Fuse Your Brain

When it comes to learning a new topic or finding a job, it is hard to deny the power of one-on-one tutoring. It is great to have lots of resources at your fingertips but having a person to guide and critique your actions is invaluable. But how do you get that kind of help in the ‘virtual only’ world we have been living through recently? The library has one answer to that question in the form of a great new service we have just made available: Brainfuse

Simply put, Brainfuse provides live virtual tutoring for students and adult learners as well as job coaching to help you land a new position. All you need is an Everett Public Library card to gain access.

To get you started, it is good to know that Brainfuse has two distinct areas based on the kind of one-on-one help you need.

Brainfuse HelpNow is the place to go if you are a student or adult learner. The HelpNow Resource Center gives you access to live tutoring for homework help, skills building and test preparation. You can also access The Writing Lab and the 24/7 Center to submit assignments that will be reviewed and commented upon by tutors who are experts in many academic fields. There are also many study and collaboration tools to take advantage of, as well as an adult learning center.

Brainfuse JobNow is where you can interact with live online job coaches to brush up on interview techniques or get live online interview practice as well as job tips and strategies. You can also submit a resume any time and a job coach will send it back within 24 hours with detailed feedback and suggestions for improvement. You are also able to download resume templates and enjoy 24/7 access to a carefully selected library of job resources.

So whether you are studying for an exam, looking for a job or wanting to build your skill set, take advantage of Brainfuse at the Everett Public Library.

Know About Novelist?

There are many ways we at Everett Public Library try to to help you find your next great read. Normally, we offer book clubs, Everett Reads!, book displays all over the library, and author talks, plus you can ask us for recommendations in person. Right now the options are more limited since we are closed, but you can still check out our book reviews and Notable New Fiction book lists on our blog, A Reading Life. We have staff picks collections that show up in our catalog. You can email us at libref@everettwa.gov, call us Monday-Friday from 10-5 (425-257-8000), or ask us for recommendations on Facebook. If none of those appeal to you read on.

Novelist is one of many research databases that the library subscribes to for our patrons to use, but it happens to be one that a lot of librarians use on occasion as well. It’s a fast way for busy librarians to find a list of books similar to a one a patron just finished. It has a variety of ways to find your next read by genre, appeal, themes, and award winners. I recently used it myself to discover how I might describe a certain type of book that I love reading.

Since we’ve been been staying home basically all the time due to the Stay Home, Stay Healthy emergency order, I’ve been listening to more audiobooks on weekends. I finished one I really enjoyed called After Me Comes the Flood, by Sarah Perry, and realized how much I have liked the other books I’ve read by her, The Essex Serpent and Melmoth (for a fascinating look at what was happening medically in her life when she wrote that one, check out this Guardian article “Out of my mind: Sarah Perry on writing under the influence of drugs“).

Since there wasn’t another book by her I could listen to, I decided to see how NoveList categorized or described After Me Comes the Flood.
Genre: First person narratives; Psychological suspense
Storyline: Character-driven
Pace: Leisurely paced
Tone: Atmospheric; Creepy

Okay, so I like creepy, psychological books that take place in eerie, atmospheric settings. I always knew I was weird. So how to find more? When searching by title, scroll past the reviews to find a Search for More option where you can choose from those descriptors and more to find similar books. For me it was the creepiness, atmosphere, and psychological suspense that were most appealing, so I can check those boxes to find similar titles, 66 of them in this case.


Searching by author gives the option for author read-alikes and title read-alikes lists. This is one of the most useful functions of NoveList for librarians, because you will get a printable list to be able to hand to patrons for future reading ideas.

You will often find NoveList recommendations right in our catalog without having to navigate to NoveList. Look up the title of the book you loved, click on the link to fully open the information about the title, scroll down a bit, and often you will find Read-alikes right there.

NoveList is not just for novels – there are nonfiction categories to search through – and it isn’t just for adult books. You can find books for ages 0-8, 9-12, and teens. There are many genres to choose from for each age range; for instance Ages 9-12 brings up a real variety such as Adventure Stories, Horror, If you Like…, and Mysteries.

We also subscribe to NoveList K-12, which is similar but focused on books for kids and teens. By doing an advanced search you can find books in the right reading level (Accelerated Reader and Lexile), publish date, and even limit by gender and cultural identity of the author. You can also look for titles that received starred reviews.

Another nice thing about NoveList is that it connects with our catalog; by clicking on Check Availability and then Go to Catalog, you can place a hold on the book. What NoveList doesn’t do so well is find our ebooks – it seems to only be able to connect with our print copies of titles. Still, you may find it useful to find a list of titles to read now or in the future.

May you find something good to read in whatever way suits you best. We are still here, ready to help.

Happy reading!