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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.

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Merchandising in the library

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