|Look What I Found at the Library: virtual merchandising ideas|
The librarians at Scott County shared what they have learned during the pandemic on how to do a wider variety and different types of displays. They started with reminding us to think about what we each like and are attracted to when we are out shopping or looking in windows. The other thing they reminded us is to keep them simple: don’t overwhelm with signage and props; don’t put too many titles up, particularly if they are all the same size. Both make it easy for the eye to skim over it but not stop. Other ideas: use even the unusual empty spaces, no matter how small; use the windows; use large signs/artwork when the space is large to go vertical; have as many items face out as the space will allow. The particularly important piece shared is that displays, while meant to get items checked out, are also great informational pieces about the library ~ it shows we have up-to-date materials on the latest trends or information about areas of the globe and/or the latest political clashes that the community may be unaware that the library collects on these topics, too.
There were not too many things that I didn’t know or wasn’t aware of. Some of these, we have learned ourselves as we tried a variety of things during the pandemic to help customers browse while helping them keep within the 30 minutes they were allowed in the building. But, these kinds of sessions are great, even if you don’t learn anything that’s exactly new, particularly when you are trying out a whole slew of things but have no knowledge or measurement as to what other libraries are doing and succeeding at.
In the Rearview Mirror & the Road Ahead: Media Landscapes Campaign Progress & Plans
Minitex was getting questions from libraries about how to handle fake news and mis/disinformation spreading throughout MN and the US. It was clear that some kind of awareness campaign with training was needed to try to tackle this across the state. A large piece of launching the campaign was to start a website called Level Up (levelupmn.org). The core is a calendar of continuing education for all MN library staff (public, academic, school, etc.). Also has a list of self-directed learning and where to look for other CE (great to know about this!!). The other main information is about Media Landscapes curriculum. I’ve been aware of this, but have not had the time to dive into it deeper for our staff. With a new Plum Creek director and that off my plate, I plan on looking into this training and how the MLCL could participate.
Library of Amusements: Expanding a Library of Stuff
Paula Nemes and I gave a presentation on how we went from a collection of cake pans into a branded collection that now includes checking out toys, games, book club kits, STEM backpacks, Memory Kits, Binge Boxes and Video Games.
40 in 50 Book Blast: Genre Mashup Edition
An interesting grouping under 5 subgenre areas: Retold Classics; SFF Mysteries; Historical Mysteries; Humorous Horror; Gothic Plus. With most of the titles shared have been published in the last few years, the information from the booktalks will help us expand those areas that we have quite a few readers.
MN Author Project: MN Writes MN Reads Winners
I did know quite a bit about this, but there were a few reminders and to know how they have approached this project, such as picking winners and who they are getting to submit. It was also great to hear more about the community based projects from the winner from Ramsay County Library System.
Tarot in the Library
I went to this session just to see how they handled any community push-back. Unfortunately, the two presenters (from St. Paul and Kansas City) said while they were prepared for people to complain or be angry about such a program (especially for teens), neither had that experience. While I think we would have those who would love such a program, I definitely think we would likely have push-back. We are still going to explore how we might do a program, where tarot cards are used more for self-exploration, writing and journaling.