Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Media Scanning

This month's American Libraries has some good articles:

A report on an ALA-funded survey on library service came up with heartwarming numbers such as:
* 85% people surveyed agreed that public libraries need more funding
* 92% believe libraries will be needed in the future

It's the issue with award-winning new and renovated libraries. I hear that our new branch (due to open in October?) has some vibrant colors, as do many of this year'?s winners . . . will we see ourselves on the list next year??

There's a great sidebar on merchandising, which we do well at my branch. One technique that we haven't tried, but could, is to have a display table front and center, a few feet from the door. I don't like the crowded feeling of Barnes & Nobel where you do walk right into such tables, but they do seem to make money. Another perennial hint is to stop labeling the ends of shelves "000 - 152" and put instead "Computers" and "Philosophy." Our ranges are pretty long, so lots of topics fit on one row of bookshelves. Our labels have the numbers, then the words. Probably, the words could be in boldface to make them stand out better. As ever, the world is made of sign readers and non-sign readers, though, and one must remember that. At the B&N a couple of weeks ago, I studied the way Literature was signed: the sign perched on top of each range said "Literature / Fiction" and each shelf had a discrete sticker that said something like "alphabetical by author." Just as I was noting this and thinking, Great job, I overheard two fashionable young women one row over. One said to the other, "I don't get what order these are in? By, like, author?" She had a point: Blockbuster arranges by title (that's how we arrange our children's videos and DVD's at my branch).

And finally, I enjoyed an article that moves us from that oh-so-last-century question of "?What if your library looked like a bookstore?"? (Steve Coffman, American Libraries, March 1998) to "What can your library learn from a health club?"? After all, people pay their gym 50 bucks or so because they do want someplace to go, someplace with some equipment that's better than theirs, and someplace with friendly people who will help. So I guess we can reinvent ourselves as Personal Information Trainers. . . . Or, we could install a locker room and solve the problem of patrons who don'?t have much access to showers. . . .

Muzake Muzac at Ukrop's: "Dancing with Myself"; "Don't Be Cruel"
Capital City weather: flippin freezing and rainy yesterday (I packed away my winter clothing on Saturday); sunny this morning and a promise of 60s
On the Boulevard: no more 1970s art museum addition


cnb said...

Look at you ref'ing Steve Coffman like a post CUA - comps pro!!

I told you my story of meeting the woman who knew the author of my one XML article. Don't remember the info, but I still remember his name!

I may have to start files of 551, 553, 555, and 557.

Georgi said...

Hey! I crash landed back in the River City a couple of weeks ago. We missed you at the get-together, but I hope we can have dinner together sometime soon! Hope all is well.