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Merchandizing your collection part 2

Part two of two sessions devoted to developing a more display oriented library. This session is focused on how McMillan Memorial Library implemented a display / wayfinding / self-service approach. Downloaded version has complete speaker's notes.

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Merchandizing your collection part 2

  1. 1. Merchandizing Your Collection Adapting Retail Practices to a Library Setting Andy Barnett McMillan Memorial Library 490 East Grand Ave. Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin [email_address]
  2. 2. Our Situation in 2005 <ul><li>Budget crunch - Industry layoffs, city-wide cuts on horizon, static population / tax base </li></ul><ul><li>Library - 1970 building, with room to expand internally </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages – Strong sense of mission, shared system, support of local foundations, library endowment </li></ul>
  3. 3. Excellence on a Budget <ul><li>Long range plan - community survey, focus groups, staff and board retreats </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation with architect </li></ul><ul><li>Best practices & PLA Conferences </li></ul><ul><li>Mantras: </li></ul><ul><li>Leading edge of what has been proven </li></ul><ul><li>Adapt not adopt </li></ul>
  4. 4. Role Models <ul><li>Richmond (B.C.) Public Library – Power shelving </li></ul><ul><li>Retail and Hospitality leaders </li></ul><ul><li>Bookstores not good models </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing guru Paco Underhill </li></ul><ul><li>Third place </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2 ½ Strategies <ul><li>A three zone library including a Community Commons </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize self-service options when consistent with quality service </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Display oriented library </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Display Oriented Library <ul><li>Implementation will vary depending upon size and type of library. </li></ul><ul><li>Display / merchandise as much as possible, focusing on new materials and AV </li></ul><ul><li>Genre / BISAC subject collections </li></ul><ul><li>Browsing areas not shelving units </li></ul>
  7. 7. Size Matters <ul><li>In smaller libraries, entire collection can be displayed </li></ul><ul><li>In larger libraries, only a small portion of the collection can be displayed </li></ul><ul><li>At McMillan, 20% of fiction is on display and 30% in genre collections. 15% of Non-Fiction is displayed. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why New Materials/AV? <ul><li>Don’t they go out anyway? </li></ul><ul><li>Already a high traffic area </li></ul><ul><li>Busy  optimal </li></ul><ul><li>Easy metric </li></ul><ul><li>Bite size </li></ul><ul><li>Incremental and evolutionary </li></ul>
  9. 9. Genre / BISAC Collections <ul><li>New Adult books go into display collections </li></ul><ul><li>12 Fic genres and 17 BISAC NF categories </li></ul><ul><li>After ~a year, items age into stacks </li></ul><ul><li>Temporary stickers (collection and date) </li></ul><ul><li>Display shelving and space </li></ul>
  10. 10. Browsing Areas vs. Stacks <ul><li>More room = more circulation </li></ul><ul><li>Stack aisle = one person </li></ul><ul><li>A destination </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent collection with dynamic content </li></ul><ul><li>Displays and permanent genre collections </li></ul><ul><li>YA = browsing collection, not a clubhouse </li></ul>
  11. 11. Our Gradual Implementation <ul><li>Display shelving for New Book area </li></ul><ul><li>Genre / subject collections of New Books </li></ul><ul><li>Display shelving for AV </li></ul><ul><li>Additional permanent genre collections </li></ul><ul><li>Creating display areas wherever possible </li></ul><ul><li>We still have stacks </li></ul>
  12. 12. Critical Mass <ul><li>Enough items to reward repeat attention from a browser </li></ul><ul><li>Coherent and popular </li></ul><ul><li>A constant stream of new materials </li></ul><ul><li>After local browsers have seen, move them out </li></ul>
  13. 13. Benefits to Readers <ul><li>Simplest, easiest, most successful experience – Each reader, their book </li></ul><ul><li>Better service = better browsing </li></ul><ul><li>Displays lead readers to new authors and genres </li></ul><ul><li>New authors lead readers to older titles </li></ul>
