Monday, May 7, 2012

#3 Novel list and Readers' Advisory

I searched the Novel-List K-8 database, and at first, this was difficult because the terms “Read-Alike” wasn’t readily visible, until I searched for a favorite author, then on that results page, the block appeared with 3 suggested authors, when I searched for Katherine Paterson, then Mary Downing Hahn, Richard Peck and Maurice Gee were suggested (three authors of different genres I thought).  In addition, the “Search for More” block offers subject headings or tags that would narrow down a search, for example under Hahn, ghost stories, historical fiction, and suspense stories are among the genres that appear, while under Richard Peck, historical fiction, humorous stories and occult fiction are offered.  I think the suggestions are fairly accurate, in a generalized way. The Series recommendation appears only when an author has written novels that are a part of a series. I also appreciate when I look up a specific author, results can be limited to forthcoming titles, award winners, and reviews available.
These suggestions are fairly general, but because other headings like storyline, pace, tone, etc. are offered, one could really narrow down a search for another title. 

The Series recommendation appears only when an author has written novels that are a part of a series. I searched for Mary Pope Osborne, because I thought she had a large number of series, but only 3 were returned: Magic Schoolhouse, Tales from the Odyssey, and Civil War Diary.
I think the part of NovelList that will be most useful to my patrons are the extensive help and tutorials. Because I didn’t understand how to find the read alikes, I used the support center, where Power Point slide shows were available as well as links to answers to 19 other questions relating to book suggestions.

Article Reflections. I cruised the page, 7 Book Recommendation Websites <> The Next Great Generation and found many of the resources to be interesting, but those that required me to sign up before I could use them kept me from investigating further. I feel I have my email and username out there too often, so don’t like to sign up for more resources than I can use. Among those listed that are new to me, I liked Whichbook http://www. best because it didn’t have so many ads as the other sites, I also liked the ability to choose gradient scale slider for traits of books that I like to read about. I was able to locate several titles that sounded interesting and a good follow up to thrillers I’ve read this year. This Boston Globe blog was interesting, as it’s full of ideas from 20-somethings who read! I would definitely use many of these sites in readers’ advisory.

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