Archives For Resources

img_0366When it comes to book displays at the library, I find there to be two different philosophies or approaches. Most people lean towards one or the other, but not both. First, we have the “Save-a-Book” displays, where we highlight older, less popular books, usually from the regular stacks, usually based on a subject (Puppies, True Crime), a season (Beach Reads), or a heritage month (Black History). I would say the most extreme (and irrational) examples of these”Save-a-Book” displays are books that are about to get weeded (“Last Chance!”), or books that have blue or pink covers (please don’t do that…it really makes no sense).

Second, and less prevalent in libraries, are what I call popular displays (for lack of a better term). These are displays that highlight what people already want or probably want. I’m not talking about bestsellers or books that you automatically get 50 copies of, but popular midlist titles nonetheless. From a process standpoint, popular displays have a completely different workflow. Rather than gathered up after the fact on the back end, these are new books that get ordered to go on the display. They get selected, processed, and cataloged as display items. They can last for a few months to several years, and they require weekly upkeep to weed and keep tidy. They are like a fire, constantly being stocked and fed. They are new, clean, popular, and waiting for the patron when they walk in. And they do incredibly well.

You can probably already tell which one I prefer. I find that subject based displays are hit
or miss at best. They tend to be a lot of work for a little payoff in circulation. While I think most displays should be popular, I also think some displays have an important place in libraries. For example, we do displays for all the heritage months – Black History Month, American Indian Month. That’s important. Or displays that support social justice initiatives (e.g., “Libraries Stand Tall,” a display supporting immigrants). Whether popular or not, those have social value and should be highlighted. Although, as a side note, we should make an effort to represent all people in our popular dimg_0367isplays as well, not just relegated to special months. Let’s integrate displays the best we can. For example, I’m considering a popular “Heard on NPR” book display. Not only will it be popular, it will be relatively diverse as well.

Last thought: in my experience, Staff Picks displays are a slam dunk. Not only are they the best form of readers’ advisory, not only are they fun for staff, not only do patrons appreciate our selections, but they circulate well.

Need some tunes to get you ready for Atlanta? I present to you a playlist of artists based in either Atlanta or Georgia that you can listen to while you pack, sit in the airport, or walk to your next meeting. If I missed anything, please post in the comments.

Best LL&F Advice of 2016

Kevin King —  December 8, 2016 — 1 Comment

dumpsterfire-2016-t-shirt-black-midnight-swatch-400x400This past year has sucked. The world is less melodic (Bowie, Prince, Cohen, etc.) and safe now more than ever. There is no better time to step up and be a leader. Below is a list of some of the best LL&F posts of 2016. If you are new to our blog, consider this a sampler of the great advice from library leaders all over the world. My hope is you find some wisdom and direction too help kick ass in 2017.

9 Ways to Become an Even Awesome Library Leader in 2016

You’re a Librarian 24 Hours a Day: Interview with Heather Lowe of Dallas Public Library

Don’t Overthink It: How Librarians Can Conquer Perfectionism with Mindfulness

4 Ways to See Your Library from a Patron’s Perspective

Advice on Being a Good Library Boss

Why We Talk Crap About Patrons

Fix Your Library’s Internal Communication in 20 Minutes with Standup Meetings

Lead From Where You Are

Introverts and Extroverts: Interpersonal Dynamics in a Library Workplace

Write Your Own Story

Do you you advice or a story to share about your leadership journey? Maybe 2017 is the year you contiribute to LL&F! Please email librarylostfound@gmail.com if you want to write for the blog.

All throughout my career I have tried to periodically get up from my desk and take a walk. One of the main reasons is being able to see the library as a patron (see the fabulous post 4 Ways to See Your Library from a Patron’s Perspective), but another is to simply step away from the routine tasks that keep you chained to your desk to gain new insight. Recently I discovered a great article from Rodale’s Organic Life in which the writer Kayla Lewkowicz took walking breaks every day at work for a month. What she discovered was that taking a short walk away from your desk every day made a huge difference in her approach to work.

I Took Walking Breaks At Work Every Day For A Month, And Here’s What Happened

If you are searching for ways to be more productive, healthier and happier I suggest scheduling time to step away and take a walk!

Reading Reignites!

Kevin King —  August 8, 2016 — 1 Comment

Last week I facilitated a book discussion for people who work in libraries on the book, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr. It was a very lively discussion centered on Carr’s idea that prolonged use of the Internet is causing our brains to change. Carr suggests that the result of this change is that it has become more difficult for humans to engage in deep, contemplative reading. The Internet has become a “distraction machine” and society may suffer over time. His suggestion is to take time out every day to practice reading the printed word.

 

In an article on Inc.com writer Nicolas Cole listed his favorite novels that spark creativity. Cole writes, “Reading a masterful novel and immersing yourself in the story is a workout for your brain. You’ll be amazed how much richer your creativity will be after finishing a classic piece of literature.” The idea that by simply reading you can feed your creative juices seems to support Carr’s theory that the printed word exercises the parts of the brain that encourage deep thinking.

Do you have a list of books you turn to when you are stuck in a creative rut? Please share with the other LL&F readers.