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Merchandizing your collection

Part one of two session devoted to developing a more display oriented library. This session focuses on knowing the mission of the library and evaluating which business practices to adapt to a library setting.

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Merchandizing your collection

  1. 1. Merchandizing Your Collection: Adapting Retail Practices to a Library Setting Andy Barnett Assistant Director - McMillan Memorial Library Wisconsin Rapids
  2. 2. Building our Future <ul><li>Mission & Metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Which business practices </li></ul><ul><li>Activity (?) and break </li></ul><ul><li>Why displays matter </li></ul><ul><li>How we display our books good </li></ul>
  3. 3. Preliminaries <ul><li>If you meet Buddha on the road, kill him </li></ul><ul><li>Next practices not best practices </li></ul><ul><li>The direction of change is more important than the pace of change </li></ul><ul><li>From an age of scarcity to an age of abundance </li></ul>
  4. 4. Change is… <ul><li>Scary </li></ul><ul><li>Not optional </li></ul><ul><li>A habit or muscle </li></ul><ul><li>Additive </li></ul><ul><li>Addictive </li></ul>
  5. 5. Adapt not Adopt <ul><li>A government function, with a community based purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Social good, not volume/profit </li></ul><ul><li>Outcomes, not output </li></ul><ul><li>Watch your language </li></ul><ul><li>Be the best library you can be </li></ul>
  6. 6. Public ≠ Private Sector <ul><li>Mission </li></ul><ul><li>Third place, not home or the marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>ROI </li></ul><ul><li>Profit center </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics in general </li></ul><ul><li>Niche marketing </li></ul>
  7. 7. Public = Private Sector <ul><li>Customer driven </li></ul><ul><li>Design / layout / wayfinding </li></ul><ul><li>Hours </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of perception </li></ul><ul><li>Become a destination </li></ul>
  8. 8. Steal These <ul><li>Have a (saleable/explainable) purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Be intentional (economy of force) </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy not tactics </li></ul><ul><li>Plan as if your job depended upon it </li></ul><ul><li>Life long relationships </li></ul>
  9. 9. Selling Up <ul><li>Something bigger, more expensive, higher margin. </li></ul><ul><li>Our chance to surprise and delight. </li></ul><ul><li>Part of a reference interview. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t allow satisficing. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Super Powers <ul><li>Every person and library should have them </li></ul><ul><li>Difference between a factory job and what you can be </li></ul><ul><li>Batman vs. Superman </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly a matter of attitude and willingness </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be a supervillain </li></ul>
  11. 12. Setting Expectations <ul><li>How do we want to be seen </li></ul><ul><li>Involve staff </li></ul><ul><li>Hold ourselves to our own words. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Remarkable, but not in a good way
  13. 14. What models? <ul><li>Sam’s Club = bad model. Avoid the race to the bottom. </li></ul><ul><li>Resort = better model </li></ul><ul><li>Welcoming and hospitable </li></ul><ul><li>Effective and efficient </li></ul><ul><li>Surprise and delight </li></ul>
  14. 15. Cutting Edge Libraries <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>Proof of concept </li></ul><ul><li>Conditions for success </li></ul><ul><li>Costs </li></ul><ul><li>Trade offs </li></ul>
  15. 16. Metrics
  16. 17. Are you on the right track? <ul><li>Five Laws of Library Science </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits users, not just staff </li></ul><ul><li>People first, then things </li></ul><ul><li>Tech like you want/use at home </li></ul><ul><li>Wow factor </li></ul>
  17. 18. Paco Underhill & Design <ul><li>Retail anthropologist </li></ul><ul><li>Comfortable, easy, practical, fast </li></ul><ul><li>Design as people management </li></ul><ul><li>Design as theater </li></ul><ul><li>If a TV crew was coming, what would you change? </li></ul>
  18. 19. Self-Service Options <ul><li>Self-service often best service </li></ul><ul><li>Non-service isn’t </li></ul><ul><li>Staffed self-check – like WalMart </li></ul><ul><li>Staff, design, signage changes </li></ul>
  19. 20. Wayfinding <ul><li>Important piece of self-service </li></ul><ul><li>Intuitive and self-navigable </li></ul><ul><li>Design, layout and decoration </li></ul><ul><li>Sightlines – patron and staff both </li></ul><ul><li>Better signage / less clutter </li></ul>
  20. 21. Just in Time <ul><li>Originally an industrial concept </li></ul><ul><li>Shared systems and delivery make it work </li></ul><ul><li>Leaner local collection </li></ul><ul><li>Three levels – library/system/ILL </li></ul><ul><li>80/20 rule? </li></ul>
  21. 22. Zoning <ul><li>Different zones = different purposes = different rulesets </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s Room a common zone </li></ul><ul><li>Social/quiet zone often missing </li></ul><ul><li>Unenforceable rules or missing mission </li></ul>
  22. 23. Right size /staff <ul><li>Changes in operation should equal changes in staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Libraries move slowly on staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Right size = fewer staff </li></ul><ul><li>Right staff = changed mix of staff </li></ul><ul><li>Re-examine position descriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Re-examine structure </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteers </li></ul>
  23. 24. Take aways <ul><li>Remember who you are </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt don’t adopt </li></ul><ul><li>Infuse self-service </li></ul><ul><li>Manage change </li></ul><ul><li>Be a great library </li></ul>

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