Frequently Asked Questions

Loan Stars is a readers’ advisory tool that allows library staff across Canada to collaboratively select their favourite forthcoming titles. Using BNC CataList, a free online catalogue tool, library staff can nominate their most anticipated picks.

Each month, Loan Stars will create a top 10 list(s) of popular titles, based on the votes of library staff. Lists are shared with library staff and patrons, promoted by publishers and authors, distributed through the Loan Stars channels, and published by our media partners.

Anyone employed at a library in Canada! Be sure to sign up for your free CataList account using your library email address. If you are passionate about books and interested in discovering great new reads, Loan Stars is for you!

If you're based in the United States, there's a library-oriented top 10 list for you too! Check out LibraryReads today.

All you need is a library email address. Recommendations for Loan Stars are collected in CataList, which is a free online catalogue tool that allows libraries to access the most up-to-date publisher catalogues. Learn how to sign up or log in now.

Logged-in library users can see the "Recommend" button attached to eligible Loan Stars titles. Library staffers can then decide to "recommend" or nominate a book for the top 10 list by clicking the Recommend button. Recommendations are captured instantly. Users have the ability to leave a review if they wish, or to change their minds and remove the recommendation. If enough library staffers recommend the same book, that book is named a Loan Stars pick and featured in our monthly list(s).

As soon as an eligible book is added to CataList, a "Recommend" button will appear and the nomination period officially opens. It will stay open until the "Recommend" button disappears according to our list release schedule.

Loan Stars lists are released a month prior to the books' publication dates. For example, a list released at the beginning of March would contain titles publishing in April. You can tell that a nomination period has ended when the "Recommend" button disappears, which will occur just before a list's release. This means that, for books publishing in April, the "Recommend" button will disappear on March 1.

No, you can recommend any titles that are published in Canada. They do not need to be written by a Canadian author or published by a Canadian publisher.

Eligible titles are limited to English-language fiction, non-fiction, juvenile, and young adult titles. All books must be forthcoming and publishing for the first time, not just in a new format. If you think a title should be available and it isn't, contact us.

To get a free reading copy, look for the "Request" buttons. If available, physical and digital reading copies can be requested straight from the publisher. Occasionally digital reading copies will also be offered through NetGalley. Click below for more information on using NetGalley, an online resource that allows libraries to access digital galleys:

On the CataList home page, users who are logged in can find a link to a catalogue containing all the NetGalley content available on CataList. Check back often as there are new books available weekly!

If a publisher has made this content available, logged-in users will see buttons on the left side of Title View pages, beneath the cover image. Clicking on the "View a sample" button will open a viewer; the "Read an excerpt" button will begin a download.

View a sample

The monthly lists will be distributed via email. Subscribe to our mailing list. You can also find the lists on loanstars.ca.

If you have a platform on which you'd like to share past or present Loan Stars top 10 lists, you are free to repost a list, as presented, once it has been published on the Loan Stars website. Any lists must be attributed to the Loan Stars program as well as BookNet Canada and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC/CBUC). When hyperlinked, the link must lead back to loanstars.ca. Suggested text is provided below:

"Loan Stars' monthly lists of the top upcoming books are recommended by library staff across Canada and organized by BookNet Canada with support from the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC/CBUC). More information is available at loanstars.ca."

Spread the word! Encourage your fellow library staff members to vote for their favourite titles each month. If you're a publisher, make your forthcoming titles' ARCs and/or interior images available in CataList. Share the top lists via social media with the hashtag #LoanStars. If you're interested in participating in the planning committee for Loan Stars, please contact us here.

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