Category Archives: Marketing and Promotion

BPL’s Summer Reads

8157614739_d096cd9bd7_b

Every year, since 2007, Burnaby Public Library compiles a list of 100 titles to suggest to patrons during the summer. We call it Summer Reads. The person behind one of our most popular RA initiatives is Diane Sura, our Readers’ Advisory extraordinaire from the Bob Prittie Metrotown branch.

During the year, Diane jots down notes about the books she reads to make her task easier when Spring comes and it’s time to start working on the summer recommendations. Besides her own titles, she also asks staff for suggestions and searches the mainstream media book lists. She usually selects books that were published in the past couple of years.

There are five categories in the list: Canadian, Fun, Thought-Provoking, Get Away (travel, sci-fi, historical) and Just Good. “What fits into each category is pretty fluid, it’s more a way to manage the displays and lists,” says Diane.

The books must be available in trade paperback and they have to be titles we have in our catalogued collection (a great part of our paperbacks are uncatalogued). We buy extra copies for the program, put a Summer Reads sticker on the cover, and display them during the summer. Diane says we try to get a broad mix of genres, with 10-20% non-fiction. “While we do not pick ‘beach books’, we do try to pick books that are very ‘readable’ and gripping,” she adds.

We promote the list on our website under Staff Picks as an interactive PDF document. Some of our patrons like it so much they start asking about the Summer Reads before we start promoting it at the beginning of July. Diane reports “many people use the list as recommended reading for the entire year.”

Here are five books from this year’s list:

all-puny-sorrows

All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews
Yoli is desperate to prevent the suicide of her sister Elf, a celebrated and happily married pianist. Blending sadness and humour, this is a heartfelt account of Toews’ own tragedies.

ancillary-justice

Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie
Debut novel that has won every major sci-fi award. All that is left of the colossal starship Justice of Toren is Bereq and she is out for revenge.

delicious

Delicious!, by Ruth Reichl
When the iconic New York food magazine Delicious is shut down, newly hired Billie Breslin stays behind to man the complaints and recipe hotline, rather than return home.

brilliant-blunders

Brilliant Blunders, by Mario Livio
Drawing on the lives of five great scientists who have changed our understanding of life and the universe, Livio shows how the scientific method advances through error.

why-i-read

Why I read, by Wendy Lesser
Magazine editor Lesser draws on a lifetime of pleasure reading to describe her passion for literature. “Iconoclastic, conversational and full of insight.”

Share in the comments the RA programs/initiatives that you have in your library during the summer.

Image: Michael Coghlan

Ana Calabresi is an Auxiliary Librarian at Burnaby Public Library, she is crazy about reading lists.

Advertisements

Readers’ Advisory for E-books (display ideas)

someecards-ebooksfrom Pinterest

It’s a fact: E-books are becoming more and more popular these days. Many of us dread the idea that one day our traditional physical books might become extinct (I particularly think this will not happen any time soon, not in our lifetime anyway, and most likely not in the couple next generations, hopefully). However, it is clear that e-readers are increasingly making their way into the hands of readers. I am a huge enthusiast of digital reading, I love how practical it is, especially when you want to read big, heavy books. Turning a page is as easy as a quick tap on the screen.

What does this mean for us librarians?

I’ve seen people talking about “readers’ advisory for e-books”. While researching for this article, I came across this post in Library Journal. The author and commenters raise good questions that we need to address when we think about e-books in libraries. I actually agree with the commenter who said RA is not about the medium, but rather the content itself. That means, it doesn’t really matter if the books is in print, audio or digital format, what we recommend to readers is the content, the work. It’s really up to the readers to decide what format is more appropriate for them.

Books are the brand of libraries. All formats of books. All. Formats. With the need of an intermediary technology on which to read the story, e-books present a fascinating area of advisory for librarians. We need to be able to be advisors of technology in addition to content.

Katie Dunneback, in E-Books and Readers’ Advisory (Reference & User Services Quarterly, 50-4, pp 325-329).

I’ve had many patrons come to me at the information desk asking about Library To Go (Overdrive) and our e-books in general. They usually ask me to help them set up the app on their devices and demonstrate how the digital borrowing works. Most of them are older patrons who have been recently introduced to e-readers and tablets. Come to think of it, it makes total sense that we get approached mostly by patrons who are not tech-savvy, as younger people are more used to technology and can figure out their devices on their own. These interactions have never been about book recommendations though, they are focused on “technology advisory” if we can give it such a name. When it comes to e-books, we’re using our instruction hats rather than recommending books.

So, I believe the main issue here is promoting our digital collection to patrons. How can we do it more effectively? I think many people don’t yet realize we have these resources available. Many libraries already promote events where they demonstrate how Overdrive works. That’s great! But I think there’s more we could do to make our digital collections more visible to patrons who are not yet used to technology.

Below are some ideas for e-book displays I found on Pinterest.

Printing book covers and adding QR codes for direct links in the catalogue. How simple and cleaver!

WHS-ebook-displayWHS Library

Helena College Library

centralia-ebook-display

Centralia Public Library

Another great idea I found in the Overdrive marketing resources is adding stickers in physical books indicating those are also available in digital format. Or creating shelf talkers, slips of paper with the information for the e-book.

rsz_medallion600 rsz_shelfcard600Sacramento Public Library

rsz_2e77bacf793561c7d991e4c237d43286Marketing resources from Overdrive

Claire Moore, from Darien Library in Connecticut, has more ideas for promoting digital collections to patrons, especially young ones.

What’s your opinion? What do you think readers’ advisory for e-books means? And how can we do it?

Ana Calabresi is an Auxiliary Librarian at Burnaby Public Library and loves her Kindle!

