Over the last while we have featured ways to help you find things to read (or listen to) using our Book Butler service and the new adult and teen book bundles (tbpl.ca/readers). These services are managed by library staff but if you’re interested in doing a bit of sleuthing on your own we recommend you try NoveList Plus or NoveList K-8 Plus.These are both found by clicking on the Sleeping Giant image on our web page tbpl.ca/virtualcollection. You will need a library card number and PIN to access these resources and we can set you up with one if you email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, address, and phone number. This applies to all non residents of Thunder Bay too!
Both of these databases have interfaces that are similar, with a keyword search box at the top. This is a good way to search if you’re looking for a book that you’ve read in the past but can’t remember the name, or for exploring some themes. The search can be further refined by options presented on the left side of the screen: audience, fiction or nonfiction, and publication date.
Following the example provided on the search page I entered the keywords “World War II lovers diary” and 67 results came up. The result list was presented in relevance order but can be sorted by author, title, date, popularity, volume and narrator (if applicable).
After the summary of each item on the result list is the option to click on Title Read-alikes or Author Read-alikes. Clicking on Title Read-alikes brings up a list of similar titles and each one is given a reason that it is alike, for example: These books have the genre “historical thrillers”; and the subjects “intelligence service,” “world war ii home front,” and “spies.” You can provide your input here on the books listed by clicking on the thumbs up/thumbs down icon or clicking on “Suggest Read-alike” at the top of the page.
The last option for each entry is the purple book icon and Check the Encore Catalogue link. This will bring you directly to the library’s online catalogue where you can see if an item is available and place a hold. We recommend you log in to your account if you’re going to place multiple holds. Then wait for us to call you to pick up your hold at either the Mary J.L. Black or the Waverley library, 10 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday
If browsing is more your thing you have a lot of options too. First on the page is the “I’m in the mood for books that are…” segment, followed by “Browse Genres”, “Keeping Up” (detailed genre information with many links), “Featured Award Winner” and “Featured Audiobook”.
Another browsing option is the Recommended Reads List on the left side of the main page. These are links to 17 categories which can be refined by clicking on the Adult, Teen, Ages 9-12 or Ages 0-8 buttons. There are the usual genre links as well as Staff Faves, Canadian Fiction, Best of 2019 Fiction and Reading during Pandemic.
NoveList K-8 Plus has fewer categories and browsing the genres is by age but it has many more Recommended Reads Lists such as 2020 Kids’ Faves (so far), Animal Stories, Friendship Stories, Sports Stories, etc. You can select Fiction or Nonfiction for each category. As with NoveList, you can connect directly to the library catalogue by clicking on the purple book icon / Check the Encore Catalogue link.
We’re always interested in hearing from you about our resources and services so send us your thoughts to email@example.com. Happy reading!
Sylvia Renaud – http://www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you.