Library Notes: Find your next spooky read using Novelist Plus

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 4, 2020

By Paul Birkhead
Rowan Public Library

As temperatures dip and leaves begin to fall, our thoughts often turn to things of a dark and spectral nature. If full moons, gnarled branches, candlelight, and jack-o-lanterns excite you, then you are probably already searching for your next spooky read. Let Rowan Public Library help you find one you’ll truly enjoy.

Most librarians like talking about books. Surprising, I know. We especially delight in folks asking us to help them find a new book or author to read. This is called readers’ advisory and it can be pretty easy for us if we enjoy the same types of books. However, if we have different reading preferences or are not experts on a particular genre, we use some of the tools of our trade. One of those tools is an online readers’ advisory service called Novelist Plus. It is available to you as well at no charge. You just need your Rowan Public Library card and you can search from the comfort of your home.

To begin using Novelist Plus, first go to Rowan Public Library’s home page ( Next, go to Library Services and then Digital Services and finally NC LIVE. NC LIVE is a statewide library cooperative which provides content to academic and public libraries. This content includes journals, newspapers, eBooks, videos, language learning tools, and much more.

Once the library’s page about NC LIVE comes up, look for the link that asks for your library card number and PIN. If you need help with either of these, contact your local library branch. When you’ve logged into NC LIVE with your credentials, you should see a search bar at the top of the page. Type “Novelist Plus” and then follow the result. Now, you’re ready to start searching for your next book.

You can start searching right away by using the search bar. Searching by keyword is fine, but you can also search by title or author. You can also use menu options at the top of the page to browse by genre, appeal, themes, and award winners. There’s also quick links to author read-alikes, book club resources, books to movies, etc.

Going down the Novelist Plus home page, you can browse Recommended Reads lists on the left. You can sort by fiction or non-fiction and also by age group. Near the center of the page, you can browse by a mood or genre. If you are looking for a spooky read, you’ll want to explore the section called Keeping Up. There’s a link there dedicated to horror and you will find enough lists and recommendations on that page to keep you busy reading all month long.

Are you ready to start searching for your next book? I hope these instructions are helpful to you. If you want to watch a video tutorial with click-by-click instructions and more details, go to the Rowan Public Library’s YouTube channel and search for our Novelist Plus tutorial. The video will become available at 2 p.m. Oct. 8. While you’re visiting Rowan Public Library’s channel, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any future offerings.

Paul Birkhead is a librarian at the Rowan Public Library.

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