Case Study- Pop Up Libraries: Taking the Library to the People!

 

Pop_UpA library’s mission stretches far beyond its physical building and the thousands of resources they contain. With bookmobiles, remotely accessible digital collections, online educational courses, patron outreach services, and more, libraries are engaging with community members beyond the brick-and-mortar walls of their institutions. Early in 2019, eight intrepid public library systems joined with Baker & Taylor to use an innovative technology for community outreach and new patron activation called Pop Up Library. These libraries–Palo Alto Public and San Francisco Public, CA; Broward County and Orange County, FL; Fulton County, GA; Evanston Public Library, IL; Morris County Library, NJ and Oxford County Library, ON–worked with local business and government agency partners to activate Pop Up Library network devices. The Pop Up Libraries give instant access to library books where people are waiting for services or enjoying part of their day.  By providing free eBooks at partner locations, Pop Up Library engages people to sign up for services that they might not have been aware their library provides.  Pop Up Library is a simple and effective program for boosting awareness, driving usage and engaging undeserved segments of a library’s community.

THE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CHALLENGE

Dedicated staff at innovative libraries strive to find creative ways to engage community members who are often unaware of the many services and resources their library offers, or who may not be able to access its physical location. There are barriers for citizens, especially among populations who are often disadvantaged and underserved, in reaching a library, and this is part of a growing conversation around open access. So, if physically getting people to the library is not practical, how can a library reach out and bring its many resources out to where those people are?

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Baker & Taylor Offers More than 650 Makerspace Materials

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Baker & Taylor recently began offering its public libraries the option to purchase unique makerspace materials, helping them expand their offerings and build greater community among their patrons.

Makerspaces have become increasingly popular among both public libraries and their patrons. A makerspace is a space and tools or services provided by a library for patrons to use to create intellectual and physical projects. Patrons may use a 3D printer to design and print a physical object, for example, or they may learn a new skill, such as sewing, or creatively express themselves by using a green screen, computer and audio capture and editing tools to create and edit videos.

Follett has sold makerspace materials for years and has seen the popularity and success of this innovative library programming.

“Throughout the country we’ve been seeing a revolution in the use of libraries and in how libraries are serving their community,” says Jill Faherty, Vice President of Library Programs with Baker & Taylor. “They are being viewed as a community center where people can go not just to read and access books, but to make, build, explore and tinker.”

Many libraries have dedicated rooms for makerspace activities where children, teens, and adults can gather. Activities may be freeform, where friends casually gather and use the materials provided, or activities and lessons may be organized and lead by a librarian. Faherty says that almost every library she and her team has encountered at Baker & Taylor has a dedicated area for makerspace programming.

Baker & Taylor has established a microsite at makerspace.baker-taylor-site.com where libraries can view the more than 650 individual items available for order. Baker & Taylor also has been able to benefit from the strong vendor relationships that Follett has established and offers specialized kits and materials available only through Baker & Taylor or Follett. LEGO, for example, has assembled proprietary kits available for Baker & Taylor and Follett public library customers.

Available makerspace materials support the following subjects: 3D printing, A/V production, coding and programming, drones and vehicles, electronics, games, LEGO, robotics, science, sewing and crafts. Offerings run the gamut from individual supplies to full kits. Libraries can order filament for a 3D printer or a 3D pen. Or they can buy a kit that lets patrons build a solar-powered robot using a kit, for example.

“We’ve already sold several sewing machines in a short amount of time. They’ve proved very popular,” Faherty says. “This type of crafting option seems to be something unique for public libraries to offer.”

Faherty says she also sees a lot of teens producing videos. “It’s one of the teens’ favorite things to do,” she says. “They aren’t always looking for something physical to create. Sometimes they want to explore their creative ideas and share their talents in a different way.”

Baker & Taylor is continuing to build its inventory based on demand and feedback from its customers. Faherty says she saw tremendous interest at the American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference she attended at the end of June.

 Click here to visit the Makerspace website!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attracting Young Readers to the Library

Baker & Taylor college library shoot 4/11/14.

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.

For example:

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.

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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! 

#Libraries! 

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.

CHQ-Logo_COLOR_WHITE-BACKGROUNDNew 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.”

Want to learn more? Visit collectionHQ’s website at collectionhq.com

 

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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