As the Collection Development Librarian at LPCPL, the biggest question I get from folks is “Where do you find out about all these books?” There are definitely a lot of resources out there, so, I just wanted to share some of the ones that I find most useful.
The one that everyone thinks of first is The New York Times Bestseller list. It is a great place to begin; the titles are well-known, and often asked for, but some of the best titles never make it on the list since they only use a number of sales in the U.S.
The BookPage is a magazine that you can pick up for free at any library location. Inside, you’ll find author interviews, featured titles, and lots of book reviews! I try to purchase a lot of the titles that appear in the BookPage, so it is a great place to find out about new items you’ll be able to find here at the library.
I also take into account professional reviews from companies like Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly. These print catalogs are available for you to check out at the Main Library in the magazine section, or requestable to any branch.
I find myself using a lot of web sources as well in the book selection process. Here are some handy websites that I frequent:
You may have heard of Goodreads. This site is really fun because you can add books you have read, and they will give you suggestions based on your ratings. They also have an explore tab where they post new release book lists, news, interviews, and giveaways. The best part is connecting your account to social media and see what your friends are reading!
Read Brightly focuses on early literacy, posting articles about motivating kids to read, fantastic title suggestions and much more. You can choose to filter by age group or topic and is perfect for parents and educators alike.
Book Riot is more focused on adult and young adult fiction, though they have a section for juvenile books as well. Book Riot relates to current trends and culture in their articles, and provide a lot of book recommendations. They have a podcast about books too if you enjoy listening to those!
Novelist is a website that allows you to find titles similar to ones you have already read. You can enter the title or the author to find read-alikes, or you can check out their Recommended Reads List and browse by reading level and genre. The greatest thing about Novelist is that you can search by titles that have been mentioned on certain TV and radio programs by searching with the Advanced Search and Media Mentions.
Twitter is not a website that we immediately think of when we are thinking of places to discover books, but if you have a favorite contemporary author, it is likely that they have a Twitter account. A lot of the posts will involve their lives and personal viewpoints, but they will usually post any new titles that they are working on, and you’ll know about them way before other outlets. Sometimes these authors will also interact with other authors on the social media platform and will promote their titles as well. You can also follow book industry accounts like our library’s Twitter: @lpcpls, local bookstores, and other people in the business who will fill your feel with tons of book-related news!
I hope this helps you on your quest for that next fantastic read, and don’t forget that you can ask any staff member for suggestions or to help you with these tools. If there’s something you’re not seeing in the catalog, feel free to use the Suggest a Title Form on the library’s website. We love to hear what our community is interested in, so fill out this form and we’ll see what we can do!
~Holly Trott, Collection Development Librarian