  14. 14. Benefits to Library <ul><li>All authors/books get a chance at maximum display - Each book, its reader </li></ul><ul><li>Provides selection / weeding data </li></ul><ul><li>50%+ of displays checked out </li></ul><ul><li>Displays lead readers to stacks </li></ul><ul><li>Rewards patrons who visit library </li></ul>
  15. 15. Embracing Branch Library Status <ul><li>As part of a shared system, McMillan is a branch of a large virtual library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Display collections an interior branch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stacks are local storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shared collection is remote storage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Just in case vs. just in time </li></ul><ul><li>Being the best branch </li></ul>
  16. 16. If we were a bookstore… <ul><li>Our new books and AV = bookstore </li></ul><ul><li>Stacks = used bookstore </li></ul><ul><li>Shared collection = Amazon </li></ul><ul><li>Bestsellers are where it breaks down </li></ul>
  17. 17. Lessons Learned <ul><li>Display units don’t belong in aisles </li></ul><ul><li>Maximize books patron can see at once </li></ul><ul><li>Browsing areas – open, room-like </li></ul><ul><li>Seating and tables in display areas </li></ul><ul><li>Stacks - where books go to die </li></ul><ul><li>Never use bottom shelves – anywhere </li></ul>
  18. 18. Lessons Learned (cont.) <ul><li>Weed thoroughly – you can’t market what people don’t want </li></ul><ul><li>Fiction ≠ Non-Fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines a browsing collection </li></ul><ul><li>We are all branch libraries now </li></ul><ul><li>Direction of change > speed of change </li></ul>
  19. 19. Things we did wrong <ul><li>Collections without critical mass </li></ul><ul><li>AV Display Aisles - now six feet wide </li></ul><ul><li>Children’s a tougher nut to crack </li></ul>
  20. 20. Getting started <ul><li>Wall units </li></ul><ul><li>Outside edges of stacks – x2 factor </li></ul><ul><li>Display shelving – expensive and not always ready for prime time </li></ul><ul><li>Cul de sacs, C or L shaped areas </li></ul>
  21. 21. Our Fiction Collections <ul><li>New Fiction Collections </li></ul><ul><li>New Fiction </li></ul><ul><li>New Mysteries </li></ul><ul><li>Science Fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Fantasy </li></ul><ul><li>Christian Fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Suspense </li></ul><ul><li>Thriller </li></ul><ul><li>Crime </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Romance </li></ul><ul><li>Adult Graphic Novels </li></ul><ul><li>Rental </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent Fiction Collections </li></ul><ul><li>Fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Mystery </li></ul><ul><li>Science Fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Fantasy </li></ul><ul><li>Christian Fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Classics </li></ul><ul><li>Adult Graphic Novels </li></ul><ul><li>YA Fiction / YA Graphic Novels </li></ul><ul><li>Large Print Fiction, Mystery and Western </li></ul>
  22. 22. New Non-Fiction Collections <ul><li>Hot Topics </li></ul><ul><li>Pop Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Food & Celebrations </li></ul><ul><li>Health & Fitness </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Help & Psychology </li></ul><ul><li>Art & Art Instruction </li></ul><ul><li>Crafts </li></ul><ul><li>Around the House </li></ul><ul><li>Sports & Recreation </li></ul><ul><li>Memoirs & Autobiography </li></ul><ul><li>Biography </li></ul><ul><li>General History </li></ul><ul><li>20 th Century History </li></ul><ul><li>Travel & the World </li></ul><ul><li>Science & Nature </li></ul><ul><li>Religion & Spirituality </li></ul><ul><li>Finance & Business </li></ul>
  23. 23. Library Entrance – with no signs
  24. 24. Commons and Booths
  25. 25. Commons - Magazines
  26. 26. Commons - DVDs
  27. 27. Commons - Coffeehouse
  28. 28. Commons
  29. 29. Staffed Self-check
  30. 30. Adult Room - Signage
  31. 31. New Adult Displays
  32. 32. New Adult Displays
  33. 33. New Adult Displays
  34. 34. Young Adult
  35. 35. Adult Fiction
  36. 36. Genre Collections
  37. 37. Reference
  38. 38. Laptop use