Reading promotion in UK public libraries


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Apresentação feita no II Encontro Oeiras a Ler - 24 e 25 de Maio de 2007.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Education
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  • Reading promotion in UK public libraries

    1. 1. Reading promotion in UK public libraries Briony Train Lecturer Programme Coordinator, MA in Librarianship Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield, UK
    2. 2. My presentation <ul><li>Why promote? </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing readers’ access to books </li></ul><ul><li>Ourselves as readers – our reading choices </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of promotions </li></ul><ul><li>Working in partnership with others </li></ul><ul><li>Effective project-based work. </li></ul>
    3. 3. A change in library culture <ul><li>‘ In response to queries, library staff will confidently recommend books on do-it-yourself or travel. Asked for ‘a good read’ they hesitate and tend to fall back on their personal tastes. </li></ul><ul><li>Is this a professional response? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we not have systems which enable staff to recommend fiction they have not read with the confidence they recommend non-fiction they have not read?’ </li></ul><ul><li>Van Riel, 1993 </li></ul>
    4. 4. What is Reader Development? <ul><li>‘ Reader development means active intervention to: </li></ul><ul><li>Increase people’s confidence and enjoyment of reading </li></ul><ul><li>Open up reading choices </li></ul><ul><li>Offer opportunities for people to share their reading experience.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Branching Out, 2007 </li></ul>
    5. 5. Why promote? <ul><li>We can all argue about what we think is the best book in the world but nobody can tell another reader what their best book is. But if you’ve only ever read one kind of book, how do you know that it’s the one you like best? </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion is the key to helping the majority of borrowers who don’t know what they want find something they are willing to try </li></ul><ul><li>Opening the Book Ltd. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Why promote? [2] <ul><li>The passive approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make ‘unspoken’ suggestions: displays, groups of books, presentations of staff/reader comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give readers the freedom to accept/reject books . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The active approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage the reader to interact with other readers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Librarian/teacher advice; a group discussion/reader group; an author visit. </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. How to increase access to books <ul><li>Access : giving people opportunities, removing barriers </li></ul><ul><li>The less you have to choose from, the easier it is to choose. </li></ul><ul><li>25% of library users know what they’re looking for </li></ul><ul><li>50% of library users imitate other people’s choice </li></ul><ul><li>Most of our book stock is not working very hard at all </li></ul><ul><li>– so promotion increases access and </li></ul><ul><li>helps people to choose. </li></ul>
    8. 8. To summarise… <ul><li>Reader-centred activity offers a range of choices to enhance the reading experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Promotional methods can be inexpensive (in many cases free of charge). </li></ul>
    9. 9. Your reading choices
    10. 10. What are we looking for when we read a book? <ul><li>a solution to a problem in our life? </li></ul><ul><li>something light and easy to read? </li></ul><ul><li>something deep, to take our full attention? </li></ul><ul><li>an escape from reality? </li></ul>
    11. 11. What sort of reader am I? <ul><li>… looking for excitement? </li></ul><ul><li>… stressed? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>… desperate? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>… self-protective? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>… ambitious? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>… indulgent? </li></ul>
    12. 12. My reading habits <ul><li>Where do I read? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>When do I read? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>How do I read? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Do I cheat? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Do I read one book at a time? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>What do I do while I’m reading? </li></ul>
    13. 13. The most recent book I read <ul><li>Did I like how the book looked? </li></ul><ul><li>Which part of the book did I enjoy the most? </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li>Which part irritated me the most? </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  When did I begin to enjoy the book? Or when did I decide to give up? </li></ul>
    14. 14. How do I choose a book? <ul><li>“ I look at the book cover” </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ I listen to other people” </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ I look at the returned </li></ul><ul><li>books in my library” </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>“ I know the author’s style” </li></ul>
    15. 15. Do I know these people? <ul><li>‘ What I’m really looking for is books about people who are more miserable than I am!’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I don’t really want to read about myself. I want something entertaining, a completely different world.’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ I’m recently divorced. Before that, when I was in a bad mood with my husband, I’d get murder books!’ </li></ul>
    16. 16. Promotions as part of the day-to-day service <ul><li>Frequent criticism of promotions: brief and expensive. </li></ul><ul><li>Recommendation: to have a testing period for each promotion (e.g. 2 months) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Records of books issued </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comments from readers and staff – books and display. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Then decide if the promotion should be continued as part of your regular service. </li></ul>
    17. 17. Promotion 1: Mind’s Eye <ul><li>It clarified the purpose of non-fiction promotion and also gave me the enthusiasm to think up promotional ideas of my own. [Librarian] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
    18. 18. Promotion 2: Quick Reads/Ask Chris <ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><li>To support all readers to find their next great read </li></ul><ul><li>To help all adults to enjoy choosing and reading books for pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><li>A permanent category of stock </li></ul><ul><li>A permanent book selection website </li></ul>
    19. 22. Promotion 2: Quick Reads/Ask Chris <ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><li>To support all readers to find their next great read </li></ul><ul><li>To help all adults to enjoy choosing and reading books for pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>Results: </li></ul><ul><li>A permanent category of stock </li></ul><ul><li>A permanent book selection website </li></ul>
    20. 28.
    21. 34. Developing promotions in partnership with others
    22. 35. Collaborative working <ul><li>Partnerships within our own field - but on a wider scale with external agencies from public and private sectors. </li></ul><ul><li>2 forms of partnership: </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial sponsorship </li></ul><ul><li>Non-commercial partnership </li></ul>
    23. 36. A commercial sponsorship <ul><li>Could provide financial support </li></ul><ul><li>Could support a promotional campaign with high-profile promotional materials and advertising </li></ul>Could benefit 1 party more than another…
    24. 37. A non-commercial partnership <ul><li>Consortia-based – sharing or jointly developing expertise and resources </li></ul><ul><li>Projects require complex coordination (committees, working groups, etc.) – but as the project grows, the benefits to each stakeholder also grow. </li></ul>
    25. 38. Branching Out (1998 – today) <ul><li>Multiple partners from the beginning </li></ul><ul><li>33 local authorities originally involved (England) </li></ul><ul><li>Raised status of reader-centred work via networks & partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Project still growing in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>Website </li></ul>
    26. 39. Working with the commercial sector <ul><li>Cross-sectoral partnerships used to have a bad reputation </li></ul><ul><li>Projects such as Branching Out have shown that public/private partnerships can be ‘a model example’ of how to work with partners’; can be ‘influential’. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reader-centred work can lead to long-term sustainable partnerships </li></ul></ul>
    27. 40. An effective partnership model Private sector companies Brokering agencies e.g. Opening the Book, The Reading Agency Libraries
    28. 41. Summary of effective project-based work The solutions? <ul><li>mainstreaming - i.e. making project work a part of everyday reader-centred work, with sufficient time, staff, resources, and commitment. </li></ul><ul><li>sustainability - i.e. ensuring that projects do not end after 9 months or a year, but are continued in our daily work. </li></ul>
    29. 42. The impact of reader-centred activity: <ul><li>Can make our work more visible to the public </li></ul><ul><li>Can increase staff confidence in working with ‘different’ books </li></ul><ul><li>Can help to establish a long-term programme of reader-centred events/promotions. </li></ul>Is it worth the effort?
    30. 43. Staff involved in reader-centred work <ul><li>Increased knowledge of contemporary literature </li></ul><ul><li>Increased awareness of readers and their reading needs </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness of sustainable models of partnership </li></ul><ul><li>Increased use of technology as a tool to promote reading </li></ul><ul><li>Stock selection and book promotion as core processes. </li></ul>