Introducing Loan Stars!

If you subscribe to any of our newsletters, or attended OLA Super Conference this past week, you might have heard about an exciting initiative brewing in the Canadian library community called Loan Stars. We've been working with a great team on this project—including the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), the British Columbia Library Association (BCLA) Readers’ Advisory Committee, and the Ontario Library Association (OLA) Readers’ Advisory Committee, not to mention a whole bunch of library vendors, independent Canadian publishers, and multinational publishers—and we are so excited we just can't hide it! It's time to talk about Loan Stars.

What is Loan Stars?

Loan Stars is a new readers’ advisory service that allows library staff across Canada to nominate forthcoming titles and vote on their favourites. Votes and optional reviews are captured in CataList, and each month's top 10 list will be published and promoted to read and share. Voting is officially open for titles publishing in May 2016, which is when the first list will debut.

How do I get involved if I work at a library?

It's easy (and fun!) to get involved with Loan Stars:

  • Sign up for the monthly e-newsletter on the Loan Stars website to keep up with the project. 
  • Sign up for NetGalley, an online resource that allows libraries to access digital galleys, and get your hands on some books that are at least one month away from their publication dates. The voting period for a particular title will close one month prior to its publication date. So, for example, the last day to vote on a title published in March will be Feb. 1). 
  • Sign up for CataList, a free tool that allows library staff to access the most up-to-date publisher catalogues. Only titles listed in CataList are eligible for voting. 
  • Read away! This is possibly the most important step. All fiction and non-fiction adult titles in CataList are eligible and you can nominate as many as you like, so get your hands on some galleys and start reading so you know which books you want to spread the love about. Since the first Loan Stars lists will be debuted in spring 2016, focus on titles that come out in May or later.
  • Click the "Vote" button in CataList to nominate your favourite books. When casting your vote, you also have the option to create or link to a review that can be used to promote the title of your choice. This is your chance to promote your favourite books!
  • Once all the votes are tabulated and the data is crunched, Loan Stars will publish the top 10 list for that month. Share over social media and let the world know about your favourite titles. 

How do I get involved if I am a publisher?

Publishers are crucial for making Loan Stars a success. Without you there would be no books to vote on or galleys to be read. Here's how you can both promote your titles and make Loan Stars awesome for everyone involved:

  • Add your forthcoming adult fiction and non-fiction titles to CataList. Only titles in CataList are eligible for voting. For the first Loan Stars lists, you should focus on making titles with publication dates in May 2016 or later available.
  • Make sure library staff can find your ARCs. Since voting takes place entirely pre-publication, ARCs and galleys are essential—otherwise, voters have nothing to base their votes on and your title may never make the list. NetGalley is CataList's partner in providing ARCs to voting library staff. Learn more about how NetGalley works and how to get started.
  • Let us know if there's a particular person at your publishing house who library staff can contact with questions about titles or ARCs. You can email and we'll make your provided contact information available online.

Waiting is hard. When does this start?

Voting is active on CataList right now! Check out the Loan Stars CataList page to see the monthly adult fiction and nonfiction titles coming out that are ready to be read and voted upon.
You can also:

  • Check out which titles are available in our NetGalley catalogue, request the ones you might be interested in that will be published May or later, and start reading.
  • Sign up for the Loan Stars monthly e-newsletter.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr so you keep current on all the hot gossip!