Friday, November 15, 2013

New Book-Finding Resources

We're coming to that time of year when I would normally share some recommendations of my favorite books from the year, both for the sake of recapping the year in reading and for aiding those holiday gift-buying decisions. Committee work prevents me from doing so this year, however, but do not fret! As an alternative, I will be highlighting two resources you might consider when you want to a) find a book perfect for that niece or nephew; b) have handy lists at your reference desk for readers' advisory inquiries; or c) have a resource against which to check your library's shelves in order to make sure you've got great stuff in decent condition.

The SpotLit Collection, a new feature from Scholastic, offers librarians, teachers, and parents curated "best books" lists for preschoolers through middle schoolers. The lists were created by teachers, librarians, children's literature professors, and other experts, and perusing the lists demonstrates that these folks knew what they were doing when they created the lists. Each grade level list includes fiction and nonfiction, with a wide variety of genres and styles represented. For libraries looking to update or start offering grade-level booklists to customers, SpotLit is a great place to start. The suggestions are heavy on a variety of award-winners, too, as evidenced by this nifty info graphic:

The second go-to resource to consider is ALSC's recently-updated Graphic Novels Reading Lists. There are three different lists available for libraries to print in color or black and white: kindergarten through second grade; third through fifth grade; and sixth through eight grade. These lists feature both stand-alone and series graphic novel titles across a spectrum of appeals, so helping kids find the right graphic novel for them is streamlined. The lists come in the form of pretty snazzy-looking brochures, too.

What are your go-to resources for finding holiday gift books, making recent recommendations to customers, and spot-checking your collections?

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