5 Online Resources We Love

The library building is full of fun opportunities, but sometimes it’s hard to make it in. That’s why we have so many online resources you can access from anywhere. While I can’t speak for all of our staff, here are five online resources that this librarian loves.

1. Your Next 5 Reads

As a librarian, I absolutely love giving recommendations! This form is my favourite way for patrons to ask for suggestions. You can share information about what you like (or don’t) about a book/graphic novel/TV show, and it goes directly to our library staff. We spend a few days researching and creating your ultra-curated list of recommendations. If you want to dive deep into a niche genre, don’t know where to start after a long reading break, or want to know what TV show you should start next, Your Next 5 Reads is the best way to get a personalized suggestion list.

2. Craftsy

I’m a crafter: I crochet and sew and dabble in a few traditional crafts. It’s really great that Craftsy lets you access instructional videos for those activities, but did you know that Craftsy can even help with even more? Woodworkers can learn to make doors and elaborate cabinets. New calligraphers can learn lettering for lefties and watercolor calligraphy. Craftsy has videos ranging from upholstery and HIIT/Barre workouts to canning and meal planning, so let the new hobby fixations commence!

3. Consumer Reports

If you, like me, enjoy endlessly researching reviews before making a purchase, then Consumer Reports online will be life changing! It combines the quality information we expect from the magazine with the usability of a search bar. You no longer have to find the right edition to see product comparisons and commentary, but can instead simply type what you want to buy into the search bar to see comprehensive critiques. Faster research = faster shopping.

4. Novelist Plus 

Shhh, this resource is our secret superpower in making recommendations to patrons, so don’t put it in a public blog post or anything…
This database lets you search for new suggestions based on a favourite author, series, or book. It’s initially straightforward, but the customization options are endless! Each entry has “appeal factors” that you can use to narrow your search, ensuring that you find titles or authors that are similar for exactly the reasons you loved the book, not just in a vaguely comparable way. As well, the recommendations detail how one title is similar to another, so you know precisely why it was suggested. There is so. much. nuance.

5. Brainfuse JobNow

The library has a fantastic resume tutor who can help you in person or via videoconference. In addition, your library card grants you access to the resume, interview, and job searching supports on Brainfuse JobNow. There are helpful articles and guides for each step in your job search, but there are also opportunities to meet with job coaches online and workshop your resume with swift feedback. I love to share this resource with jobseekers in my life, even when I’m not on duty!