Reason #46: Go Further with NoveList Plus!

Reason #46: Go further with NoveList Plus!

  • Looking for a good book?
  • Do you enjoy Science Fiction, but don’t know what to read next?
  • Do you like Alexander McCall Smith’s books, and want to find similar reads by different authors?
  • Do you want to learn more about a certain series?


If so, then NoveList Plus is just what you need!


St. Thomas Public Library has a subscription to the online database NoveList Plus – an amazing reader’s advisory database where you can learn about titles, series, authors, and genres, find read-alikes, book reviews and recommendations, discover Award-winners and book lists, check out discussion guides, and much, much more!

You can search among hundreds of thousands of popular fiction and readable nonfiction titles – NoveList has a staff of book experts, including over 25 librarians, who write all the recommendations! You know that you can trust a review from NoveList, and since it’s so easy to use, you’ll be finding new favorite books in no time at all!

The main page is easy to navigate. There is a simple search box on the top, where you can do a search by Keyword, Title, Author, Series, or Narrator.

Along the left-hand side, there are categories you can browse in, including: Audiobooks, Best of 2013, Canadian Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction, Horror, Mysteries, Romance, etc. Once you select a category, you can explore some of the titles and authors.

NoveList 1

As an example, I clicked the category “Mystery” and selected “Cozy Crime”.

Here we see a short description of what a “Cozy Mystery” is, as well as some books from that genre. One feature that could be helpful is that you can see the “popularity” of each book.

NoveList 2

To continue our example, I’ve selected the book “As the Pig Turns”. On this page, you get all kinds of information about the book, including: when it was published, if it’s in a series, a brief description, the pace, the genre, the tone, the writing style, as well as both NoveList reviews and Goodreads reviews. On top of all that, on the right-hand side of the page, we see recommended read- alikes.

NoveList 3

Now I want to learn more about the author, M.C. Beaton. So I will click on her name (it is hyperlinked).

We now see a page with all kinds of information about the author, the different books and series she has written, her writing style, etc. A really handy tool appears on the right-hand side of the page: a list of author read-alikes.

NoveList 4

As you can see, this is a very powerful database with tons of information! So the next time you have a reader’s advisory question, the first place to start your search should be NoveList Plus!

Give it a try, and let us know how you like it!

Reason #43: We’re 100% Commitment Free

Reason #43: We're 100% committment free!

At St. Thomas Public Library, we know that you’re not likely to enjoy EVERYTHING you check out. There are, on occasion, books, magazines, or movies that people simply can’t get through or finish. Who knows the reason! Could be you despise the characters, think the author’s writing style is appalling, or that the movie plot is simply too ridiculous. (Or maybe you read something that hits a little too close to home in “Psychology Today” magazine…)

Good news! St. Thomas Public Library is 100% commitment free. You don’t have to finish your borrowed item to the end. If you don’t like it, just bring it back! We have a no-hassle return policy. (So long as you return the material on time, I mean.)

In fact, you don’t even need to take the item out of the library! Curl up in one of our comfy chairs and skim or read the first few chapters of the item you’re considering checking out. If it isn’t engaging, put it back on one of the return carts – you don’t even have to put the book back where you found it! (They don’t really like you doing that in book stores.)

And try out new authors and genres! You might discover something life-changing and mind altering. Again, if you try it and don’t like it, you don’t need to finish it. Things at the library are loosey-goosey! You’re not committed to liking on author, genre, or writing style. Go down to the lower level and check out some Young Adult or Teen novels; check out the new Adult Graphic Novels; try out a biography if you’ve never explored the non-fiction section before. You don’t have to commit!

Want to know an even bigger secret? You don’t even have to start any of the materials you check out. If you simply don’t have the time to read that book you checked out three weeks ago, you can return it and borrow it later, or renew it to keep it a bit longer. We won’t judge you!

Just because you’ve committed to having a library card and the responsibility that comes with it (returning items on time and undamaged,) doesn’t mean you’ve entered into some long term engagement with us. You can come to the library every day, once a week, once per month, or once a year. We don’t mind! Well, we like to see you in here as much as possible, but we understand that you have other priories, too. Come and go as you please. Like we said, we’re 100% commitment free!

