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Sunday, June 30, 2013

ALA 2013: Leading Readers to Water….Guerilla Marketing for RA

Leading Readers to Water….Guerilla Marketing for RA

This one features my colleagues from the Chicagoland area, people I know and trust.

Speaker: Helen Stewart, Readers' Advisory Librarian, Schaumburg Township District Library
Speaker: Kate Niehoff, Popular Services Librarian, Schaumburg Township District Library
Speaker: Nancy McCully, Schaumburg Township District Library
Speaker: Susan Gibberman, Head of Readers' Advisory, Schaumburg Township District Library

Handouts online here

Helen Stewart began:
  • RAs we are engaged in a mighty battle.  We are battling the idea that we have nothing to offer while hundred wait for Dan Brown
  • Statistics are down
  • On the front lines: Day to Day RA
  • Get out into the shelves and see what the patrons see as they browse
  • As they browse they only have their reading list as a tool. It is very daunting.
  • If we put a great book in the stacks, no reader will ever find it on their own.
  • Rise to the challenge as victorious reader leaders.
  • Duncan Smith suggests: the standard RA interview should become a thing of the past.  We used to be reactive: Patron- Do you have this book? Us-- Yes. Here it is. Transaction done.
  • Instead we should be suggestive, anticipatory [suggest books they may like based on what they ask for], contributory [submit a book review], participatory [join our book club]. Start every transaction as a sales pitch.
  • Shelf Talkers our best tool.  She says use Shelf Wiz which is what we use at the BPL.
  • Dress up your displays. Make them look nice.  She has a lot of pictures in the powerpoint available with the link above.
  • Book News Noticeboard: treat books as a current event. Post pages from magazines like EW with book reviews.
  • Engage your readers [participatory]. Use a digital picture frame or even just a chalkboard.
  • Paperback Exchange: giveaway paperbacks with all the libraries contact info in the book.  It will give them a way to start an interaction with you without having to talk to you.
  • Mark the series order on the books by doing the work for the patron. Not knowing where to begin is a major impediment for readers.
  • Face out book display. Do it within the stacks here and there. Patrons do judge books by cover, but also want books to grab quickly.  Face out is good here.
  • The have am ipad they can use at the desk with a paired down version of website that they can browse at your desk. Can do it alone or ask questions as they go along.
  • Liked the book try this displays.  You can images of the books for the same effect. See screen shot on power point.
  • Form based RA: Have them everywhere in paper at the library.  Williamsburg Regional for ideas on what questions to ask.  Remember to add queries about what they don’t like as much as what they do.
  • Put customized RA stickers with contact info in the books!  I LOVE THIS You suggest a readalike in the book and when they finish they know where to go next.  Have contact info so they know you did it.
  • Or bookmarks with readalikes or info that is pertinent in the books in the stacks.
  • Promote yourselves.
  • Summer reading is popular.  Use it to collect info when they sign up.
  • Annotated book inserts.  Again good picture on ppt. Give a handwritten short review and put it in the book so when they open it they get your staff’s opinion of the book.
Nancy McCully
  • Helen gave us ideas about how to introduce books when they are in the library. But how do you help them when they are looking for ebooks or browsing you collection via the online catalog at 2 in the morning.  Your website is a good place.
  • Here are our group’s favorites: look at them on ppt
  • Boulder Public Library: Look at screen shots on ppt.  There is a huge button on the front page to find a good read.
  • Skokie Public Library.  I have blogged about them before.  There are now over 1,000 reviews by staff on their Books We Love site. They have a service called “Fast Match” that suggests a book from their Book We Love reviews.  Online equivalent of discovering a book on a display table.
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library: Reader’s Club. When you get to the suggested reading lists, you can place a hold, email to a friend, etc..
  • Hennepin County Library also includes reader driven suggestion lists.
  • Rocky River Public Library-- Reading Room. A little library that does a lot.
  • Book Groups: Special Ops
  • People who read genre fiction love to talk about what they are reading. Schaumburg has genre book clubs for mystery and romance.  They only meet 4x a year.  The marketing for the crime book group used real morgue toe tags as invites/flyers to club.
  • Different libraries who do cook book based discussions.  One library does a cook book, people go home and make some of the food and come back to discuss how it tasted.
  • Why not do films.  Read book at home, come to the library to watch the film, and then discuss first.
  • Consider books with great audio books and/or ebooks.
  • David Wright’s story time for adults. Just drop in.  They are no books to purchase or borrow.  People come to hear a story.
  • Consider quarterly book discussions for groups that only read longer books.  Or a group that only meets for a few months and discusses a topic together: the example was Victorian literature.
  • Why only hold book groups in conference room?  Do them out in the open so that you can attract attention from people not in the group.  Kathy and Crystal just did this month for our teen book club; they had it out in the open in the teen room.  I observed part of it. It was engaging to others in the room who didn’t even read the book.
  • Hold book club somewhere else.
  • She mentioned a book club where they take a nature walk and discuss the books as they go.
  • If you get your book club people to register, then you can send them info overtime that they might be interested in.

