Annie Brooker sorts through books at the Sequim Library. Through libraries are closed to the public, NOLS staff are able to help readers find new books through a variety of services. Photo courtesy of North Olympic Library System

Annie Brooker sorts through books at the Sequim Library. Through libraries are closed to the public, NOLS staff are able to help readers find new books through a variety of services. Photo courtesy of North Olympic Library System

Off the Shelf: Finding a new book

Looking for a great new read to while away a summer day? The North Olympic Library System has you covered. The Library’s new book shelves, once a frequent destination for in-person browsing, are now full of books received within the last year waiting to be put on hold and checked out via curbside library service.

You can find books like Delia Owens’ atmospheric “Where the Crawdads Sing,” A.J. Finn’s thriller “The Woman in the Window” or Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, “Talking to Strangers.” There are even a lot of page-turning new mysteries from popular authors like C.J. Box, J.D. Robb and David Baldacci on the shelf, waiting to be read!

In the children’s section, new titles like “The One and Only Bob” (Katherine Applegate’s sequel to the popular “The One and Only Ivan”), “Tristan Strong Punches a Hole In the Sky” by Kwame Mbalia and multiple copies of “Diary of a Minecraft Zombie” are waiting to be put on hold.

During “normal” times, browsers would have “found” these and many other titles on the shelves. Below are a few tips for finding some of these gems while physical browsing isn’t possible:

First, get acquainted with your new quirky best friend, the library catalog, located at www.nols.org. Thanks to a recent software upgrade, it’s easier than ever to place items on hold with one-click holds requests after logging into your account.

Take a look at specially curated book carousels on the catalog homepage and explore the new titles list. Need help navigating? Check out the NOLS’ YouTube channel and watch a video about finding library material, placing holds and searching for new material.

While you’re there, you can also check out a few book talks by NOLS staff.

People who miss browsing the shelves and like the adventure of having a personal shopper, should check out one of the Library’s newest services: NOLS Grab Bags. You can now fill out a form at www.nols.org/grab-bag to request specific genres and staff will put five to 10 books on hold for you.

When items are on the shelf and ready for pick-up, you will be notified. This is a great way to get books if you don’t really know what you want, particularly for things like picture books or early readers.

Want something more specific? Check out NOLS’ BookMatch service at www.nols.org/bookmatch. Submit a list of your favorite titles and genres, specifying that you want new books, and a librarian will send you a list of five suggestions tailor-made for you.

Still looking for ideas for what to put on hold? Check out LibraryReads.org, a free monthly list of recommendations put together by librarians from around the country. Books on the list frequently end up on bestseller lists and I personally love looking through titles to see what other librarians are reading.

Don’t see one of the titles in the catalog? Let NOLS staff know by placing a request for purchase.

For more information about finding new books, visit www.nols.org, call 360-683-1161 or email to sequim@nols.org. Happy reading!

Jennifer Knight is Youth Services Librarian for the North Olympic Library System.

Through libraries on the North Olympic Peninsula are closed to the public, North Olympic Library System staff are able to help readers find new books through a variety of services. Photo courtesy of North Olympic Library System

Through libraries on the North Olympic Peninsula are closed to the public, North Olympic Library System staff are able to help readers find new books through a variety of services. Photo courtesy of North Olympic Library System

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