ESP by Baker & Taylor- Future-Proofing Libraries With Data

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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.

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Case Study – Adding Life to Collections With collectionHQ and ESP

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BACKGROUND

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
selection decisions.

THE CHALLENGE

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.

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Case Study- Chattanooga Public Library: “It’s About the Community We Serve”

CLS has allowed us to take our customer service to a much higher level. Now we have the inventory people want, it looks good, and it’s on the shelves in a timely fashion. It’s amazing how the word spreads.

– Corinne Hill | Executive Director, Chattanooga Public Library

ABOUT CHATTANOOGA PUBLIC LIBRARY 
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Founded in 1905, Chattanooga Public Library delivers books, electronic resources, and activities to a growing population of 177,000 in an area undergoing an economic revitalization. With three branches and a main library downtown, the library serves a community notable for its increasing diversity of cultures, education levels, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

 

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THE CHALLENGE

Failing. Irrelevant. In 2009, when the city of Chattanooga hired an independent consultant to assess the problems of its chronically underfunded, underutilized public libraries, the feedback was brutal. The library was seen as stuck in the past, with little to offer either to longtime residents or to the many young families moving to the area. One problem was the library’s technical services, which hadn’t evolved in decades. New materials took weeks or months to be processed and appear on the shelves. As a result, the city’s readers had become accustomed to bypassing the library in favor of retailers or simply doing without.

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Sterling Municipal Library: Proven Success in Axis 360 Awareness Days

“For a successful awareness program, you’ve got to make it personal. Whether it’s in-library or online, people want more than information. They want to laugh and feel a real connection.”

– Jenna Harte-Wisiniewski | Marketing Librarian, Sterling Municipal Library

ABOUT STERLING MUNICIPAL LIBRARY

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With roots dating back to 1925, Sterling Municipal Library serves a population of 75,000 in Baytown, Texas, an industrial city anchored by oil refineries and chemical plants. The present library, dedicated in 1963, provides a wide variety of traditional books, reference materials, digital resources, and activities for a patron base that is largely blue-collar and extremely ethnically diverse.

THE CHALLENGE

Located in the Greater Houston area, Sterling Municipal Library in Baytown first began offering eBooks and other digital resources to its 50,337 card holders through a consortium with other libraries on the Gulf Coast. But with an area-wide population of 6.2 million and more than 90,000 card holders, competition was fierce. “For popular titles, the wait list on the consortiums system can be as long as 58 weeks,” says marketing librarian Jenna Harte-Wisiniewski.

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Did You Know? We Have Webinars!

At Baker & Taylor, we’re a lot more than just a book seller. We work with librarians like you across the globe to develop their book, music and video collections, fostering a community life-long learners along the way.

We love to engage with our library partners beyond just selling books. One of the ways we do that is through this blog, another is through our webinars—ranging in topics from diversity to makerspaces to exclusive conversations with musicians, authors, filmmakers and more.

While we’re always coming up with new ideas for webinars to share with you, you can always check out our archives here. ICYMI here are some highlights:

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Mavis Staples – Listen to music legend Mavis Staples as she discusses her life as a musician and civil rights activist, as well as her new album If All I Was Was Black.

Diversity and Your Library: Meeting the Needs of Our Modern Communities – This webinar offers insight into the Kirkus Diversity lists and how diverse books benefit all libraries.

Engaging Reluctant Readers in Your Library – Reaching all young readers can be challenging. Listen to this webinar to explore ways to help increase interest in all YA and middle readers in your public library through large print.

Explore all of our webinars here!

Resources Built For Librarians: Microsites

Helping libraries thrive is one of our core goals at Baker & Taylor. One way we do that is by providing librarians with countless resources so they can make the best use of their time and resources. We curate lists, create free marketing materials, publish digital catalogs, distribute newsletters and much more. Today, we’re talking about our microsites—essentially a miniature website, built by us, that is focused on a particular genre or theme.

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These sites make it easier for librarians to narrow down their searches. Looking to build out your essential backlist titles? We have a site for that. Or maybe you’re hoping to discover new authors. We’ve got you covered there too. We’re constantly updating over 20 microsites, providing librarians like you with fresh material that will simplify collection development.

As a bonus, you’re able to add titles directly to your cart and then, once you’re ready, purchase from Title Source, our trusted ordering platform.

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Title Source 360: Learn how to better manage your carts!

Title Source 360 is one of the most comprehensive and innovative ordering systems of its kind. That’s great, but with so many functions, there’s also a lot to learn. We’re here to help. Here are some new tips and tricks for managing your Title Source 360 cart:

Set the Quantity for One or More Carts

You can easily set the quantity for one or more carts on the Manage Carts page.

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First, select the checkbox next to the associated cart(s). Then select Set Quantities from the Selected Cart Actions drop-down menu and enter the number you wish to assign to all items in the associated cart(s) in the Set all Quantities to field. Note that this change will only apply to non-gridded items, and shared carts will be skipped entirely. Click Set Quantities to confirm your changes.

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