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Helping the Reader:  Lessons Learned in the Evolution of a Display Oriented Public Library
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Helping the Reader: Lessons Learned in the Evolution of a Display Oriented Public Library

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Self-check, wayfinding, displaying material, BISAC categories all fit together to make a public library easy to use. A narrated PowerPoint presentation prepared for the 2008 PLA Virtual Conference. …

Self-check, wayfinding, displaying material, BISAC categories all fit together to make a public library easy to use. A narrated PowerPoint presentation prepared for the 2008 PLA Virtual Conference. The narration is only available in the Downloaded version.

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Transcript

  • 1. Helping the Reader Lessons Learned in the Evolution of a Display Oriented Library Andy Barnett McMillan Memorial Library 490 East Grand Ave. Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin [email_address]
  • 2. Our Situation
    • Budget crunch - Industry layoffs, city-wide cuts on horizon, static population / tax base
    • Library - 1970 building
    • Advantages – Strong sense of mission, shared system, support of local foundations, library endowment, room to expand internally
  • 3. Excellence on a Budget
    • Long range plan - community survey, focus groups, staff and board retreats
    • Consultation with architect
    • Best practices & PLA
    • Mantras:
    • Leading edge of what had been proven to work
    • Adapt not adopt
  • 4. 2 ½ Strategies
    • Community Commons (three zone library)
    • Maximize self-service options as consistent with quality service.
      • Display oriented library
  • 5. Display Oriented Library
    • Implementation will vary depending upon size and type of library.
    • Display / merchandise as much as possible
    • Genre collections
    • Browsing areas not shelving units
    • Temporary displays - not
  • 6. Our Gradual Implementation
    • Display shelving for New Book area
    • Genre / subject collections of New Books
    • Display shelving for AV
    • Additional permanent genre collections
    • Creating display areas wherever possible
    • We still have stacks (so far)
  • 7. Benefits to Readers
    • Simplest, easiest, most successful experience – Each reader, their book
    • Better service = better browsing
    • Displays lead readers to new authors and genres
    • New authors lead readers to older titles
  • 8. Benefits to Library
    • All authors/books get a chance at maximum display - Each book, its reader
    • Provides selection / weeding data
    • 50%+ of displays checked out
    • Displays lead readers to stacks
    • Rewards patrons who visit library
  • 9. Lessons Learned
    • Maximize books patron can see at once
    • Browsing areas – open, room-like
    • Seating and tables in display areas
    • Importance of critical mass collections
    • Display units don’t belong in aisles
    • Stacks - where books go to die
    • One aisle = one person (butt brush)
    • Never use bottom shelves – anywhere
  • 10. Lessons Learned (cont.)
    • Weed thoroughly – you can’t market what people don’t want
    • Fiction ≠ Non-Fiction
    • Magazines a browsing collection
    • We are all branch libraries now
    • Direction of change > speed of change
  • 11. Things we did wrong
    • Collections without critical mass
    • Collections without definition
    • Collections no one wanted
    • AV Display Aisles - now six feet wide
    • Children’s a tougher nut to crack
  • 12. Getting started
    • Display shelving – expensive and not always ready for prime time
    • Wall units
    • End units of stacks – x2 factor
    • Cul de sacs, C or L shaped areas
  • 13. Recommended Reading/Viewing
    • Civic librarianship : renewing the social mission of the public library by Ronald B. McCabe.
    • Libraries, community, and technology by Andy Barnett.
    • Why we buy : the science of shopping by Paco Underhill.
    • The call of the mall by Paco Underhill.
    • The art of the long view by Peter Schwartz.
    • Inevitable surprises : thinking ahead in a time of turbulence by Peter Schwartz
    • Richmond Public Library (B.C.) presentations
      • The Public Library of the Future Today (2004) - http://www.yourlibrary.ca/presentation/frame.htm
      • Good to Great (2006) - http://www.yourlibrary.ca/GoodToGreat.pdf
      • Creating Excellence (2004) - http:// www.yourlibrary.ca/CreatingExcellence.pdf
    • McMillan Memorial Library - http://www.mcmillanlibrary.org/library/tour.html
  • 14. Our Fiction Collections
    • New Fiction Collections
    • New Fiction
    • New Mysteries
    • SF
    • Fantasy
    • Christian Fiction
    • Suspense
    • Thriller
    • Crime
    • Historical Fiction
    • Romance
    • Fiction Genre Collections
    • Mystery
    • Science Fiction
    • Fantasy
    • Christian Fiction
    • Classics
    • Adult Graphic Novels
    • Young Adult
    • YA Graphic Novels
    • Large Print Fiction, Mystery and Western
  • 15. New Non-Fiction Collections
    • Hot Topics
    • Pop Culture
    • Food & Celebrations
    • Health & Fitness
    • Self-Help & Psychology
    • Art & Art Instruction
    • Crafts
    • Around the House
    • Sports & Recreation
    • Memoirs & Autobiography
    • Biography
    • General History
    • 20 th Century History
    • Travel & the World
    • Science & Nature
    • Religion & Spirituality
    • Finance & Business

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