I love finding out about the new & interesting, the quirky & underground, the “next big thing” in publishing. I’d like to share some of my favourite places to find out about what’s hot & what’s not, and also what might be/could be/should be in your collections.
The list is weighted towards public libraries rather than academic or specialised, because that’s my background. I’d be keen for you to share your “cool hunting” places (I dare you to share your secrets!).
My number one place to keep up-to-date is :
earlyword.com the Publisher | Librarian Connection
If I had only one website ever that I could use for public library collections work, it would be this one. What’s trending, what’s upcoming at the movies, what TV series are hot. There’s publisher’s catalogues, ‘Best of’ lists, links to movies, Best Seller lists, Galley chats, lists of Award winners. It’s a real treasure trove.
Luckily, it’s not the only place to go hunting for ‘stuff’. Phew!
But before I share more places, I want to put in a plug for your suppliers. They are there for you, so work with them. Get to know your vendor’s websites. Ask your reps what the best search techniques are, as each site is slightly different. Find out what the quirks are. Can you narrow by Dewey or LC classifications? Can you create alerts for new material? Can you personalise your search results? How do the filters work? How does their online ordering system interface with your ILS? Explore. Tweak. Suggest improvements. Vendors want the best for their relationship with you, so make sure you work together to find the best solution.
Right, back to the other interesting places to find out what’s new & interesting.
Another useful site that is a publisher catalogue aggregator called edelweiss (which is a product from above the treeline). What started out as a way for small publishers to promote their material has grown into an international powerhouse of publisher’s catalogues. I encourage you to go exploring on this site. Filter by forthcoming, recently published, author, price, format – whatever you need to narrow your search by, I am pretty sure you can do it on edelweiss.
Now I don’t always find the quirky things in the obvious places, such as vendor, publisher or author sites. Sometimes, I find out about content in offbeat places. Two websites that have great e-newsletters, and that always send me off exploring interesting things, are:
veryshortlist.com I like the way they describe what they do – “Very Short List is a delightful e-mail that shares cultural gems from a different curator every day” and it is exactly that, daily email newsletters, one theme per day. Quirky. Interesting. Makes me think or smile, or both, each day.
brainpickings.com Again, they describe it better than I could, “Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, a subjective lens on what matters in the world and why, bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in — until you are.”
Seek out the unusual, the quirky, the interesting. This is what adds depth to your collection, and value for your customers.