We are excited to be expanding the reach of Pop Up Library into the United Kingdom. Customers who attended the collectionHQ Forum in London on September 25th were the first UK libraries to witness the power of Pop Up Library, with a special presentation from Kelvin Watson of Broward County Libraries Division, FL, where devices have been installed at locations across the community – including the Fort Lauderdale International Airport!
Sales of Pop Up Library in the UK will be managed by Jamie Wright, Account Manager with collectionHQ, who has already reported strong interest from libraries and local transport companies in the devices which offer instant access to the library’s collection from any location.
Scott Crawford, Vice President Digital & Software Products at Baker & Taylor, commented: “The UK is the longest serving collectionHQ market, and so partnering with the team in Glasgow to drive interest in Pop Up Library is invaluable and paves the way for further synergy between collectionHQ and the wider Baker & Taylor team.”
This team effort is also integral to the development of Enhanced Title Selection (ETS). ETS will facilitate more sales of ESP Enterprise and support the continued provision of a wide range of value-added services to Baker & Taylor customers by integrating collectionHQ, ESP, First Look and CDMS to offer the Collection Development team, led by Martin Warzala, a powerful new tool to support more efficient, evidence-based purchasing decisions.
Research shows that more young people are visiting the library. In 2016, the Pew Research Center found that 53% of Millennials (those aged 18 to 35 at the time) reported using a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. That compares with 45% of Gen Xers, 43% of Baby Boomers and 36% of those in the Silent Generation. The survey focused specifically on public libraries.
It’s exciting news for libraries. But more work remains left to be done, particularly with reaching out to potential patrons who don’t use the library. At least, not yet. How do we encourage these younger readers to return again and again?
Innovate your offerings.
In addition to discovering titles and authors, patrons can find a wealth of new offerings.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library encourages visitors to get “creatively messy” with free access to tools to design. Inside a glass room in Main Library in uptown Charlotte, you’ll hear the whirring of machines. It’s the sound of learning and comes from Idea Box, a makerspace that opened to the public in 2015.
Attracting teenagers can be an added challenge. Hull Culture and Leisure Ltd. hosted a concert in the library inviting famous local musicians to take part and encourage teens and younger adults to visit.
Go outside the library.
In addition to serving patrons who already visit the library, it is imperative that public library systems reach out to those who don’t even come through the door.
One way is to use a Pop Up Library, such as that available from Baker & Taylor, because it lets the library take programming to a captive audience. Pop Up Library is a small network device with one dedicated purpose—to instantly deliver ebooks to readers wherever libraries choose. Libraries that use Pop Up Library are able to extend the reach of their digital collection across the community so material is accessible to all. Click here to watch the promo video and learn more!
Smart library systems are harnessing social media to attract new audiences. Think Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram just to start.
Social media helps libraries to tell their system’s unique story, and explain the value they are providing in a more consistent voice. YouTube, for example is a great place to share library experiences. View The New York Public Library’s YouTube channel to see what they are doing. Online chat features can connect patrons with librarians who can not only provide information but help build a relationship.
Turn new visitors into repeat ones.
New programming and outreach may bring more visitors into the library, but equally important is getting these newcomers to register with the library and return. collectionHQ’s Experimental Placement can help. This tool helps libraries track how well special displays and collections are resonating with patrons to inform shelving and content placement to better enhance the patron’s experience.
“I’m a big fan of studying the demographics and the sociographics of the culture of a community,” explains Amandeep Kochar, Executive Vice President – Sales, Product Management, Services and Technology Ops at Baker & Taylor. “As that is changing, and changing very actively, I think the task of attracting people to the library, particularly younger people, is becoming more difficult as the fabric of society changes. Oftentimes, the library needs tools in order to promote their services and tell their stories because they are fighting for the same eyeballs as some of the big corporations out there. And the library has to be equipped with the tools to effectively compete for the time from the current generation and the upcoming generation.”
Actress, activist and author Alyssa Milano is hoping to inspire kids to find their own voice through her new middle grade series, Hope. Illustrated by The Simpsons illustrator Eric S. Keyes, the first book in the series, Project Middle School (Scholastic, October 2019), introduces readers to Hope Roberts, a spunky 11-year-old girl who seeks to create positive social change while surviving middle school at the same time. In our August issue of Growing Minds, we interviewed Milano about her new series.
How did Hope come to be? Where does she come from?
Part of the inspiration was my own kids — I see how good they are, and how curious about the world, and how they want to help people. So I wanted to write about a character who was motivated to help and do good. But I also really wanted to make sure Hope resonates with kids, that she’s someone they can relate to. Hope Roberts is bright and smart and funny and wants to change the world, but she also makes mistakes … she’s not perfect. She gets mad at her older sister and she has disagreements with her best friend, just like every sixth grader does. This idea came to me in late 2017–early 2018, partly because of the difficult times we’re living through. There’s a lot of intolerance and indifference in the world. I wanted to give kids a character they could relate to, someone who might inspire them to find their own voice and teach them how to use it.
Share some of your creative process. How did you, your co-author and the illustrator work together when creating the book?
Well, when we started out there was so much we wanted to pack into the first story. But when my co-author, Debbie Rigaud, and I began writing, we realized we had to scale back a bit and save some of our ideas for future books. We also realized humor had to be a big part of the story, and that’s one of our favorite things about the way Hope has developed. She’s very funny and she finds herself in these silly, relatable situations. Those were really fun to write about, and for Eric to illustrate. Working with Eric has been amazing. We make suggestions to him about which moments we want to highlight in each chapter, and then when he shows us his illustrations, we’re blown away by the feeling he brings out in these characters. He really captures their warmth and depth and brings it to the next level.
