BEA 2014 Part Two: LibraryReads and Librarians Book Buzz

BEA14ThursBookExpo America, Day Two

I’ve been a fan of LibraryReads since it first appeared on the scene last September, so while the panel didn’t offer a lot of new information, it was a great reminder that all library staff can (and should!) participate in the nomination process.

Steering committee members Stephanie Anderson from Darien Library, Melissa DeWild from Kent District Library, Robin Nesbitt from Columbus Metropolitan Library, and Kaite Stover from Kansas City Public Library gave an overview of LibraryReads, which was inspired by the question “Where is the IndieNext for libraries?” The monthly LibraryReads lists feature some familiar authors and some new ones. LibraryReads is a volunteer-run, publisher-supported marketing and readers’ advisory tool for libraries and publishers, and should help increase libraries’ relevance with publishers by demonstrating librarians’ power to “hand-sell” titles to readers: “We can help launch great authors and their books.”

The LibraryReads list is also a helpful tool for librarians. “These are ten books you can pretend you’ve read,” or at least tell potential readers, truthfully, “My colleague loved it” – even if your “colleague” is a librarian across the country.  LibraryReads lists can be used for collection development purposes, and lists and books can be used in displays, for book groups, and mentioned on social media.

Anyone who works in a public library is eligible to nominate books for the LibraryReads list; just register through Edelweiss. You can find advance copies of books through Edelweiss, NetGalley, publishers’ newsletters, blogs, social media, or other newsletters like Shelf Awareness or EarlyWord. You can vote for a book without writing a review if you’re pressed for time or not sure what to say, or you can write a quick blurb (final reviews on the list are only 450 words).

LibraryReadsSome tips on writing reviews:

  • Start strong and get to the point
  • Sum up the action in 1-2 sentences
  • Mention who might like the book
  • What are the appeal elements?
  • End strong
  • Remember, “your audience is someone who is dying to read a book.”

There are more tips on the “For Library Staff” section of the LibraryReads site. This is a great initiative that all library staff can participate in. Right now the list is limited to adult fiction and nonfiction, but there is the potential to expand to include children’s books as well, and teen books that appeal to adults are welcome (E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars was the #1 book on the May list).


The Librarians Book Buzz (Part I) was a rapid-fire stream of titles and authors from eight different publishers. Here are a few of the titles that caught my interest, with links to Edelweiss:

These are, of course, just a few of the several titles mentioned; publishers’ websites and their catalogs in Edelweiss offer many many more. And this was only Part I of the Buzz…more to come!


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