July 9, 2013
LibraryReads—a “library staff picks list”—to launch this fall
by Claire Kelley
A monthly librarian book recommendation list called LibraryReads—similar to the IndieNext list selected by independent booksellers, only for public libraries—will launch this fall. The website for the list, libraryreads.org, launched at the beginning of the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago last week, featuring a sample list of librarian selections (which includes a Melville House title—Miriam Tuliao’s pick of Black Star Nairobi by Mukoma Wa Ngugi) and information for publishers and library staff interested in participating.
Supported by the American Booksellers Association, who is providing book-keeping and website functions, and Edelweiss who is maintaining the sign-up process, nominations, and digital ARC distribution, LibraryReads will be a list of ten books each month that receive the most number of nominations from public librarians. HarperCollins, Macmillan, Other Press, Penguin, Quercus, Random House, and Workman have contributed funds to pay for the website and marketing materials, but books from all publishers will be considered for the list.
All members of library staff are invited to submit recommended titles. Robin Nesbitt, Collection Management Director at the Columbus Metropolitan Library told Library Journal that “Library staff can nominate five titles a month if they’re avid readers, or if they only really love one book a year and want to nominate once a year, that’s fine, too.” The goal of the program, Nesbitt said, was not to highlight bestsellers, or books that have high circulation rates—instead it’s to gather a list of personal recommendations from librarians. “We wanted to expose people to titles they aren’t already seeing” she said.
Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.