The Catalogue IS an RA Tool: NoveList Complete

I’ve been saying it for a while, talking to skeptics, faced eye-rolling, sighing and excitement too and now, NoveList Complete has accomplished as a vendor, what I’ve been promoting in cataloguing departments and readers’ services teams for the past several years: The Catalogue IS an RA tool!

I’m excited about this product because I was able to assist in its development. As they have in the past, NoveList seeks to work with professionals who are active in the field, so the product works for us (readers and librarians), rather than just looking new and shiny. With a great group of creative, innovative and passionate professionals (and readers!), it isn’t a surprise that NoveList Complete addresses many of the needs that readers have expressed and that cataloguers have recognized – that the library catalogue is an essential element in the reading experience and that’s another place our RA services need to be.

If you haven’t been able to make it to any of NoveList’s presentations on NoveList Complete, they are currently giving free webinars to introduce the features of this new tool. And, if you’re on Twitter, I recommend following them @NoveListRA

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3 Comments

Filed under The Library Catalogue

3 responses to “The Catalogue IS an RA Tool: NoveList Complete

  1. Laurel Tarulli

    As a follow-up to this post, I had an interesting question asked by a colleague in the US. Here was his question:

    “So is NoveList Complete an overlay shell-like product that sits over the top of a catalogue and enhances the catalogue (like, say, Aquabrowser)? Does it require reprogramming of the ILS itself?”

    Wanting to provide the most accurate answer, I asked Duncan Smith (NoveList) for a response:

    NoveList Complete does not “sit on top” of the catalog as a discovery layer (or shell) but uses a web-service to present reading recommendations, series information and other content of interest… to readers. While to the reader, this content would appear to be part of the library’s catalog record–the content is actually being delivered via the web-service and only appears to be part of the record. In this sense, NoveList Complete is a catalog enrichment service that focuses on recommendations and series instead of book jackets and reviews.

    The ILS does not have to be reprogrammed. A snippet of Java-script is added to the library’s detail record page.”

    Thanks to my colleague for the question, which many of you might have been curious about and thank you, Duncan, for your reply!

  2. The catalog _ought_ to be an RA tool, but needing to pay for an outside vendor to provide RA services, even if they are delivered integrated with your catalog interface (which is DEFINITELY the way to go, I agree), means that most of our catalogs still don’t do very well as an RA tool, right?

    If the catalog was doing what it was supposed to, would we need to pay extra to make it an RA tool?

  3. Laurel Tarulli

    Hi Jonathan, I agree. It’s only recently that the catalogue has been considered anything beyond an inventory – and then, only by some. We have a long way to go, but products like NoveList Complete will help promote the catalogue as an RA tool – and perhaps, influence the thinking of traditionalists in the library that the catalogue is nothing more than an inventory.

    I think there’s a strong argument for cataloguers to become readers’ advisory experts within the library, something that isn’t promoted or supported in most libraries. Once it is recognized that cataloguers read, analyze and are one of the best resources for knowledge of our collections, we may just turn the catalogue into an RA tool – with or without vendor products!

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