Tag Archives: book displays

Virtual Reader’s Advisory Part 2

A lot can change in a few months! I last blogged about Virtual Reader’s Advisory and my video book talks in September. Since then, we’ve tried other methods of virtual reader’s advisory, including the Virtual Book Displays I shared a few months back and even a few Virtual Book Talks directly to classrooms.

But the biggest change since any of those previous posts is that–like many of you I imagine–my library is now open to the public! Real displays are once again a regular part of our service, and it feels like our patrons want them more than ever before, with displays quickly being emptied and a few requests last week for more face out picture book options.

However, many people still aren’t coming into the library, so we are continuing to look for ways to virtually promote books. Read on for some information on Overdrive Curated Collections and new video book talks.

OverDrive Curated Collections

Our OverDrive system (part of the larger Ohio Digital Library collection) lets us create collections of books to highlight on the Libby app and Overdrive website.

The backend looks a little drab, and the process for adding books to the list isn’t my favorite:

To add books to your list, you need to search for them one at a time in Overdrive Marketplace (or search for subject headings and filter).

Adding to the frustration of that system, many kids books, especially picture books, aren’t available as ebooks (or we don’t own them, and since I am not in charge of purchasing, I can’t add them).

But even with those struggles, I had a lot of fun making lists for this service. I use Libby a lot personally, and it feels great to see something I created front and center on a service like this.

From what I can tell, you should be able to see these collections through the links below, even without an account at my library. The exact books you see will be randomized, with available titles showing up first. Check out some of the collections I’ve made:

Video Book Talks

And of course, video book talks continue on our YouTube channel. I’ve streamlined this process a bit, but these still have a similar vibe to the ones shared in my original video book talk post as well as my virtual reader’s advisory post.

Find some of my newest highlighted titles below (and subscribe to my library’s YouTube channel for at least one additional video book talk each week!).

13th Street: Battle of the Bad Breath Bats by David Bowles

American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar

Becoming Muhammad Ali by Kwame Alexander and James Patterson

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala

The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj

Craftily Ever After by Martha Maker

Dave the Unicorn by Pip Bird

Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol by Andres Miedoso

Diana and the Island of No Return by Aisha Saeed

Dramatic Life of Azaleah Lane by Nikki Shannon Smith

Farah Rocks Summer Break by Susan Muaddi Darraj

I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

Keep It Together Keiko Carter by Debbie Michiko Florence

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Johnny Marciano

The Land of Cranes by Aida Salazar

The Little Mermaid by Jerry Pinkney

Locker 37: The Rewindable Clock by Aaron Starmer

Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano

Magnificent Makers: How to Test a Friendship by Theanne Griffith

Max Meow: Cat Crusader by John Gallagher

Measuring Up by Lily Lamotte

Mellybean and the Giant Monster by Mike White

Mia Mayhem is a Superhero! by Kara West

Not Your All-American Girl by Wendy Shang and Madelyn Rosenberg

The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert

Paola Santiago and the River of Tears by Tehlor Kay Meija

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai

Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Museum by Renee Treml

Shirley & Jamila Save Their Summer by Gillian Goerz

Sparkleton: The Magic Day by Calliope Glass

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh

The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain

A Thousand Questions by Saadia Faruqi

Twins by Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright

Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom by Kelly Starling Lyons

Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse

Zenobia July by Lisa Bunker

Zoey & Sassafras: Dragons & Marshmallows by Asia Citro

Virtual Book Displays

My library is, at the moment, closed for public browsing due to increased COVID case numbers. Even when we do reopen for public browsing, many people can’t or won’t return to the library until they feel safe. And, there are always patrons (maybe new ones!) who have never stepped foot in your library but are still interested in learning about new books. How do you share your collection with patrons? Virtual book displays!

I’ve shared a bit about how we’ve approached Virtual Reader’s Advisory, with short book talk videos, as well as Instagram Stories showing off parts of the collection. I don’t know how directly these boost circulation numbers or increase a patron’s likelihood to reserve a specific book. Essentially, a patron would have to stop a video, sometimes try to zoom in on a screen, find the name of a book they are interested in, open our library catalog, find the book, and put it on hold. Of course, they could always call us–but no one likes to talk on the phone. There are too many steps involved, and quite a few barriers to making videos and photos of our collection easy and effective virtual book displays.

My coworker discovered Genially on some of the library Facebook groups, and it seems like an innovative tool that makes those passive display photos or videos more immediately interactive. If nothing else, it is a lot easier for users to put books on hold if you share your virtual book displays using this service.

Virtual Book Displays: Genially Interactive Image

The final product is what you see below–an interactive image–a photo of your collection where users can hover over icons to learn more about the items in the picture.

When embedded on social media, the post (disappointingly) isn’t immediately interactive–instead it asks the user to click on the image and goes to a webpage, which contains the interactive image. You could embed the image on your library’s website though (as shown above).

Creating an Interactive Image is easy, though a little time consuming. Set up your in-library display, and take a picture. I’m not confident, but it feels like the picture quality was reduced when uploaded, so you don’t need to worry about using your best camera for the photo.

Upload your photo in the editor, and use the “Interactive Elements” option in the left toolbar to add buttons to your image that encourage users to bring their cursor to that spot on the screen. There are plenty of options–make sure to select “See More” to see more image options and colors.

Add buttons to your image, click on those buttons, and edit, creating a tooltip, pop-up window, or direct link.

Our tooltip just includes the book cover, title and author, and a link to reserve the book in our catalog. You could use the “Window” feature to include a book summary if you’d like.

Genially can create a lot of interactive content, though at this time we are only using it to create Interactive Images using a free account. Pro accounts offer different services, with downloads and offline creations become available, but brand personalization, removal of the Genially logo, and statistics only become possible with a Master account. Everything I’m sharing above is possible on the free account.

Our posts go live on social media soon, and I’m excited to see if they generate any interest. Have you used Genially? I’d love to see and share your displays! What other ways have you promoted your collection virtually? Share in the comments!