The Power of Reading Lists

  By Sue Polchow   - Thursday 15 June 2023

The Power of Reading Lists - signposting key resources and curating favourite booklists

As a library adviser working with school librarians, the discussion often turns to ways to promote new titles, authors and genres in a way that reaches a wider student audience and how the library can help teaching staff by supporting curricular requirements.

Reading Cloud and Junior Librarian library software can help towards achieving these goals through providing the tools to create reading lists. Not only can lists be created by the librarian to share with others, but individual students and staff borrowers can enjoy compiling their own lists as well. Once published, the reading list will appear within the library account of whoever it has been created for.

Reading List Interfaces
Examples of Reading Lists within Reading Cloud and Junior Librarian

Flexibility to reach the right audience

The reading list feature is a flexible tool and can be set to target differing school groups. Ranging from a list for an individual or small group of students such as for a reading group, by specific form or year group, by subject area or for the whole school to view.

Refreshing list content to maintain interest 

Reading lists can be added to or updated when additional titles are catalogued which means students would always see something new. Some ideas for list content already in use across many Reading Cloud schools would be to use them to promote recommended or seasonal reads, specific events or initiatives such as book award shadowing or author visits or as part of a homework task.

Planning and collaboration to support the curriculum 

Before they are promoted with students, reading lists can be planned and discussed in advance with key members of staff to ensure that they reflect objectives for assignment further reading or coursework requirements. Providing these types of reading lists can help the library and its librarian to be acknowledged as having a central role within the curriculum, guiding students to the most useful resources and directly supporting teaching objectives.

Borrowers making reading lists their own 

Once logged in, borrowers can personalise their reading list area by instantly creating their own lists when browsing the catalogue. This could be lists for a much-read author or series, a bucket list of books they have always meant to read or a list to help them with a specific homework task or project. 

Many enhancements added in response to user feedback  

Reading lists functionality has adapted and expanded to meet the needs of Reading Cloud librarians, whose feedback is invaluable. Improvements include adding different ways of sorting lists alphabetically by author or title, making it easier to locate recently catalogued items to add to a list and displaying the list in different ways visually. All of which has helped make our reading lists feature the incredibly useful tool it is today. 

Find out more about creating a reading list.

Email the Reading Cloud Customer Success team if you have any questions about reading lists.

Written by Sue Polchow MCLIP, Reading Cloud Library Adviser.