Monday, October 3, 2011

Displays on a Budget

Make your library shine with the use of creative arrangements and displays. Louise Goldstein from Waltham (MA) Public Library shows how to entice users to check out materials with the creative use of displays.

Louise Goldstein

Displaying is a great way to entire and engage readers - even just face-out shelf displays

You don't need to be an artist, just creative
"Mass Murder" for true crime in Massachusetts
"Anniversary of the first episode of the Flying Nun" do a display on Nuns and religious orders
Use Chase's Calendar of Events

Just get people reading - let them choose the topic (Laura Schessinger, comics, anything)

Use displays as eye candy - patrons enjoy impulse check outs, and use them to promote underused or little-known collections

Display ideas

  • Have a "staff picks" display

  • Beach reads display

  • Have attractive signs/banners for displays

  • Use lights to draw attention - July displays

  • Mix fiction and non-fiction

  • For a "going green" display use plants as props

  • February: romance and relationships

  • For props, bring in little things from home, or check out yard sales - but don't use anything you don't want to lose

  • Use a display case for fragile, rare, or valuable items - also a great way to feature patron art or collectibles

  • Take advantage of the talents of your staff - let them be creative (artists, arrangers, scrapbookers, etc.)

  • Put bookmarks in display books to promote programs, databases, or other resources

Cheryl Bryan - Merchandising your collection

Merchandising requires knowing your target audience - use are they, when do they come to the library, what do they respond to, what do they like? What draws people into the library (curb appeal) - what does it look like from the street, what do they see through the windows, do you use signs/banners? One idea is "Burmashave" signs - a series of signs along the street all conveying a small portion of a larger message.

Know how people use public spaces (study results from Paco Underhill)

  • Sit and watch how people move through public spaces - look for "desire lines" (how people want to move through the space)

  • Watch how people enter and use the library

  • They need a "transition zone" people need a few steps to orient themselves - don't put displays and signs near the door, because they will be missed

  • 80% of people turn right upon entering a new space

  • Every building has a center point - where you can stand and see where everything is - that's what patrons are looking for, so that's where to design from

  • If you have something in the library (chair, table, etc) that you constantly find moved, consider than it's in the wrong place

  • People only have two hands - they can only take what they can carry, so provide bags/baskets for browsing, or a little play area/simple toys for kids to play in while mom browses or checks out

Use the right furniture - slat walls, gondola displays (four-sided stand alone shelving -, face-out CD displays

Make sure your goals match your patrons goals - libraries are set up to find specific books, but patrons want to browse; our shelving is generally linear/spine-out, but patrons move organically; we try to give equal weight to everything, patrons are looking for a specific collection

Marketplace How-To's

  • Highlight new and popular books

  • Offer books for all ages

  • Use lighting to highlight or draw focus to a certain area

  • Redefine new as last 1-2 years - not everyone is in every six months

  • Keep shelves looking full (encourage people to check out, but be sure to refull holes)

  • Mix spine and face out

  • Use endcap displays

Redesign Children's Room as "Family Room" - have furniture for adults too, and places where adults and kids can sit together and read or play or work

Use slat walls to draw people towards the stacks - highlight older materials or small collections (like "Oprah picks") - the principle of "massing" means put up as many as you can on slat walls, so 15-20, not four. To help staff, make a list of the books that can go on a display and put it on the back of the sign so staff can easily refill holes.

Merchandising how-to's

  1. Tidy first

  2. Turn covers out

  3. Fill in the gaps

Is Dewey User-Centered?

  • You can increase non-fiction circ using "neighborhoods"

  • Pull together subjects people naturally link together

  • Example: Pull books from travel, history, and language learning to make a country section

  • Use display cubes within the non-fiction collection to signify where collections are

  • Books get special stickers and are marked in the catalog

  • Redesign space so collection all fits together

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