Frequently Asked Questions

FOR LIBRARIANS

What are the goals of LibraryReads?

First and foremost: we want to help connect our favorite books to as many readers as possible! And we want to showcase the incredible power that public library staff has in helping to building word-of-mouth for new books, and the important role we play in creating audiences for all kinds of authors.

Who may participate in LibraryReads?

Anyone who is regularly employed in a U.S. public library may participate. You don’t need to belong to an association, and you don’t need a specialized degree. If you love to read and are passionate about discovering wonderful books, please join us!

We have been thrilled at the expression of interest from our Canadian counterparts. At this time, however, LibraryReads is focused on U.S. editions of titles, and our partnerships are with U.S. divisions of companies.

How do I become a member of LibraryReads?

Nominations for LibraryReads are accepted via Edelweiss and NetGalley. Both services are free for librarians to register and use.

Edelweiss: If you are already an Edelweiss user and registered as a public librarian, you are all set! You are already a LibraryReads librarian. When looking at a book you’d like to nominate while logged into Edelweiss, click on “Your Review.” You will see the “Submit to LibraryReads” option on the bottom right of that box; click on it when saving your review to nominate that title.

If you are already an Edelweiss user and logged in, but don’t see the option to “Submit to LibraryReads” when you click on Your Review, you may be in an Edelweiss organization that is not classified as a public library. In this case, please email for help.

If you are not an Edelweiss user, please register for Edelweiss using the Organization Type “Library – Public” to join the LibraryReads community.

NetGalley: If you are already a NetGalley member, you may nominate any of your approved titles via the “Feedback” button on the Title Details page.

If you’re not yet a member of NetGalley, you may register at www.netgalley.com. You will be able to request digital galleys and be invited to view new titles. Want to learn more about how NetGalley works with librarians? Click here.

Welcome! Nominate early, nominate often.

How does the list get decided, and what is the nomination process?

The list is a straightforward calculation: whichever ten books get the most nominations go onto the monthly list. The book with the most nominations becomes the #1 Pick. It’s as simple as that! Books from all adult genres and categories are welcome.

Please visit www.libraryreads.org for details. The more library staff that participates, the better our recommendation lists will be.

Why only 10 books? Why only adult books? How about backlist?

We’re starting with a very focused list, because we think that will have the greatest impact. And one of the goals of LibraryReads is to showcase the important role public libraries play in building buzz for new books and new authors. (This is already well-established in the field of children’s books – but perhaps not as widely acknowledged for adult books.)

What about crossover titles?

The goal of LibraryReads is to help the adult audience discover great reads. We encourage library staff to nominate a young adult or new adult title when they feel strongly that the book is going to succeed as a “crossover” recommendation to adult readers.

We read all nominations carefully and take special note when multiple nominations mention that a book will find enthusiastic fans across all age groups, with adult reading groups, and so on. The expert opinions and personal enthusiasm of library staff – and their strong endorsement that a book will have crossover appeal to a broad spectrum of adult readers – is what sends a young adult or new adult book onto the monthly LibraryReads list, rather than the official publisher category.

We believe there are many excellent lists and recommendation platforms for teen and young adult readers – and we hope you’re participating in them! But for now, we’re asking everyone who nominates books to LibraryReads to bear in mind that our audience is adult readers, not teen or young adult.

How can I get advance copies of books?

Publishers distribute advance reading copies in both physical and digital formats, and there is a wide range of ways to get free early copies of the books that you’re excited to read. The list below features some of the more popular choices.

How is LibraryReads different from all the other library lists and awards out there?

We’re not trying to pick “the best” of anything, and there are no judges or juries. The monthly list will be our collective favorites – the books we loved reading and cannot wait to share! Participation is open to everyone who works in a public library, both senior staff and new arrivals, no matter which area of the library you work in. The more the merrier – LibraryReads is designed to be inclusive, and to represent a broad range of reading tastes.

If this is a grassroots program, run by volunteers, how can I help?

Thank you for asking! You can help by nominating titles, and by spreading the word to your colleagues and friends in the library community, both in person, and via various social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) Visit our website for more details.

We also need as many libraries as possible to feature the monthly list, both in the physical space of the library and beyond, via newsletters, websites, and social media. This will be a list you can really get behind with enthusiasm, because you and your colleagues will have helped create it!

And if you’re interested in contributing additional time and ideas, we’d love to hear from you at . We’ll be building committees in the months ahead, and we’re especially eager for help spreading the word at state library shows.