Surrey Libraries’ Book Advisors

We recently launched a Readers’ Advisory service at Surrey Libraries very loosely based on Multnomah County Library’s My Librarian. On our Recommended Reads page, patrons can now learn about the Surrey Libraries Book Advisors and their reading interests and send us an email for book recommendations. For example, see Book Advisor Naomi’s bio below

BookAdvisorNaomi

Book Advisor Naomi:

Pop culture, historical true crime, politics, fiction with vivid characters, graphic novels, thrillers, horror, science fiction, fantasy, teen fiction, classics, ESL Readers

I have a confession to make… I am a pop culture devotee. I love nothing better than to brew a cup of tea, cuddle down on a couch, and binge-watch a season of Empire with gossip blog breaks. My reading interests follow suit – give me the page-turners with the larger-than-life characters. Wherever the top is, this book better be over it. I want vivid characters to love or love to hate and plotlines steeped in melodrama. I also enjoy listening to podcasts covering pop culture, current events or comedy. I’d be happy to recommend a couple!

We are excited to interact with our readers in another capacity and to see where this program takes us! Unlike Multnomah, this project is not specially funded, so we will be hosting it on a smaller scale and adapting the program and evaluating it as we go along. Any questions? Please email bookadvisor@surrey.ca

Read Local BC

ReadLocalBCSponsored by The Association of Book Publishers of BC (ABPBC), Read Local BC is a campaign to encourage the public to support the local book industry by visiting libraries, and reading and purchasing BC books.

From April 8-22, Read Local BC will feature a media relations campaign, promotional materials (postcards, bookmarks, posters, bag stuffers and advertisements), and more than 20 author events throughout the province.

The ABPBC is inviting libraries and librarians to join in the fun. You can participate in Read Local BC in a number of ways:

  • Post a Read Local BC poster in your library;
  • Share Read Local BC buttons, bookmarks or postcards;
  • Host events with Read Local BC authors;
  • Create a display with Read Local BC materials and books;
  • Promote Read Local BC on your social media feeds.

The ABPBC is preparing a list of BC books that we will share with you in the weeks to come.

If your library would like to host an event for Read Local BC, or if you want more information about the campaign, email Natalie Hawryshkewich: natalie@books.bc.ca. Natalie will send you promotional material make sure that information about your events is passed on to the ABPBC’s communications company, ZG Communications, who will be coordinating media.

Check out the Campaign’s Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/ReadLocalBC

-Heidi Schiller, North Vancouver City Library

Celebrating Black History Month at the Library: Websites to Inspire

ZoraBlack History Month, also known as African-American History Month in America, is an annual observance in February in Canada and the US for remembrance of important people and events in the history of the African diaspora.

If you are looking for books and/or promotion ideas, check out these links for inspiration:

The CBC’s 10 Books to read for Black History Month.

The Guardian’s Black History Month reading list.

Flavorwire’s 10 recent nonfiction books to read for Black History Month.

NPR’s reading list of black letter collections.

The Village Voice offers 10 Lesser-Known Books About Race.

HuffPo’s 14 Books to Read This Black History Month.

So tell us, how are you celebrating Black History Month at your library?

-Heidi Schiller, North Vancouver City Library.

Image of Author Zora Neale Hurston via.

Library Reads: Sharing the book love far & wide

If you have not investigated this superb book promotion machine from south of the border, I recommend spending a bit of time with the grassroots and volunteer-run Library-Reads-Logo-Color LibraryReads.

What is it?

LibraryReads is a monthly list of the top ten books that librarians (across the U.S.) love all wrapped up in downloadable marketing materials.

The goals of LibraryReads are simple. First, connecting librarians’ favourite books to as many readers as possible; and second, showcasing the influence of public librarians in building buzz for new books and creating audiences for authors of every stripe.

How is the list determined, and what is the nomination process?

The ten books that are nominated the most become the monthly list. The book with the most nominations is #1. Any U.S. public library employee who loves to read and is passionate about discovering and sharing wonderful books can participate by nominating their favourite forthcoming title.

Can we Canadians contribute?

No, LibraryReads selects U.S. editions of titles and their partnerships are with U.S. divisions of companies.

There’s More!

LibraryReads is easy to share. Beyond their print bookmarks and flyers, they have beautifully organized Pinterest boards and they are on Tumblr.

The Best Hashtag in Libraryland

The best books list generated by librarians on Twitter is an annual highlight for bookish librarians like me. And yes, #libfaves14 is my favorite hashtag in the library corner of the Twitterverse. I love collaborating with our colleagues across North America on this project. Publishers, authors and other book-lovers also add their two cents.

Here’s how it plays out. Librarians tweeted the top 10 books they read in 2014 starting on December 1st with number ten and ending on December 10th with their number one favourite book. Each tweet included the hashtag #libfaves14.

2014 was the fourth year of this crowd-sourcing, professional Readers Advisory sharing exercise.  It was created by Stephanie Chase, Robin Beerbower and Linda Johns in 2011.  This year Janet Lockhart, Vicki Nesting, Melissa Samora and Gregg Winsor provided vote-counting labour.

The Early Word reported on #libfaves14 and collected the tweets together in Storify transcripts:  Days 1 through 7, Day 8, Day 9 and Day 10.  Many of the tweets are excellent examples of how to recommend books in 140 characters.

Following along is a good way to learn about titles to recommend. Be forewarned that your “to be read” list may lengthen. I was persuaded to read Jacqueline Woodson’s brown girl dreaming from this #libfaves14 recommendation:

BrownGirlDreamingTweet

The resulting list is collected in a spreadsheet linked on The Early Word here. The list is a great collection development tool – librarians read and love a wide range of books.

Here is my #libfaves14 Best Books of 2014 list.

Mark your 2015 calendar to tweet your #libfaves15 starting on December 1st. I’d love to see your picks!