“Do you have another book with a similar story line?” “Is there any other author who can move my emotions this much?” These are common questions that may be difficult for library staff to answer at times. Some patrons have read everything by a certain author and are struggling to find a similar writer, while others just need the next book in a series. Here at the Houston County Public Library, we do employ trained library professionals – however, none of us have mastered the art of patron mind-reading just yet! As a very valuable substitute, we have subscribed to Reader’s Advisory databases that will provide resources to answer all of our patron’s reading questions. . . and you can gain access from home!
The first and perhaps most useful database is through the library’s GALILEO access: NoveList. This database allows you to find almost every book by a particular author or discover “Author Read-Alikes” for works of similar writing styles. For example, I was curious about similar authors to the mystery writer Janet Evanovich. NoveList gives me the A-Z on authors who have written anything similar to her, including Iris Johansen and Sherrilyn Kenyon. Other features of NoveList include book discussion guides and featured articles.
NoveList offers not only reader’s advisory for adults, but for young readers as well. This is especially useful for parents searching for books for their child’s report or during our summer reading program when kids read heavily. It offers many of the same features and is presented in the same layout as the adult version, but gives additional, more simplistic search options. It allows users to search specific genres, such as horror and fantasy, while also offering my favorite search option: the “If You Like. . .” suggestions. This advisory option was especially useful to me last month when a parent needed advise on further reading for her son, who had just completed the Magic Treehouse books. After using the “If You Like . . .” option and selecting the Magic Treehouse Series in NoveList, I was able to find many different yet similar authors, such as Annie Barrows Laurel Snyder. The NoveList results also advised other books by Magic Treehouse author Mary Pope Osborne that the reader may enjoy. The mother I was working with became very grateful for the NoveList database and states that she continues to use it today.
While NoveList focuses specifically on fiction and mostly pleasure reading, the EBSCOHost database offers a nonfiction book collection on popular works for youth on core subject areas, as well as information on careers, health, sports, adventure, technology, life skills and more.
It is a database that is sure to offer at least something for almost anyone!
To obtain the Houston County Public Library’s current GALILEO password to access any of our reader’s advisory tools, please contact your local branch or click here for more information.