Reason #40: Can’t Find It? We’ll Borrow It!

Reason #40 - ILLOs - We'll borrow it

Did you know that libraries borrow from other libraries? If you’re looking for something that we don’t have, make a request at the information desk and we can search other libraries for it! We do it all the time, especially for rare or older books that may be difficult to purchase.

When we order from another library for you (this is called an inter-library loan, or ‘ILLO’ as we say), the item will come to us on the SOLS (Southern Ontario Library Service) van that travels around to all libraries in Southern Ontario, or by post if the item is coming from a library outside of Southern Ontario. Your inter-library loaned item may come from as close as London, or as far away as Thunder Bay, but you get to pick it up right here at your own library! Borrowing times for inter-library loans vary depending on the lending library, but you normally get to keep the item for three weeks, just like any books you borrow from us. So ask us for that book you’ve been trying forever to track down; we just might be able to connect you with it!

A lot of local book clubs order their books through us, but that’s a whole different reason to celebrate the library. You’ll have to wait for the details!

On a similar note: St. Thomas Public Library is a “lending” library, which means we do the same thing for other libraries. People request books from us, and we ship them around the province (if not further.) In 2013, St. Thomas Public Library LENT 1,415 items and we BORROWED 1,404 items. So far this year (from January to May 2014,) we’ve LENT 1,274 items and we’ve borrowed 1,128 items. Looks like we’re on a role!

Reason #39: Busy Parents Can Grab, Scan & Go!

Reason #39 - Busy parents can grab scan & goIf you don’t have time to browse the picture book shelf with your choosy toddler, and also don’t have time to hand-pick the very best books to develop your tots’ literacy skills, don’t despair! We have done that work for you. Just pick up a pre-filled Ready Set Read Backpack! Inside you’ll find six specially selected books that each focus on a different literacy skill. Here are the six skills that the Ready Set Read Backpacks focus on:

I Like books! (Print Motivation Skills): Books to foster a love of reading.

I Hear Words! (Phonological Awareness Skills): Books to develop the ability to hear and play with the sounds of words.

I Know Words! (Vocabulary Skills): Books that introduce new words in a fun way.

I Can Tell a Story! (Narrative Skills): Books that focus on describing and storytelling skills.

I See Words! (Print Awareness Skills): Books to encourage children to notice print everywhere and help them learn to follow words on a page.

I Know Letters! (Letter Knowledge Skills): Books that show how letters are different from each other and each make a different sound.

These skills are also what teachers like to see when your child begins school, so if you have a little one starting in the fall you may want to check out some backpacks this summer. There are three levels of backpacks available: “Early Talkers” for newborn to 2 years old, “Talkers” for ages 2-3 and “Pre-Readers” for ages 4-5. Just check on the tag to see what age and books are in the backpack. We recently refreshed our Ready Set Read Backpacks with all new books, so if you haven’t checked out our selection in a while you may want to visit it again!


Reason #37: We’re Open 24/7 With Downloadable eBooks.

Reason #37 - Available 24-7 with eBooks

Do you have an eReader? A tablet? Cell phone? Mp3 player? Laptop or desktop computer? Then you might be interested to know that many of these devices, from the smallest mp3 player to the most powerful laptop computer, can be used to borrow electronic books and audiobooks directly from the St. Thomas Public Library. You can borrow up to 10 electronic items at a time, for periods between 14 and 21 days. If there is an eBook or eAudiobook that you want but it is out on loan, you can place a hold on it, just like at the library, and you will be emailed when it becomes available. With only a valid library card and PIN number you can access thousands of new titles and classics!

In order to provide you with eBooks and eAudiobooks, the St. Thomas Public Library relies on a third-party vendor, OverDrive, to manage our electronic collection. Using OverDrive’s resources and technology, the library is able to purchase materials and loan them out, just as we would with traditional printed books or audiobooks on CD, which all takes place at Ontario Library Service Download Centre. Just find St. Thomas Public Library and sign in using your library card number and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). If you don’t know your PIN number, just give us a call or drop-by and we’ll tell you what it is (your library card automatically has one assigned to it). Once you have signed into your account, you can place holds, check-out titles, and even create lists of titles you want to check-out in the future.

