who are older don’t like using the online catalog. Sometimes this is a game-changer because they get to see all the great features in the online catalog.”

To better promote its reader services, the institution began subscribing to LibraryAware, a web-based tool that includes 25 monthly, ready-to-use NextReads newsletters, which are written by the book experts at NoveList. Each newsletter focuses on a topic that readers love, such as Historical Fiction, Mystery, Horror, Armchair Travel, Tween Reads, and more. Librarians can modify the newsletters before sending them out or create their own newsletters using modern and mobile-friendly templates.

“Sometimes it’s a great way to get a conversation going,” Connelly says, adding that she and her colleagues also use the NextReads newsletter service to update the Library’s collection. “When we see new titles in the advance list, we consider them for acquisition, so NextReads really supports our collection development needs, too.”

New Hanover County Library also creates custom newsletters using LibraryAware. Currently, patrons can subscribe to their choice of more than 30 newsletters. From the sign-up page on the library website, they can read a summary and the latest issue of each newsletter.

“LibraryAware is a great launch pad for readers’ advisory,” says Librarian Carla Sarratt, who edits the bi-monthly African-American Fiction and Nonfiction newsletter. She also modified a recent issue of the monthly Biography and Memoir newsletter to include an infographic highlighting the biographies of key women in politics.

LibraryAware makes it easy to incorporate library content, both books and e-resources, into social media posts, image carousels, and printed marketing materials, such as flyers, brochures, and bookmarks. “I was especially pleased to see the addition of the new flyers which I have [since] used to create more readers’ advisory tools and add them to my LibGuide,” Sarratt says.

Also available in LibraryAware are user statistics that can help librarians measure the success of a newsletter or campaign. The statistics show the number of subscribers, email opens, clicks, and views. To date, the Library has approximately 2,700 NextReads newsletter subscribers.

Benefits & Results

Since launching LibraryAware’s NextReads newsletters in April 2014, New Hanover County Public Library has seen use of its e-book collection, Axis 360, rise dramatically. In April, the number of downloads were 500 percent higher than those seen in March.

As part of the Library’s Axis 360 project, the Library sent out a weekly “New from Axis 360” newsletter from April through mid-August. According to Virtual Services Librarian Rachel Langlois, “This is one specific area in which we can offer figures to demonstrate a LibraryAware newsletter’s impact on circulation.”
 
Since sending out “New from Axis 360” newsletters via LibraryAware, New Hanover County Public Library has seen a substantial increase in the number of e-book users, downloads, and holds.

Langlois says LibraryAware is both flexible and versatile.

"We love LibraryAware,” she says. “The single, biggest, awesome, cool thing about LibraryAware is that it gives us a way to create a professional, streamlined look across the board, yet put the creative content capabilities into the hands of the people who are doing the doggone programs. How fun is that? It flows, and it can be reused, and it looks good, and it can be seen in so many different ways. It’s the perfect solution for a smaller library system that has to do its own publicity on a regular basis."

Connelly agrees, praising the synergy among NoveList’s products. “It saves [us] a lot of time with the products being able to talk to each other,” she said. “I wish more companies were as interconnected with their resources.”

For more information about NoveList and LibraryAware, or to request a free trial, click here.