Readers’ advisory resource NoveList will now offer audiobook recommendations through NoveList Plus. The new audiobook features include lists of recommended titles and listen-alike recommendations. Users can browse or search for audiobook information and will have search options by length of audio, format, and audio characteristics. Listeners will also be able to access audio samples and read reviews from trusted professional review sources.
As part of the release, NoveList developed new appeal language to help describe the unique characteristics of audiobooks. Descriptive terms such as “sound effects,” “read by the author,” or “folksy,” help librarians determine whether an audiobook is one their patrons will enjoy. NoveList also uses the terms to help create listen-alike recommendations.
NoveList vice president Duncan Smith said that the inclusion of audiobooks fills a need for librarians. “Our customers started asking us if we could help them discover audiobooks the same way that we were doing for print titles, and this release addresses this need.”
NoveList Plus users will start receiving audiobook recommendations automatically as part of the spring release.
Michele Cobb, president of the Audio Publishers Association (APA), told LJ that the APA “is pleased to see this project come to fruition, as it pays close attention to the wonders and subtleties of audiobook narration and production which set the audio format apart. We look forward to librarians incorporating this into their “listeners” advisory as they help guide their patrons in making exciting listening choices.”
Readers advisory expert Neal Wyatt lauds the enterprise as well. She explains that “one of the challenges of providing whole collection readers’ advisory service is the ability to translate the skills librarians have developed with print books to other media,” adding that “NoveList has taken a huge step forward in helping librarians make audiobook suggestions and find listen-alikes by including appeal language specifically designed for audiobooks and providing multiple audio reviews as well. These additions are a boon to RA librarians dealing with the rise in audiobook popularity, and should help librarians feel more confident about expanding their RA offerings to listeners as well as readers.”