What would you like readers to be thinking about after they read the book?
This first book is really about Hope finding the courage to share her ideas, to find her voice and believe in herself. I hope that readers come away feeling inspired and energized about speaking up and speaking out.
Why write for the middle grade students? What attracts you to this audience?
Kids at this age level are like sponges, soaking up everything in the world around them. They are growing up and learning about the world around them — and discovering that they can have a voice in their communities. And that’s what I want Hope to do — to send them a message that they can make a difference the way that she does.
What would you like readers to be thinking about after they finish the book?
Well, kids are the future! They’re born into a world where they’re often taught their voices don’t count for anything, that the damage has already been done by the grown-ups. Pete’s whole mission was to teach everyone, young and old, that they have a voice, that they have power and authority and can harness that for the good of humanity. The earlier kids are introduced to this, the better! My greatest dream would be that this book is a kid’s first introduction to the power of organization and fighting for beliefs; that this book would somehow be a building block in creating a kid who would follow in Pete Seeger’s very esteemed footsteps.
Interviewed by Kerry Singe
Interview originally appeared in Growing Mind’s August issue.
Baker & Taylor and Kirkus Reviews proudly continues to support diversity and inclusion in libraries. Our partnership with Kirkus has made a great impact as we further promote our leadership campaign, Powering Libraries. Empowering Communities. Kirkus recently interviewed Kelvin Watson, director at Broward County Library, (Broward County, Florida) who is making great strides in launching creative initiatives to better connect with his patrons and the community.
With the help of Baker & Taylor’s Community Sharing Program and new Pop Up Library, Broward County is bringing awareness of the library and extending their reach in the community. Their strong partnership with B&T has given the library the opportunity to better engage and evolve while adapting to the changing needs of the communities they serve.
After Kelvin Watson’s family finished watching the 1984 miniseries Master of the Game, the St. Louis, Missouri, native marched right to the nearest library, checked out the Sydney Sheldon novel it was based on, and read that 400-page book cover to cover. He was 8 years old.
“I felt very accomplished. That thing was bigger than me!” says Watson, who vividly remembers the experience 42 years later. “Reading that book made me recognize that what you check out from the library can transport you to the places you read about—I was transported to the diamond mines of Africa—and it didn’t deter me from checking out other books after that.”
Watson remained a voracious reader through middle school, college, and officer training. He served as a commissioned officer in the Army and worked in leadership roles in sales and marketing, for Ingram Book Group and Borders Group, Inc., before pivoting to a decorated career in public library service. Eighteen months ago, he transitioned from director of e-content services and strategy at Queens Library in New York City to the highest administrative position at the 11th-largest public library in the nation: director of Broward County Libraries in southern Florida.
“The theme we’ve embraced over the past year and a half is ‘inviting the uninvited,’ ” says Watson, who is one of two recently named directors at large of the Public Library Association. “The greatest value we can give the community is continuing to launch initiatives for everybody, even those who can’t, for whatever reason, make it to our physical locations.
No rest for the bookish during trade show season. ALA Annual is on the horizon and being hosted this year in our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. starting June 21, – June 24. Visit our ALA Campaign Headquarters at Booth #2333 to explore and experience all of our Baker & Taylor campaign fun. We are proud to be Believers in Books and Leaders in Literacy as we have remained dedicated to supporting librarians to lead the future of literacy and learning since 1828.
We have a jam-packed exciting schedule lined up with several author signings and booth activities including a coffee bar, popcorn station, photo booth and cat mascot photos with our beloved Baker and Taylor. And if that isn’t enough to get you in the spirit, you must stop by and pick up your special edition commemorative giveaways to celebrate this occasion. For further details and our complete ALA schedule, we are happy to have a dedicated website to keep you up to date with all our happenings during the show. We can’t wait too see you there!
Consumers these days can do almost anything with a click of a mouse or a tap on a screen. Goods can be bought and delivered within hours. New products can be easily browsed. And online advertising seems to magically target its ideal audience, connecting customers with items matching their needs and wants.
This easy and instant access to goods and information is changing consumer expectations and could threaten our more established institutions, notably libraries. With budget constraints and limited resources, libraries can’t be expected to invest millions in research and development, experiment with unproven gadgets, or compete with the tech giants driving these changes. While technology presents a threat, however, it also offers solutions for ensuring libraries remain relevant and essential parts of our communities. One tool that can help ensure a library’s longevity is what’s known as big data.
Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) offers a decision support system to
help libraries select current and pre-published titles in the right quantities to
the right locations.
Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, GA is a 34 branch system serving
a population of more than 1,000,000. Shortly after he was appointed as
Executive Director at the library, Dr Gabriel Morley made the decision to
introduce Evidence-based Selection Planning (ESP) to support more informed
Introduction of the collectionHQ Dashboard in 2014 offered new insight into the library’s
collection that shocked Gabriel and the team. Gabriel explained: “We had been looking at our circulation statistics over a long period of time in order to better understand the needs of our patrons. What we found was disturbing. Almost 53% of our collection was Dead on Arrival, which meant it rarely circulated.” Dead on Arrival (DOA) is a metric that reveals new items added to a library’s collection within the last 6-18 months that have either never circulated or had been checked out only once. This revelation therefore prompted the team to take action.