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Friday, September 25, 2015

Don't Forget to Check Non-Book Specific Local Media As You Help Leisure Readers

We all know to check the major newspaper book sections and listen to the local NPR affiliates for book news and coverage, but it is easy to forget other resources that our patrons are coming into contact with, resources that may be responsible for making a title or author super popular in your area.

For example, in this month's Chicago Magazine, they have this list of the Fall's "10 Most Anticipated Readings and Talks." Besides letting me know WHO is coming to town [Ta-Nehisi Coates, Roxanne Gay, Salman Rushdie, and more...], this list also lets me know when.

Let's put this information into action.  #8 is John Irving on 11/11. Now I may not need this article to alert me to the fact that he has a new book coming out, but it does remind me of the date and prepares me for the extra coverage he will be receiving in the Tribune around that time due to his appearance.  Extra coverage means people will be thinking about Irving and may want to read one of his novels.  About a week before the event, someone on my [hypothetical] staff should prepare a small display of Irving's books and readalike authors so that we can promote both his new novel and the appearance.

See how that works. We are ready for the incerased interest in Irving.

Chicago Magazine is filled with lots of book information that I could use.  Take this article "5 Best New Books By Local Writers." These are less well known books that will be of particular local interest. All of five of these books should be added by most Chicago area libraries because people are going to ask for them now that they have seen them in Chicago Magazine.  If I hadn't looked at the current issue, I would not have heard of many of these titles and definitely would not have ordered them for our collection before the first request came in. But now I know and can plan ahead. I look like a super-librarian who anticipated my patron's leisure reading needs.

Every community has a local magazine or newspaper like Chicago Magazine. Maybe it is your community's free weekly or it's an online journal.  The point I am trying to make here is that you may not be thinking of this resources as a place for information about books, but often these resources have information that will help you serve your leisure readers better.

So please, try looking for local book information somewhere different and see what you can find. I bet you will be surprised. I was.

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