Series of books are very popular with library users. Some need to be read in order so that character development, story arcs, and world-building can be experienced as the tale unfolds. The Chronicles of Narnia is a series where one book builds upon the previous books to draw readers deeper into the story. Others can be read as stand-alone works without having read any of the other entries in the series, such as the Nancy Drew mysteries.
Identification of Series Entries
In order to find books that are part of a particular series, and identify the order of the titles if necessary, good cataloging practices are needed to ensure their findability. Making sure that information is entered consistently and in the correct places enables accurate and complete search results. The series statement field (MARC field 490) is the standard place for this information.
Using your OPAC to promote series can increase readership in several ways. Announcements can be used to notify patrons that a new series entry is available at the library. Featuring a series on your OPAC can inform readers about the series and stir up interest. Creating an Explore button or similar feature on your home page can bring up search results for entries in one or multiple series. Some OPACs allow you to enable facet filtering to narrow search results by series title. Also, optional products such as Enhanced Content Level 2 inform patrons about other books in the series, even if the library doesn’t own them.
Series are popular with patrons who enjoy reading about familiar settings and characters. It can be a challenge to find what items are in a series and in what order. Using every tool in your ILS to make it easier for patrons to retrieve that information will result in happier readers.
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