The Librarian Toolbox

Librarians have lots of tools….our fabulous brains, all that stuff we learn at library school, binders of ready reference questions and answers, reference books, databases, and of course, bookmarks on our desktops to all kinds of useful links. I was inspired by Maya’s post this week about Reader’s Advisory to share some of my favorite Reader’s Advisory tools.

Novelist – Novelist is included in many database packages, at least here in NH public libraries. Two of my favorite features of Novelist are the Read-Alikes and the book reviews.   The Read-Alikes allow you to pick a book you like, and Novelist does an instant reader’s advisory by showing what other books are “like” that one.  You can limit the selection based on certain terms or it will just do a general read-alike search.  Then the book reviews allow you to learn more about these other titles.  Novelist offers many more features and if you have it at your library, I highly recommend logging on and exploring some of your favorite authors, titles, or series.

KDL – What’s Next – Speaking of series, want to know “what’s next?”  Have you ever discovered a whole series with no volume listing and been frustrated to figure out the order? Kent District Library of Kent County, Michigan welcomes other libraries to link to their database:  What's Next™: Books in Series Database of Kent District Library http://ww2.kdl.org/libcat/whatsnext.asp and I use it all the time at my library to help patrons figure out the order of a series. Explore an author or look at different series in a favorite genre…  Finally, you can read all those Charlaine Harris books in the right order.

Fantastic Fiction – The UK site http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/ is full of reviews, read-alikes, and more for the latest titles in the US and the UK.  It is a bright, flashy site that also includes links to buy the books…but why buy when you can borrow from your library?

Reviews by Nancy Pearl – No list would be complete without Nancy Pearl, model for the Librarian Action Figure and TV host of Book Lust with Nancy Pearl.  Check out her website for the latest reviews: http://www.nancypearl.com/

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