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Merchandising in the library

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A presentation for library staff to help them learn how to display library materials to encourage patrons to check out.

A presentation for library staff to help them learn how to display library materials to encourage patrons to check out.

Published in: Education, Business

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  • 1. CAN WE HELP OUR COLLECTIONS FLY OUT THE DOOR? Merchandising in the Library
  • 2. What is merchandising?
    • According to the MSN Encarta dictionary:
    • (mer·chan·dis·ing or mer·chan·diz·ing)
    • In marketing: the promotion of a product by developing strategies for packaging, displaying, and publicizing it.
    • From: http://encarta.msn.com/dictionary_1861629329/merchandising.html
  • 3. What does this mean in our public library?
    • In marketing: the promotion of a product by developing strategies for packaging, displaying , and publicizing it.
    • Is this something we do in the library?
      • Examples?
      • New books
      • Books on tables
      • Books on endcaps
      • Small, portable shelving units
      • Publicity articles
      • New materials brochures
  • 4. Can staff influence library users?
  • 5.
    • Paco Underhill
      • Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping (St: 658.834 UND)
      • The Call of the Mall: A Walking Tour Through the Crossroads of Our Culture (Nwt & SW: 306.30973 UND)
        • Retail anthropologist
        • Studied retail establishments for over 2 decades
        • Watched every move that shoppers made
        • Recorded them on camera– tracked them through human observers
        • Found patterns in people's movements through public spaces
        • Recommends layouts for stores based on his research
    Who says this works?
  • 6. But what about librarians?
    • Do librarians think that this is a good idea?
      • Underhill spoke at an Urban Libraries Council in
      • October of 2005
      • Also spoke at PLA in Boston – March of 2006
    • Jeannette Woodward
      • Creating the Customer-Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model (Nwt: LPC 021.7 WOO)
        • Use “displays to increase attendance and circulation” (p. 104)
        • Displays can be “effective teaching tools” (p. 104)
        • Many users come to the library to browse and will check out books that:
          • Are clean & shiny
          • Are readily visible
          • May not necessarily be new!
  • 7. Looking at Borders…
    • Article in
    • Wall Street Journal
    • (3/12/08 p. B1)
  • 8. What does the article say?
    • Books sell better when they are displayed face out.
      • Trial netted a 9% increase in book sales in two weeks when compared with similar stores.
    • Means they will carry less inventory because these displays take up more space.
    • Hold a “growing view that store customers can be intimidated by too great a selection.”
    • Fact-out strategy caused customers to think that MORE not FEWER books were available.
    • Wal-Mart displays most books face out.
  • 9. Why should we care?
    • We are not a book store.
      • Their bottom line is profit.
    • What is the library’s bottom line?
      • Effective public (customer) service.
      • Doing the right thing with taxpayers’ money.
    • Why?
      • Mission!
      • Catawba County Libraries inspire the joy of reading, life-long learning, cultural appreciation, creative thinking, and promote economic development and individual growth through comprehensive resources, a knowledgeable and responsive staff, innovative technologies, and welcoming facilities.
  • 10. Deeper Meaning?
    • Library Vision?
    • Catawba County is a thriving, literate and diverse community whose citizens understand and
    • embrace the economic and educational opportunities available for personal and professional
    • growth.
    • Do you as a library employee care about this vision?
    • Why do you care?
  • 11. So what should we be doing?
    • How do we encourage our users to checkout library materials?
      • Whenever possible, show the materials face out.
      • Use color, texture, and seasonal materials to attract the user’s eye.
      • Make new books look so good that you can’t walk by without stopping.
      • Avoid clutter and use a pleasing arrangement of materials. (Stack in towers , stand face out, or use small book easels.)
      • Use browsing bins no higher than 54” or lower than 18”.
      • Use the end of aisles (“prime real estate”) to display materials.
      • Study the traffic patterns in your areas and strategically place displays.
      • From “Check It Out: Shelving and Display Solutions” by Tish Murphy.
      • Found at WebJunction, 1/2/08. www.webjunction.org
  • 12. Do we agree?
    • Do we agree that we want to work together to increase circulation in our library?
    • Do we think that merchandising our materials might help to increase the circulation?
  • 13. Shall we look first at how things are?
  • 14. Another display unit
  • 15. Side by side…
  • 16. Attractive to your eyes?
  • 17. How about these?
  • 18. Compare the two…
  • 19. How about this?
  • 20. And this…
  • 21. And again, compare.
  • 22. What do you think about this?
  • 23. And this?
  • 24. Is this inviting?
  • 25. And how about this?
  • 26. Do you want to look at these?
  • 27. Or pick these up?
  • 28. Do you want to sit here and work?
  • 29. Do you want to look at these?
  • 30. What’s missing here?
  • 31. How does this look?
  • 32. Now compare it to this.
  • 33. Good? Needs improvement?
  • 34. Do you like this?
  • 35. How can we improve our merchandising?
    • I’d like to see
      • A conscious effort to improve the merchandising of our materials based on known, proven principles.
      • Some assignments of areas so that someone is always attending to the visual elements of our library.
      • I’d like to meet and talk about this again later in the year to see if we have improved the appearance of our library.
        • Continue to take some pictures of the display spaces to see what is happening.
        • Talk about the good things and the areas needing improvement.
        • When?