Readers who can browse the row-upon-row of shelves of books in the library at their leisure often find enticing books that they might not have known about previously. Or perhaps the librarian who knows what books the reader likes may suggest a new book or author to try.
In this digital age, however, when many people browse the library’s online catalog from home in search of a specific book, the chance to stumble upon a lucky find or hear a helpful suggestion from the librarian is missing.
We have a feature in our online catalog that will fill that gap and allow library patrons at home to have another opportunity to discover new and exciting books and authors that they might not have otherwise considered.
This “readers advisory” tool appears anytime a library patron searches for a book in the online catalog. By scrolling further down a book’s listing, readers will see a section called “Suggestions and more.” This section of the online catalog makes it easy to find “more like this” – whether it is more in the series, more titles, or more authors.
The feature lists other books and authors that are similar to the book the reader is considering. If the original book being sought is not available, these other suggestions might just lead to a new favorite author or a book they had not previously considered reading – just like stumbling across a tantalizing new book on the library shelves! The service also lists other books in a series, reader ratings and reviews, reading-level information for juvenile literature, and sometimes additional links to related sources.
Clicking on the titles or authors that are suggested reveals a brief explanation explaining why that particular recommendation was made. The suggested book may contain similar subject matter, period, or theme as the original book. The additional authors may have a similar writing style, or the name may actually be a pseudonym of the author of the original book.
To learn more about this component of FBCL's online catalog, ask a librarian at any branch library for a demonstration!