Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 15

For our library, book displays are the by far the most effective way to market our collection. The people who come into the library are usually too busy to ask for book recommendations, not saying that they never do, but for the most part, they don’t. By having books on display, having them displayed at the end of the shelf and having our big display shelf filled, patrons are able to quickly look at the books and immediately decide if they want to read them. At the moment, we have a display featuring recently returned books, so the patrons know a little bit about what their neighbors are reading. We are refilling the shelf 2 or 3 times a day, so it shows that our patrons really enjoy having books out in the open for them to browse.

Since book clubs do not work at our location, we do an annual “Genre Fair.” We have several employees gather genre specific books they enjoy reading and we each get a table in our large meeting room, to book talk with patrons as they come up to our table. In the past we have featured children’s picture books, young adult, coming of age fiction, books to movies, graphic novels, atmospheric fiction, and female written non-fiction. Patrons are able to discover books that they might not normally check out, in a no pressure environment. We handed out bookmarks that featured the specific genre we were discussing, along with a book list of our recommended books within the genre. We don’t know how many people actually got anything out of the Genre Fair, but the leftover bookmarks were popular with the people who were unable to attend the event.

As far as our future collection goes, there are several ways we promote that. Each week we put out a flier that has upcoming titles, as well as the books on the New York Times bestseller list. On our website, we also have a new releases list and books that are going to be released soon. The latter list are usually going to be bestseller books, such as James Patterson or Nora Roberts. That way patrons are able to put their name on the holds list. These lists are very popular with our patrons because it is hard to keep up with all the books that some of these authors publish.


  1. Hi Jennifer,

    It sounds like your displays are working wonderfully, especially with "We are refilling the shelf 2 or 3 times a day". My library displays are hit or miss depending on the topic. One of the most successful was the May the 4th Be With You display. I helped design a Star Wars display that was up during May of last year. We put in some popular items like the Star Wars DVDs and novels connected to the movies. However, we also included lesser circulated items such as novel series not associated directly with the movies, children's books, encyclopedia's, graphic novels, and toy price guides. This was such a hot display that we were replacing empty spots a few times a week.

    You mentioned "leftover bookmarks were popular with the people who were unable to attend the event." Bookmarks seem to be a hot item in some libraries. I belong to a couple of literacy charity organizations and a couple of years ago we had surplus of bookmarks. These book marks had the organization's name, contact information, logo, goals, etc. printed on it. So, while they are nice books marks the graphics are nothing eye catching or part of pop culture. However, when I took them to the college I used to work at as free bookmarks they were a hot item. The college students loved them. Why? Maybe it is a cool retro item? I am not sure. But the college students loved them.

  2. I have also found that people (myself including) are more likely to utilize displays rather than directly asking for help in finding a good book to read. Displays are a necessity.

    I think that your genre fair is a neat idea! Do you get a lot of people that come talk with you during the genre fair? I am just curious since your patrons seem to be prefer passive advisory rather than direct communication.

  3. Hi Jennifer, I love the your ideas for future collections! What a great idea. We publish a list of new books in the paper each week, but your idea will give patrons a chance to place their holds even earlier. Thanks!

  4. Jennifer,

    I have also made a "recently returned" display at my library, and it seems to go over a lot better than other displays we do. The notion that others may have better ideas about what to read than us is a powerful thing I guess. Although, what does that say about the way our patrons regard librarians' choices compared to their fellow reader? Ha!

    1. A couple of people have mentioned this idea. I hadn't considered it before, but I may have to give it a try. It's certainly easy since the books are all collected in the return bins. I think you're right - it's book peer pressure, lol. One of our readings, don't recall which one, mentions how books are a social activity. I guess that's true!

  5. The genre fair sounds like a cute idea and also helpful for learning about new genres without having to take the plunge of reading a book in the genre that you may not enjoy!

  6. Great prompt response with innovative and easy to implement ideas. Full points!