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This is like a dream come true. I’m working in a library now and I’ve just been given the green light to order materials. Originally I was told it would be a while before I could order, but apparently the last librarian didn’t order much and then no one was really ordering during some quarantine months so I have the funds. 

I’m still learning my patrons but I am sure you guys have some good suggestions. 

According to one of the last censuses, the library town has a population that is 87% black. I would like to keep this in mind when ordering materials (black characters and authors will probably be appreciated). We currently have a section called African American (yes, my initial reaction was to cringe as it felt like segregation... and I wasn’t so sure about the term AA), but I was told patrons liked this for ease of locating specific books. We later got a sticker system but most are not stickered (again not sure how I feel about the sticker but it’s meant to be useful). 

We have one teeny tiny shelf of sci-fi which horrified me — and I don’t even read sci-fi. I’m going out on a limb here and ordering across genres since I have the money. I think it may be a use it or lose it budget?? My friend suggested Dune, The Expanse, and Ender’s Game (tell me if these are too fringe — maybe u should stay with mainstream? at first?). I joined a Facebook group for black speculative works ideas. 

The main go-to is Baker & Taylor. We only go to another vendor in certain cases. So if push comes to shove we may be able to get it on Amazon but I have to have someone else fill the cart for Amazon items. 

Personally I want to build a graphic novel/comic area. So I’ll see if I can do some ordering of those. 

My fear is having items flop. That’s why I’m trying to do displays and started a Facebook page (which no one has really joined yet!). We’re doing limited browsing right now and I have to sanitize and quarantine items so it’s all a pain but my location doesn’t get a lot of foot traffic. 

There are some default authors that are ordered. That’s like Grisham and Patterson. I haven’t had a chance to view the whole list. 

At this point I don’t know if kids come in a lot... mostly seeing adults but I have seen some kids and I did have parents sign up their kids for virtual summer reading (without kid in tow) before that wrapped up so I know many are parents. 

I don’t think we have a distopian section. Nothing is specifically labeled fantasy. We have sections for mystery and western and general fiction. There are a lot of things I hope to update or rearrange as time permits. 

Dvds — haven’t looked through many but could probably use some new stuff. 

Thanks for ideas! 

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I’m not a librarian but I do spend a lot of time in my local library. Do you have a library board or patrons that stop in regularly? I would want to know who is using the library and what they want to read. Is the library trying to attract more people from the community? Do you need books for clubs or so that students can complete reading lists?  I would have a lot of fun ordering the books I like, but that probably isn’t what my community would want. 😆
 

I would join your state/regional library association if possible and network with other librarians, I know pre-covid the public librarians (and library staff) in my area regularly met and worked together planning things like summer reading and One Read community books. 
 

If you have an Instagram account, @hereweeread (note the second e in wee) is focused on diverse books for children. 

I could be wrong but I feel like Dune and Enders Game are pretty mainstream, I don’t read sci-fi and I have heard of them.

Look for posts on the general ed board by @Tanaqui or @Lori D., both have good book recommendations.

Have fun and good luck!

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My friend suggested Dune, The Expanse, and Ender’s Game (tell me if these are too fringe — maybe u should stay with mainstream? at first?)

 

If anything, I'd say they're too mainstream. You might be stuck having to have them, but I'd pick other things to round out the shelves. Something more modern than Dune and Ender's Game, certainly. And, tying back into your concerns about diversity, something a little less white male than those two. (I haven't read The Expanse. I know it's at least more current than the other two.)

My thinking right now is "If the Sad Puppies hate it, I love it". (Do not ask about the Sad Puppies. There's a rabbithole of irritation.(

So, mainstream but more diverse? Consider the Imperial Radch series by Leckie, something by Jemisen (Broken Earth is still big right now), something by Octavia Butler for the old school cred...

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Look for posts on the general ed board by @Tanaqui or @Lori D., both have good book recommendations.

 

Aw! Of course, my recs fall very strictly into three categories: Kidlit and YA, sci-fi, fantasy. I have my niche, and I stick to it. Though I *do* try hard to always rec diverse books. Boy, it's been a while. My reading list has been slack lately!

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I’m so jealous!  What a job.

read aloud revival had a podcast lately with recs on books for racism. 
 

For one Author that ticks both sci fi and diversity look for Nnedi okorafor.  She was featured on Levar Burton a while ago and her books are quite fascinating and also deal with issues of living cross culturally etc. especially the Binti series  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nnedi_Okorafor

 

 

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I only get like 3-6 patrons a day. I don’t know of it’s always like that, but I was told in the interview sometimes less than 5 is normal. Most of my patrons just come to use a computer or send a fax. It’s kind of hard to get a feel for books/movies. One guy rented a movie and when he returned it I told him I’d be interested in hearing about movies he’d like to see ordered (this was before I knew I could order as early as this week). He will get back to me. 

One patron reserved a few books that fall into the supernatural genre and asked about an author we don’t have so she’s on my list. 

Overall I don’t have much to go on. I started weeding biographies and plan to order Who Was books, mostly about black historical figures or celebrities. Many of the books haven’t been circulating. I’m thinking nothing I do is very accurate as it’s a Catch 22. Well they aren’t popular so they don’t circulate but they aren’t popular because no one is updating them? Lol 

This is why I’m open to new books across different genres. 

I have bought books about POC from @Tanaqui’s suggestions prior to this job. Mostly YA. Ds read Gabby, Lost and Found for example. I might even have one of the threads saved. 

