It is essential that librarians consistently promote the usage of library resources and services. In many cases, patrons are unsure of the services offered by the library and consistent promotion of various collections and services helps connect the patron to these essential tools and resources. Activities such as library week events allows the library staff to have an “open house” styled event so that patrons are invited to learn more about library resources as well as become more familiar with the library staff.
Our Library Week Marquee helped set the stage for our Book to Movie Theme.
View coming into the library.
Each day had it’s own mini book/movie theme that had corresponding events.
To celebrate our new fiction collection, this book display highlighted books from the week’s theme.
Our Reaping box allowed patrons to suggests books to add to the library.
The Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) display.
Barnes and Noble Display
The local Barnes and Noble participated in our Library Week by provided free gifts for patrons.
Each school of study competed against each other and the administrative staff to win points.
Library Week 2014: Don’t Judge a Book by its Movie!
During the course of the developing the fiction collection, it became apparent that the chosen list of books had taken on a surprising theme: book to movie adaptations. Precisely every purchased book for the collection currently had, or was going to have, a movie adaptation of the original work. The decision was then made to incorporate this theme into the promotion of the collection. Since we were unable to participate in the National Library Week events, the idea came about incorporating our new collection promotion through a local Library Week set of activities that would bring light to our new collection and promote other services that the library offers. The media packet provides a breakdown of daily activities as well as promotional flyers that were used to promote the Library Week festivities.
As the event’s creative and management lead, I was responsible for creating all marketing and displays including outlining event activities, preparing an itemized list of materials, and securing all food for the week’s activities. My goal was to reach out to my patrons in a way that would help them become more comfortable with myself and the librarian, but also promote the new fiction collection and additional library resources. Our overall theme and daily themes helped engage our patron body in doing just that and brought in direct connection to the library. Each individual day theme was selected either because it represented a current pop culture trend or was easily identifiable by our patrons. These daily themes were also directly connected to the new fiction collection as the books for those themes were a part of the collection. The slideshow below highlights some of those personal contributions I made to promote the week along with how we incorporated information literacy information and promoted the fiction collection.
In order to properly plan for the Library Week event, use the information I gained from the readings in my INSC 510 – Information Environment and INSC 530 – Information Access and Retrieval classes where we looked the information of information dissemination and how to effectively engage your patron audience, respectively. It is our job as information professionals to help connect our patrons with the information they seek and in some cases, they are completely unaware that access to the information is available. As was the case my our patron body, they were completely, and pleasantly surprised, to discover our new fiction collection during the Library Week activities and promotion. One set of principles that guided my fiction collection development then became the basis for framing our Library Week event was S. R. Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Librarianship (Bawden & Robinson, 2012) which stated:
- Books are for use
- Every reader his book
- Every book its reader
- Save the time of the reader
- The library is a growing organism.
As an information professional, it was my responsibility to connect my patrons with material that will grow and shape them. Although, the other resource collections are tools, students had forgotten the purpose of the library and were treating our facility more as an Internet cafe rather than as an information hub. Given the success of the Library Week event, our circulation increased by 62% within the next month following the event and large portion of this increase was not only in the circulation of our new fictions books. Our patrons were so pleased with our new collection that they ventured out to our collections to such as subject-based material like allied health or cosmetology resources because we instilled in connected interest in them to open their minds.
Application to my future career
Advocacy is at the heart of the information professional’s job description. In order to provide services, patrons, users, institutions, and stakeholders, must see the value and importance of having a library or knowledge management department in their organization. Constant promotion of services helps illustrate how important we are to the continued growth and development of our company and our patrons. Unfortunately, our area of expertise is not always understood by individuals in other disciplines. It is important that we effectively communicate our purpose.
My experience with creating and leading this event as provided the necessary experience I need to continually engage my patrons and promote the services of the library. I can now illustrate my ability to promote to a target audience through promotion of library events and activities. Such abilities are a highly prized commodity when hiring an information professional. I feel confident that this and other library events that I spearhead will help me grow as an information professional and continue to reach out to my patron body.
Sometimes the best promotion of library resources is to remind ourselves and others that the library is more than a container of information, but a doorway to other worlds beyond the confines of the building. Promoting reading for the sake of reading allows the librarians to build relationships with their patrons which in turn, allows them to see the benefits of the library and library services. I could not be more pleased with the outcome of our Library Week event. Our library has now become the campus “hot spot” as a result and now, more than ever, patrons finally feel like their library understand who they are and aims to help them.
Bawden, D., & Robinson, L. 2012. Introduction to information science. Chicago, IL: Neal-Schuman