Can CLCD be a Better Fit for Your Library than NoveList?
Readers’ Advisory and Collection Development are critical elements for libraries serving the public or students and teachers at all levels (elementary, secondary, and university). The Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD) and NoveList (an EBSCO product) both offer tools to help with those tasks. How do they compare?
At first glance, there are many similarities between the two databases. Both have large proprietary content in addition to their ability to provide information on specific titles. Both allow author, title, series, or keyword searches from their home page. Both have free monthly newsletters. Both link to similar titles on the same subject. Both provide access to teaching materials and discussion guides. Both indicate Awards, Honors, and Prizes won by a title and its Lexile level. Both have features allowing you to save items, create lists, and print. Both allow linkage to your OPAC for a fee.
A closer look at the two databases, however reveals some significant differences; perhaps the most notable is the content of listings. NoveList provides only titles of all level fiction recommended by its staff. Non-fiction is included in NoveList Plus, at extra cost. CLCD is comprehensive, including positively and negatively reviewed books and media, fiction and non-fiction, for the K-12 audience and the professionals serving them. Both list awards, honors, and prizes, CLCD is also more comprehensive in this area as well. A search on The Tale of Despereaux in both databases showed some significant differences.
In NoveList, a basic search on that title took me to one entry; in CLCD, a basic title search provided 14 results, including the graphic edition, movie editions, the Spanish edition, and Listening Library’s recorded book. The Results List clearly indicated for which listings there were reviews and/or curricular materials. In NoveList, you must click down one level to learn about curricular mate
Cindy Judd, librarian at Eastern Kentucky University’s CRC, uses both NoveList and CLCD, as do the School of Education students and faculty. Judd says she enthusiastically encourages use of CLCD over NoveList through class instruction and one-to-one mini-tutorials. The state of Kentucky only purchases the fiction component of NoveList for its member libraries, which Judd finds very limiting. “Budgets are tight; we’re thankful for the basic,” says Judd. “It’s not uncommon,” says Judd, “for faculty and students to initially lean toward using NoveList. They are used to the EBSCO interface through their use of their other research databases and are comfortable with it. But when I show them how easy it is to use CLCD and how many more results pop up, they are sold.”
Judd says that she likes the CLCD search page. “Everything is right there—the ability to search by author, title, subject, award, and a whole host of delimiters—there is no need to drill down a page and then scroll down the page to access delimiters.
NoveList is definitely aimed more at quick Readers’ Advisory, with its Recommended Reads and Author-alikes readily available on the home page. Other reading recommendation, such as Grab and Go and If You Like… may be viewed by clicking on the Lists & Articles tab on the result page, as can relevant award lists. CLCD has links to the award or reading lists on a book’s Reviews page. “Themed book lists, assembled by CLCD staff, are lost on most users,” states Judd.” They are back on the Children’s Literature Home Page and not accessible from the database itself.”
“Students do find CLCD text-heavy,” adds Judd. “There’s lots of print on both the results and reviews pages, in addition to the green and yellow dots (indicating reviews and curriculum tools). But once students are used to the layout, they really like what they get.”
Judd goes on to say, “Bottom line—we are huge fans here at EKU. There are many pluses to using CLCD: it’s clean appearance, everything for searching is on the front page (not a click or two down), the prevalence of quality reviews from so many sources, and the rich, rich collection of titles. It truly is comprehensive and the price can’t be beaten! It is so very reasonable.”
Both CLCD and NoveList offer free trials on their websites. Give each a try to see which product can best serve your library, classroom, or home needs—ultimately saving you time and money and giving you access to a comprehensive research tool.
Contributor: Peg Glisson