Wednesday, September 20, 2006

NoveList (copy)

Have you ever finished a book and thought, “Boy that was great! Can I read something else just like it?” Maybe you just finished all the Stephanie Plum mysteries by Janet Evanovich and want another author who writes like her.

I have had patrons describe a book they read years ago, and all they can remember is a character’s name or plot. Their question to me, “Do you know the title or author?” Um, some days I’m lucky if I remember my name much less a title of a book.

This week I gave a brief talk to the faculty at Northwest about a versatile database available to all Mississippians called NoveList. Through the Mississippi Alliance for Gaining New Opportunities through Library Information Access (MAGNOLIA), anyone in the state of Mississippi can access this database through an internet connection.

The database states, “NoveList is a fiction database that provides subject heading access, reviews, annotations, and much more for over 135,000 fiction titles. It also includes other content of interest to fiction readers, such as Author Read-alikes, What We're Reading, Book Discussion Guides, BookTalks, and Annotated Book Lists. For school media specialists and teachers there are Picture Book Extenders and articles on Teaching with Fiction.”

NoveList is wonderful for those teachers struggling to find books on certain reading levels for their students. Not only can you search a book by subject, for example, Civil War, but you will be able to see the lexile, or grade level, of the results. You may even search the database by lexile numbers combined with a title or author.

In order to use NoveList, one will have to call their local library for the website and password. All librarians in the state are trained on this database and will be eager to assist.

In the library world we call this service Reader’s Advisory. Most of us enjoy providing this service because it allows us to introduce readers to new authors. We may also hear of new authors from the patrons.

If you finish a fabulous book and want to talk about it, come see us. We realize this happens, because we face it every time we read something equally fabulous. So, when you approach us, we may smile and nod our heads in shared enthusiasm, but be fair; if you share, please let us share back.