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In today's fast-paced world, users look for the same pizzazz, convenience, and comfort in their libraries that they find in their local Borders.

In this workshop you will:

  • Learn how to boost your library's circulation
  • Explore a variety of display techniques to show off your collection to users
  • Learn how to make your library more comfortable and convenient for users
  • Learn how to get your staff to buy into this transformation
  • Explore ways to make all of this happen with your current budget

Merchandising doesn't have to be a dirty word. Techniques of visual retailing, using retail fixtures or adapting existing library shelving, can add WOW to your library and increase circulation and user satisfaction.

Workshop Description: In this all day, hands-on workshop, attendees will learn how to use displays to increase circulation. Group exercises will give participants experience at using techniques in transforming libraries, including redesigning a library to improve collection display, comfort, and convenience. Attendees will participate in a walk-through at the host library to identify good practices and opportunities for displays.

Throughout the day, attendees will develop an individual action plan for their library to immediately add displays using a variety of low cost and other techniques, plus methods of managing change with customers and staff, and ways to track the impact of merchandising on circulation and customer satisfaction.

The instructor will provide a variety of practical, useful tips that can be applied immediately, as well as a webliography that can be used and shared after the workshop.

Pre-workshop assignment: In this workshop you will be asked to identify specific collections of your own to highlight. Please bring the latest circulation report for your library/branch, showing circulation totals by call number range, genre, material type, and/or shelving location. You are also encouraged to bring photographs of any collection displays at your library (or .jpgs may be sent at least a week before the workshop to planning_library_futures@comcast.net).

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Merchandise Your Collection: Why and How-to Basics
    • Factors that impact library circulation
    • Benefits of using merchandising techniques to increase circulation and customer satisfaction
    • Differences between standard library shelving and merchandised displays
    • Identifying/creating collection "zones"
    • Using merchandising techniques with retail style fixtures for permanent collection display
  • Get in the Library Merchandising Zone: Creating Unique Environments
    • Creating unique zones and environments for different collections and customer needs
    • Creating a sense of welcome, comfort and excitement
    • How to use temporary merchandising strategies to temporarily spotlight small portions of the collection
  • Getting Staff Buy-In for Merchandising
    • Making the transition to a merchandising the library from the staff point of view
    • Methods for involving staff, including walk throughs, implementation teams, morning briefings
  • Make it Happen! Keep It Going!
    • Value of using talking points with staff and customers
    • Managing change with staff and customers
    • Developing merchandising standards and creating sustainable displays
    • Methods to evaluate the impact of merchandising on circulation and customer satisfaction

Workshop Instructor: Kathy Schalk-Greene