Monday, December 21, 2009

Summer Reading Promotion Sparks Interest of Local Businesses

Each December the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association hosts an awards presentation at their annual banquet recognizing both libraries and individuals. Libraries receive awards for programming, promotions, service, staff development and new or improved facilities. I attended this year's banquet and was so impressed with the many creative ideas. Thought I'd highlight one which can easily be replicated and is such a great way to involve the business community in your library.

The staff at Mauney Memorial Library was looking for ways to involve downtown businesses and demonstrate the amount of foot traffic library activities can generate. Their concept is simple, easy to replicate and inexpensive. For their summer reading program downtown partners were selected and agreed to host the mascot for one week during the six weeks of the summer reading program. The library mascot, Bobbie the Butterfly, was positioned at a different business each week. Each week a new riddle was posted in the library. The riddle is solved by identifying the business that Bobbie was visiting. When children, moms and dads visit the business they are awarded a reading buck. The reading buck can be spent at the Summer Reading Store at the library.

The program increased door traffic for each business partner and was an easy way for the library to demonstrate their community involvement. This can be easily replicated in libraries and communities of all sizes.

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Holidays at Your Library

A busy time for all, but it might be a good time to try a few creative things in your library to entice new customers. I've seen some interesting promotional ideas recently that tie to the holidays. Here are just a few ideas - if you have others, please share.

  • Special book displays about holidays in other countries.
  • Favorite recipes from the staff - tied to a display of cookbooks.
  • Special hours for students studying for exams, offering refreshments.
  • Holiday gift ideas - books that make great presents
  • Teens having a virtual holiday celebration - sharing ideas of what to do over the holiday, tie in to the library's facebook page
  • Highlight travel books for those travelling over the holidays
  • Information on databases that provide consumer reviews for gift buying
  • Suggested books for parents to share with their children
  • Highlight the PBS series on NC LIVE - great for watching over the holidays.