How will the monthly list be announced and distributed?

The list will be announced via e-mail – you can sign up on our website. And each month, we’ll be creating attractive display materials featuring jacket art and library blurbs, that you can download and print for your library. There will also be digital marketing materials, to use on your website and in your own e-mail newsletters.

FOR PUBLISHERS

How do I participate in LibraryReads?

Sharing pre-publication reading copies with public librarians, several months ahead of pub date – via either paper or digital ARCs – is key. (Library staff nominates books they have actually had a chance to read.)

What does it mean to be a Publisher Partner?

Publisher Partners help fund the marketing costs of the program – building and maintaining a website, paying for an e-mail newsletter service, creating select display materials, etc. (People who work on LibraryReads do it on a volunteer basis, but there are nonetheless a number of bills that need to be paid.)

If I’m not a Publisher Partner, can my books still be chosen for the list?

Absolutely! The list of the top ten books a month is based purely on arithmetic. The books with the most nominations are on the list, irrespective of who publishes them.

We have a great title that would be perfect for this program. How do I get it on library staff’s radar screen, and encourage nominations?

Eager readers will welcome your recommendations – as always, the library community loves to know what publisher marketing teams are excited about. Some ideas:

Will this list look the same as the monthly Indie Next List?

We anticipate some overlap, especially since publishers are often promoting the same books to libraries as they are to bookstores. But we also think there will be some very different choices each month, especially in those genres where library staff are especially avid and knowledgeable readers.

How do I find out more about being a Publisher Partner?

Please e-mail .

FOR LIBRARY WHOLESALERS

How do I participate in LibraryReads?

We are working on various ways that wholesalers can team with their library customers to build awareness of the monthly list, and help promote the ten books selected. For more information, e-mail .

Can a wholesaler or vendor be a partner?

Wholesalers and vendors can be partners in spirit! This means we would love your help and support, but we are not asking for marketing funds – those come entirely from book publishers. We would like as many vendors as possible to partner with us in making the program a success in our very first year.

We are looking for creative marketing ideas about outreach to library staff and outreach to readers. And most important: we want to discuss the coordination of various information systems and programs, to make things as easy as possible for participating libraries.

GENERAL FAQ (and gratitude!)

Who is the intended audience for LibraryReads?

The core audience is everyone who uses a public library, whether in person or online, whether they borrow books, attend programming, rely on library staff for reading recommendations, subscribe to newsletters, browse the shelves and stacks for reading ideas, or participate in any type of library activity.

The monthly LibraryReads list has potential that extends beyond the library community, and we are eager to hear ideas about how to effectively reach the larger reading community, via booksellers, book bloggers, book media, and beyond.

What is the relationship between the American Booksellers Association and LibraryReads?

ABA is supporting LibraryReads by sharing expertise, and by providing certain back-office functions at no cost. ABA handles our bookkeeping – for example, when it comes time to pay the web designer, ABA handles the checking-account details. We are thankful for their guidance and enthusiasm – it’s a wonderful partnership.

What is the relationship between LibraryReads and the two nominating platforms: Edelweiss and NetGalley?

Edelweiss and NetGalley are supporting LibraryReads by accepting book nominations and making digital ARCs available to library staff. Their help is crucial to the program, and they’re doing it for free – we are very grateful to them for their support. Come join the LibraryReads online reading community in either place – both sites are easy to access and intuitive to use.

What is the relationship between the AAP Trade Libraries Committee and LibraryReads?

This Association of American Publishers committee meets a few times a year, and we were lucky enough to be able to attend a couple of their meetings for early brainstorming around how a volunteer program could be built – a program that would be open to all library staff, and that didn’t require any dues, or a degree. The committee members work in library marketing departments at various publishers, and if you attend national or state library conferences, you have likely met a few of them already.

There is no formal relationship, but we expect to meet with this committee a few times a year, as schedules permit. Various committee members have offered to help us create and design marketing materials – they have professional designers on their staffs, who can do work for us on a volunteer basis. And they have some very good ideas about how we can work with library wholesalers and vendors, to make it as easy as possible for library staff to spread the word to their patrons.

Who designed the LibraryReads logo?

The AAP Trade Libraries Committee sponsored a design contest for the logo, and several designs were entered, by a variety of publishers. The entries were judged by librarians, with an eye toward something that would complement existing library websites and newsletters. The winning designer was Rebecca Tulis, working with Jeff Kenyon, an Art Director at Random House, Inc.

 

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