Blogger Paige Bentley-Flannery

List Your Books!

When do you update your book lists at the library?  Once a year?  Monthly?

I love sharing book lists during library programs, story times, school visits, outreach events and more! I attended my first Great Northwest Readers’ Advisory Uncoference last week at the Hillsboro Public Library for Adult Services.  It was so inspiring! I loved hearing ideas and sharing resources.  Although, it was focused on Adult Resources, as a Community Librarian working with all ages, I automatically started to think about ways to incorporate ideas with children and teens.    I attended three sessions: Readers’ Advisory in Social Media, Tools and Resources and Library Podcasts.  I focused on book lists and was interested in hearing ways librarians share book lists, update books lists and use print vs online book lists.   I discovered that most libraries update their book lists once a year and print on demand.

I appreciated hearing new ideas for example:  Create a Staff Picks book lists and a Library Customer’s Top Reads.   Create and print on demand book lists once a year like A Year in Mystery Books or A Year in Historical Fiction Books.

Book Lists! photo by Paige Bentley-Flannery

How many book lists do you have available at your library in the children’s room?  How many book lists do you have available online?  Do you highlight them on your website?  Are they easy to find?

We’re working on re-organizing our book lists and working together to update Genre, If You Like… and various other books lists.  At Deschutes Public Library we use Bibliocommons so it’s easy to create books lists, share them with customers, print on demand and link them to our website.   I reviewed library websites from all over and found that most libraries either have easy to find popular book lists or long, long book lists that are tricky to find or read.   While some link to their catalog, others included a PDF to print out.

A few favorite library website book lists:

King County Library System – Kids (Bibliocommons book lists with visual book scrolls – easy to find and read)
Denver Public Library -Fiction Books – New and Coming Soon October 2017 (Updated lists and easy to find)
New York Public Library – Kids – Trains! Trains! Trains! (Not recently updated but I still love the visual list format)

More book list sharing ideas:

  • Do you have a book list on Pinterest? Create a visual book list that you can easily update -on Pinterest, lists can grow as long as you’d like.  Make sure to link your books back to your catalog.
  • Do you share what you’re reading on Instagram? Take a photo of yourself reading a new favorite picture book and share on your library website or social media pages.
  • Do you create new book lists before you visit a school?  Share your books on YouTube with a selection of  2 minute book talks.
  • Create a specific genre selection of 2017 book talks online –  A Year in Mystery Books or Top New Fiction Books.

I would love to hear more about your book lists at your library.  Print paper book lists on display? or Print on demand catalog/website book lists? Please email ( or share in the comments below.


One comment

  1. Rick

    I noticed recently that Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is doing great stuff with Staff Picks booklists online:

    I like how they use a blog format and tags so booklists can be sorted by genre, age group, etc.

    Really cool.

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