Last month, OCLC published a great list based on our own original research: The Library 100—Top Novels of All Time. It’s a list of the novels that more libraries have on their shelves than any others.
The research was based on holdings information in WorldCat, which lets you search the collections of thousands of libraries around the world. The hard part of the research wasn’t counting the libraries that had a copy… it was “clustering” lots of variations, editions and translations of books. That way, a 1964, French translation of “Pride and Prejudice” counts the same as an English version from 2006. The important part isn’t the specific edition or version—it’s the fact that this is a novel that thousands of libraries have decided to keep in their collections.
Free resources to help promote novel reading in your library
One thing we wanted to make sure to include with the list is a way for libraries to use it locally. There’s a librarians’ kit here, full of free, downloadable materials. You can see here how one librarian used them to “spruce up” her Little Free Library!
- Badges and placards for online or print use
- Banners for web sites, newsletters or email articles
- Shelf talkers that can be used to identify individual novels on the list
- Table tents with info about the top 10 books and authors on the list
- Three mini-posters (top authors, top historical fiction and top fantasy novels)
- Printable bookmarks (with all 100 novels on the back)
- A checklist for your users (or your staff…) to track how many you’ve read
There’s also a discussion guide with activity ideas and a number of tips for how to use the list as a starting point for a conversation about “what makes a novel great.”
If you have other thoughts about how to use the list to promote novel reading, we’d love to hear about them! You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or just post your activities to Twitter with the hashtag #library100novels.
We hope you have fun with the list! And if you want to learn more, you can get some additional background from OCLC’s CEO, Skip Prichard, in this blog post.