He would go on to talk about out-of-print books. The library has them. The bookstores do not. It’s one of the reasons he also carries some used books, to get those out-of-print titles for his customers. We would often call each other when I was at the library near him to see if one of us had a book the other did not.
The backlist is our biggest asset. And, what do you do with your best asset? You play it up. For example, why do you think Michelle Obama always wears sleeveless dresses?
This time of year is a great time to do that. BookFinder.com has just released their annual report of the most in demand out-of-print titles. Below I have the beginning of their most recent report and the link to the full list.
But here’s the thing. The 3 most in demand titles-- Arranged Marriage by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, by You Shall Know Our Velocity Dave Eggers are all available at jus about every public library in America right now, or if not on the shelf in that location, very easily available through ILL. As proof, I have linked to my consortia’s catalog records for each title. And I know all of them will send out nationally. Right now, I can get all 3 in multiple formats right away.
The report also talks about WHY people want to read these books. This analysis can also serve as a trends report for us. Below you will see they talk about the popularity of immigration and women’s rights stories. You can use the trends they have mentioned from their aggregation of the data to come up with further readalike lists or display ideas.
My point is, these are books people want to read- either the specific book or a trending topic- and they can easily get them at the library if only people knew.
SO TELL THEM!!!
Take this year’s list and past year’s lists to make a fun display of hard to find books that are very easy to find at the library. Here is the handy index of every list from this year’s report going back to 2003 from the good people at BookFinder.com.
Between all of those lists you have plenty for a display, an outside the box idea, and one that really showcases the library’s greatest asset--- the backlist. This is a display patrons will notice because they do not think about all the great backlist titles they could be reading. Everyone is too distracted by the shiny, new, sparkly titles, and yet, there are many more good options languishing on the shelf waiting for that perfect reader to find them.
Have fun and if you do one of these displays, share it with me. Here’s the different ways you can contact me.
Here’s this year’s report.