Susan Gibberman:
  • The Art of War: Extend upon the physical confines of our desk. Go to where our patrons are.  PR and Outreach.
  • Parents love the library (see Pew report from yesterday) but how many of them use the library for themselves.  Put books for the parents where they are with their kids or right in the lobby.
  • Prize wheels are an attention getter and are a great way to get people to your desk.  People love to win something. And you can get rid of all old summer reading prizes.
  • Go to your town’s big festivals. Bring that prize wheel.  At Berwyn we do go to these.
  • Promote your programs and services at the catalog or by the public Internet computers.
  • Book a Librarian service. Do one on one training for ebooks or go outside to make presentations at local senior centers.
  • Put a page inside your Book Page newspapers and staple it in there. With programs and services.
  • Do book related programming. You can even have fun book talk related programs with food.  So a program where you talk about a trend like Fifty Shades and then suggest other books.  Have food.  The combo of trends and food brings people in.
  • Try. The worst that can happen is that no one comes.  Don’t let that discourage you. The worst case scenario is that the staff gets a snack.
  • Exterior Resources of note:
  • NoveList: and the RA Training Section.  Begin with the new ARRT list which just went up on their site.  Nancy, on the panel, worked on this list [as did I].
  • The Next Reads newsletters and you can use them to send to patrons.
  • Dear Reader.com which is an online book club.  Outside source but customized to your library.  It sends you a couple pages a day from a new book.
  • Bookish, which I have just begun using.
  • Early Word. Linked here on the blog.  You must use this and follow it.  They have the best daily library based information.
  • Epic Reads for teen books and their authors.  Allows authors to communicate directly with readers.  
  • It is sometimes difficult to keep up with what is new, so sign up for Net Galley.  I have an account.
  • Stop You’re Killing Me! I use it often too. 
  • Go to the ppt for the urls to all the resources.

Kate Niehoff
  • Technology
  • QR Codes. It is easy to put them on things.  They will drive traffic to your website. 
  • Reading Maps.  See the BPL’s here. Her example is one for the Night Circus on the ppt.
  • Podcasts and videocasts: Topeka Library on slide.
  • Live Chat, Instant Messaging for RA
  • Facebook: Good ideas. Facebook is about engaging with your patrons. Just post a question that is book related.  People will reply.  Then when you have something to promote, they will pay attention.  Or just post an image and see who likes it.  Some ecards are also popular to post [example on slide]. Don’t just promote your books and services, also promote your librarians. Ask people to post their favorite book and then promise a readalike suggestion within a time frame.
  • Twitter: follow area book stores, post when a new bestseller is out.  Use hashtags.  A popular one is #FridayReads.  All over Twitter people do this.  You use the tag and then millions see it.
  • Goodreads
  • Going Rogue: Other things you can do that don’t fit neatly into what they talked about already
  • Summer Reading Games: Ann Arbor PL, online game. They have things to do and get points for it.  It is a great way to show your electronic patrons what you do. DO more than read a book, get a prize.
  • eReaders to check out
  • She suggested a monthly trivia night at a bar.  We do that!
  • The IdeaBox at Oak Park PL.  Ask patrons to interact with the room and the library as a result.  Changes each month. Click here for more.
Post Program Report: Please go see the ppt. It has a lot of info and pictures that I did not get up here.
This program was useful and inspiring!  I have been doing RA for 13 years and I learned a lot here.  I liked how they did not just show what they do at their libraries; they tried to give us a broader picture of  RA all over the country.  While we do some of the things they mentioned at the BPL, Kathy and I still go plenty of new ideas.  I can't wait to try them out.

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