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You can now get a personalized book bundle from the NYPL

Don't know what to read next? The NYPL will curate a batch of books just for you.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

The New York Public Library just launched a new service called "Shelf Help," where cardholders can request personalized book bundles based on their preferences.

Book-lovers can fill out the online form, call Ask NYPL at 917-ASK-NYPL, or drop off a request form at one of the system’s open branches and get five titles selected by expert librarians based on the cardholder's interests. (The forms need to be quarantined for 96 hours before staff can fill requests for safety purposes.)

RECOMMENDED: You can now download over 300,000 books from the NYPL for free

Once the bundle is ready for pickup, the NYPL will send a signal (an email) letting readers know it's time. The books will already be checked out to borrowers when they arrive at their nearest location.

The Shelf Help program was launched this week to help people find more books they'll connect with, much like the NYPL Recommends Twitter account that works with people to find the right reads on Mondays (3-4pm) and Fridays (10-11am).

NYPL reopening
Photograph: Courtesy NYPL

"There is a wonderful moment of serendipity when a reader finds a new book they love and it is this experience the Library is seeking to recreate with the launch of Shelf Help," said Lynn Lobash, the associate director of readers services at NYPL. "Although we’ve had to alter our services to support patrons during the pandemic, our librarians remain eager to share their knowledge and engage with readers in new and dynamic ways, which includes continuing to provide their expert guidance and love of books with New Yorkers of all ages."

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