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Share the love February 9, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, recommended by, winter.
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Tell Us What You Love

This Valentine’s Day themed display encourages library patrons to celebrate their favorite books or share what inspires them.

Heart-shaped pieces of paper are provided, and books with pretty covers and positive themes are displayed.

From the Carl A. Pescosolido Library in Massachusetts.


Success stories from Hereford January 7, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, BCPL best practices, cube fixtures, display topics, fiction, nonfiction, recommended by.
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From Jo Blankenburg‘s monthly report:

“Our primary set of display cubes near the entrance is a huge success covered with “Best Books of 2007,” titles culled from lists appearing in the NYT, Baltimore Sun, Amazon, Time, and Newsweek. A few customers each day leave with their arms full and keep librarians busy placing holds to keep it stocked. [NB: Booklist has come out with their “Best of 2007” lists as well…]

Eyewitness books flew off our secondary cubes, and a dump devoted to titles ordered in for our “Crime Time” branch generated booklist empties regularly.

All 200 copies of our first “Staff Recommends” booklist are now gone and are responsible for 200 items added to our YTD circulation. Each bookmark left tucked into a copy of one of those titles ordered in and on display on the top shelf of that popular area.

Easy book bundles stalled during December, but the addition of small Beginning Reader bundles are satisfying happy parents. Could Hereford someday of leftover SRC prizes?”

Rev up your Reader Advisory August 5, 2007

Posted by sneaks in BCPL best practices, display topics, great ideas, recommended by.
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How do you decide what to read? We may follow certain authors, take clues from book covers, or even read reviews… but personal recommendation is still one of the strongest factors in selecting a book. Outside the library, people get recommendations from friends and colleagues, and from Amazon’s extensive web of cross-references, like the “Other people who bought this book also bought…” feature. Inside the library, we get to recommend books face-to-face.

If you maintain a Staff Recommends display, with the staff member’s name attached to each book, you are in effect creating brands specific to your library. Ruth Brown in Pikesville is a brand – there are people who will read books she recommends, no questions asked. This is priceless added value, something that most bookstores cannot match, and it’s in our best interest to promote this service with staff and the public alike.

Here’s how they do it in Hereford, according to Jo Blankenburg:

Melissa Gotsch started this up here. It’s very simple: everyone on the staff–volunteers, teen CAs, part-time, full-time– EAGERLY writes their name on the Staff Recommends bookmarks and sticks them in a handful of their choices. We have devoted a full section of shelving at the end of our New Fiction area to these staff selections (in ALL formats). It has become so popular with customers and staff alike (and so congested with recommendations) that in July we also devoted our portable round unit on wheels to an auxilliary display at the entrance of the branch. I’ve been astounded at the turnover of these materials!

When the “Picks” are checked out, the bookmarks are (aggressively) collected and tallied at the end of each month on a spreadsheet at one of the computers at our combined desk. The full list of staff members and their monthly totals are posted in the office. Just last month, I started rewarding the top three “producers” with cheezy cheap prizes.

Many branches do a variation of this, but I’ve never been in a place where the staff enthusiasm was so great that it is an constant feature in the branch, and the materials on view was so varied. Many staff members have developed their own groupies; “Sam” is always #1– one of our customers was shocked to hear that Sam was the woman who had just helped her at the Information Desk….

What do you do to show off this service?

Year-end good-book rodeo December 28, 2006

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J is for Juvenile, recommended by, winter.
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Here’s an idea for a quick and dirty display:

Ask staff to make a pass through the New Fiction and New Nonfiction, pulling the 2006 books that they enjoyed the most. Display them with a sign reading: “BCPL Staff Best Books of 2006,” and voilá! your branch is right up there with the New York Times, Slate, NPR, and Library Journal!

(This works in the childrens’ area too – see the lists from School Library Journal and ALA for inspiration.)

Kid-tested September 12, 2006

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, recommended by.
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Originally uploaded by hypatia atoz.
Encourage kids to ‘vote’ for their favorite books
Use the completed ballots as bookmarks and put those books on display
The kid-to-kid recommendation sends the books flying off the shelf!

Thanks to Catonsville for the great idea!