I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Book Genie from Downers Grove Pubic Library-- Winner of the ARRT First Annual ILA RA Award

Back in May, I asked people to nominate libraries or specific librarians who were providing particularly excellent RA Service in Illinois for the First Annual ARRT Sponsored ILA RA Service Award.  Details here.

Well, late last month, I was there to help support ARRT and our winner-- The Downers Grove Public Library and their fantastic Book Genie-- at The Library State of Mind conference

What is Book Genie and why did it win? That is the subject of today's post. With the help of the DGPL staff, I am presenting this post both to show off this award winning service AND to give you a glimpse behind the scenes of how they did it.

Before I hand it over to DGPL, I wanted to thank them for not only agreeing to share the "What" answers behind Book Genie, but also, the "How." They are showing a true commitment to improving service to all leisure readers by being willing to share how they built the site, how they update it, and how they market it.


What is Book Genie?:
  • An interactive readers’ advisory quiz for kids, teens, and adults.
  • Original RA quiz was long, not used much, and users had to wait for suggestions.
  • Modeled after online quizzes where you pick an image you like and receive immediate results.
  • Visitors also have the option to take a personalized RA quiz afterwards for additional suggestions.

The staff found that Book Genie offered mutually-beneficial fulfillment-- Patrons receive immediate book suggestions while DGPL enhanced our reading-focused strategic plan to “maintain a focus on books and reading and associated services.”

How Did You Build It?:
  • www.dglibrary.org/genie is on the website and was built using a custom Drupal 7 module.
  • Built on a Drupal taxonomy where genres/titles are organized in a hierarchical tree structure controlled by staff.
  • The templates render each taxonomy term to display the associated cover image and title. The top-level genres are displayed on the opening page, and each links to a page with its child terms (sub-genres). This pattern repeats until there are no more children, in which case the webform displays.
How Do You Promote It?:
  • Initial publicity was joint with new website launch
  • Later did month-long pushes
  • Standees, giveaway items, internal displays, and social media
  • Schools, teacher trainings, farmers market
How Is It Updated?:
  • Done quarterly
  • Librarians spend ~2 weeks selecting titles.
    • Adult/teens: done in teams
    • Kids: done annually all at once, then added to website as appropriate
  • PR & IT staff spend an additional ~2 weeks updating the website.
  • Seasonal categories: Movie Genie, Holiday Genie, Super Genie for SRC
How Do You Evaluate Its Success?:
  • Google Analytics used to review category popularity.
    • Most popular: Historical fiction, book club favorites, biographies, librarian picks, teen nonfiction, teen dystopian, kids fantasy
    • Least popular: Fashionista, Horror, Man Cave
  • Adjusted quiz structure  (number of results, number of clicks, etc.)
  • Included readalike categories (If you liked NPR’s Serial…
Here's an example of a media release they send out when the content is changed out, as it is every few months:

DGPL Announces: Book Genie Grants Your Reading Wishes, All Summer Long

Our “what you should read next” Book Genie quiz got a makeover, complete with updated book titles in tons of categories - even a Summer Reading Club League of SuperReaders section. Select genres that interest you and receive recommendations for kids, teens, and adults the whole way through!

If you want even more suggestions, let us know at askus@dglibrary.org. We love doing more in-depth readers advisory meetings, too.

Users describe Book Genie as "a fun way to discover new books to read. Clever!" So try it out at www.dglibrary.org/genie. Just like that, your reading wishes are granted!

If you would like more information about Book Genie, please contact:
Melissa DoornbosPublic Relations ManagerDowners Grover Public Librarymdoornbos [at] dglibrary [dot] org
Finally, it is not too early to start thinking about who deserves out award next year.

A pdf version of the DGPL's
ILA poster session visual

No comments: