Last week’s TBPL update told you all about our new no contact holds pick up service. But what if you aren’t sure what to place a hold on? Let us help! You can find information and links to these services at tbpl.ca/readers.
Lots of kids love reading about certain characters, like Thomas the Train, Pete the Cat, Marvel superheroes, or Fancy Nancy, but the adults in their lives may not know the author’s name. Others just want books about dinosaurs, or to ask the staff for funny stories, or even just sit down in front of the picture book paperbacks and flip through. How could we offer a version of the browsing experience – stumbling across something new – and TBPL staff suggestions to families at home?
Introducing our new Kids Book Bundles! By filling out a simple form, parents and kids can submit an order together: select a format like picture books, graphic novels, or EZ leveled Readers and then choose a theme, like dinosaurs, unicorns, princesses, and fairies, or diverse reads. Your child’s favourite topic isn’t listed? Write it in and we will do our best to put together a bundle for them. TBPL staff will select the items and call when the minimum five book bundle is ready for pick up. This form and more resources for finding good books for kids are available on tbpl.ca/kidsread.
Book Bundles are not just for kids, though – we are also offering them for Adults and Teens! Their form asks readers to pick from fiction and non-fiction topics including beach reads, biographies and historical fiction, or even a surprise pack of staff favourites. Let us know if you prefer Large Print and if you want to read from our Adult or Young Adult collection. Staff will pack up a minimum three books based on your picks and call when they are ready for you to pick up. You can find the form at tbpl.ca/readers.
Want more personalized reading suggestions than the Book Bundles quick picks? Try out our Book Butler service at tbpl.ca/bookbutler. A detailed survey will ask for your most and least favourite reads, among other questions. You will receive a specially curated email with recommendations chosen by Library staff just for you.
Another resource for reading suggestions is the TBPL Off the Shelf blog (that you are reading right now!), found at tbplofftheshelf.com. Staff regularly update with book lists based on popular requests, such as Amish fiction, page-turner thrillers, and diverse reads. Other regular posts include the Globe and Mail bestseller lists and monthly new and upcoming releases. You can also subscribe to receive this list of new and upcoming titles direct to your inbox by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those doing their reading online, download the CloudLibrary app and check out the featured shelves. TBPL staff personally curate these and new shelves are added regularly. Epic Fantasy and Still Time for Some Summer Reads are the most recent additions.
Teen readers have their own list of suggestions available on tbpl.ca/teensread. Check out readalikes of popular series and book lists on topics like LGBTQ+ Fiction and Indigenous authors.
Finally, adult and young adult readers should check out Read This Next, a weekly book recommendation program available on our Facebook Videos page and the TBPL YouTube channel. TBPL staffers Laura (myself) and Nicole have a new topic every week and have so far covered Canadian books published in 2020, time travel, books featuring LGBTQ+ characters, literature by Indigenous authors, zombies, and more. We start off with highlights, award-winners and best-selling books, and then share personal recommendations we have read and enjoyed. We then talk about what else we’ve been reading or recent news from the “bookternet.” You can find notes from each episode including the book titles and links to any referenced articles on the Off the Shelf blog.
Laura Prinselaar — tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.