The eBooks and eAudiobooks that you can borrow from the Ontario Library Service Download Centre come in a variety of different formats and lending rights. Before borrowing an eBook or eAudiobook, it is important to check that the item you will be downloading is in a compatible format for your particular device. Come in and pick up a copy of our free how-to booklet for a little extra guidance, or visit OverDrive’s handy help page if you get confused.

That’s all you need to pack your device full of free eBooks or eAudiobooks! If you finish your book at 3 am and the library is closed, just sign into OverDrive and download something new to read. You’ll never have to get caught without a book again!



Reason #35: We Offer Alternative Ideas & Thinking

Reason #35 - Offer alternative ideas & viewpoints

The library is a place where all viewpoints can be explored. We strive to have something for everyone, whether you’re into Christian fiction or hard sci-fi, exploring atheism or looking for religion, carnivorous or vegan. Libraries aren’t censors; libraries are access points. We are here to provide knowledge on any topic, including those that can raise passions and make blood boil. If you feel you’d like to explore a controversial topic remember that we aren’t here to judge, so ask us! If we don’t have a resource for you we will do our best to connect you with something. Remember, as Henry David Thoreau said, “It is never too late to give up your prejudices.” An open mind that knows both sides of the issue is a beautiful thing.

Reason #23: More Kobos!

Reason #23 - More KOBOS

Did you know the library lends Kobos? It’s a great way to take a whole bunch of books home with you in one package! We’ve just added two more Kobos to our collection: Best of 2014 and Book Club Picks! Also available are Kobos loaded with General Fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Romance and Science Fiction.  Read this for a list of books on each Kobo and our lending guidelines. Check one out today!

Book Lists for our new Kobos

Best of 2014:

The Good Luck of Right Now- Matthew Quick

The Museum of Extraordinary Things- Alice Hoffman

A Burnable Book- Bruce Holsinger

Archetype- MD Waters

The Bear- Claire Cameron

The Deepest Secret- Carla Buckley

Wake- Anna Hope

Trapped Under the Sea- Neil Swidey

The Troop- Nick Cutter

Thirty Girls- Susan Minot

I Forgot to Remember- Su Meck

While Beauty Slept- Elizabeth Blackwell

Doing Harm- Kelly Parsons

The Race Underground- Doug Most

What Should We Be Worried About- John Brockman

The Invention of Wings- Sue Monk Kidd

Raw- Belle Aurora

Still Life With Bread Crumbs- Anna Quindlen

I Shall Be Near To You- Erin Lindsay McCabe

The Kept- James Scott

Careless People- Sarah Churchwell (check)

The Vanishing- Wendy Webb

A Star For Mrs. Blake- April Smith

My Age of Anxiety- Scott Stossel

The Headmaster’s Wife- Thomas Christopher Green

Book Club Picks

The Fall of Giants- Ken Follet

The Day the Falls Stood Still- Cathy Marie Buchanan

Elegy For April- Benjamin Black

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks- Rebbecca Skloot

The Fault in Our Stars- John Green

Wild: From Lost To Found- Cheryl Strayed

Defending Jacob- William Landay

Loving Frank- Nancy Horan

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand- Helen Simonson

Let the Great World Spin- Colum McCann

A Visit From the Good Squad- Jennifer Egan

A Reliable Wife- Robert Goolrick

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children- Ranson Riggs

The Husband’s Secret- Liane Moriarty

Life After Life- Kate Atkinson

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle- Devid Wroblewski

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry- Rachel Joyce

Same Kind of Different As Me- Ron Hall

Cutting for Stone- Abraham Verghese

The Dinner- Herman Koch

The Age of Miracles- Karen Thompson Walker

Wonder- R J Palacio

The Devil in the White City- Erik Larson

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore- Robin Sloane