Thank you, so much food for thought. 

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I maintain a list of books on diversity, empowerment and issues like how to face a situation when you do not look like everyone or when your name is difficult to pronounce we have in our home library to share with people who ask me. Here are a few. 

The Day you begin

https://www.amazon.com/Day-You-Begin-Jacqueline-Woodson/dp/0399246533/ref=pd_bxgy_img_3/134-6436957-8889766?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0399246533&pd_rd_r=139864b8-e03b-4739-92d0-1b7599bcc8b5&pd_rd_w=lIGL9&pd_rd_wg=LQkKd&pf_rd_p=ce6c479b-ef53-49a6-845b-bbbf35c28dd3&pf_rd_r=T58X7H2M2D74W30X8DCB&psc=1&refRID=T58X7H2M2D74W30X8DCB

The Name Jar

https://www.amazon.com/Name-Jar-Yangsook-Choi/dp/0440417996/ref=pd_bxgy_img_3/134-6436957-8889766?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0440417996&pd_rd_r=d6de2271-4cd8-4963-b269-e32135921c55&pd_rd_w=TWP7M&pd_rd_wg=NVolV&pf_rd_p=ce6c479b-ef53-49a6-845b-bbbf35c28dd3&pf_rd_r=758EMZ909KSP4YFRVS50&psc=1&refRID=758EMZ909KSP4YFRVS50

A is from Awesome

https://www.amazon.com/Awesome-Iconic-Women-Changed-World/dp/1250215994/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=indian+authors+best+sellers+kids+books&qid=1595096977&s=books&sr=1-

Same Same but different

https://www.amazon.com/Same-But-Different-Jenny-Kostecki-Shaw/dp/0805089462

The Colors of Us

https://www.amazon.com/Colors-Us-Karen-Katz/dp/0805071636/ref=pd_lpo_14_t_2/134-6436957-8889766?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0805071636&pd_rd_r=6a359ef8-ce62-4a59-9ee9-ce68a9abc9e0&pd_rd_w=T6C7E&pd_rd_wg=LFOZt&pf_rd_p=7b36d496-f366-4631-94d3-61b87b52511b&pf_rd_r=JDG5B5KPFJB7EET1QE3Y&psc=1&refRID=JDG5B5KPFJB7EET1QE3Y

Children around the World

https://www.amazon.com/Children-Around-World-Donata-Montanari/dp/1553376846/ref=pd_sbs_14_3/134-6436957-8889766?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1553376846&pd_rd_r=45bccf40-37f2-4883-856a-8cbedac832f0&pd_rd_w=W14EV&pd_rd_wg=r3Bq3&pf_rd_p=bdc67ba8-ab69-42ee-b8d8-8f5336b36a83&pf_rd_r=Z4DWN0YY5285DN54WHK1&psc=1&refRID=Z4DWN0YY5285DN54WHK1

You Matter

https://www.amazon.com/You-Matter-Christian-Robinson/dp/1534421696/ref=pd_bxgy_2/134-6436957-8889766?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1534421696&pd_rd_r=7d2b925b-d90e-4cf7-b193-bde1bd0fcb05&pd_rd_w=tl7yP&pd_rd_wg=dd79f&pf_rd_p=ce6c479b-ef53-49a6-845b-bbbf35c28dd3&pf_rd_r=3BAQYA2V2MF9B8V34FAN&psc=1&refRID=3BAQYA2V2MF9B8V34FAN

Just Ask

https://www.amazon.com/Just-Ask-Different-Brave-You/dp/0525514120/ref=pd_sbs_14_18?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0525514120&pd_rd_r=0bd61b35-ef91-4f88-80a2-4336f56e579b&pd_rd_w=9yXyB&pd_rd_wg=Xh0dn&pf_rd_p=bdc67ba8-ab69-42ee-b8d8-8f5336b36a83&pf_rd_r=Q30QTE61GK3HMCWQ1AQ0&psc=1&refRID=Q30QTE61GK3HMCWQ1AQ0

Where are you from?

https://www.amazon.com/Where-Are-Yamile-Saied-Méndez/dp/0062839934/ref=pd_sbs_14_19?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0062839934&pd_rd_r=0bd61b35-ef91-4f88-80a2-4336f56e579b&pd_rd_w=9yXyB&pd_rd_wg=Xh0dn&pf_rd_p=bdc67ba8-ab69-42ee-b8d8-8f5336b36a83&pf_rd_r=Q30QTE61GK3HMCWQ1AQ0&psc=1&refRID=Q30QTE61GK3HMCWQ1AQ0

All are Welcome

https://www.amazon.com/All-Are-Welcome-Alexandra-Penfold/dp/0525579648/ref=pd_sbs_14_2/134-6436957-8889766?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0525579648&pd_rd_r=e043214d-a6b0-4992-bfc8-61921db35bd1&pd_rd_w=1KjFa&pd_rd_wg=5fNb2&pf_rd_p=bdc67ba8-ab69-42ee-b8d8-8f5336b36a83&pf_rd_r=GKQ7A3CNYE760K86PPV7&psc=1&refRID=GKQ7A3CNYE760K86PPV7

Happy in our Skin

https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Our-Skin-Fran-Manushkin/dp/0763699721/ref=pd_sbs_14_10?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0763699721&pd_rd_r=ad3fa560-54c3-4f46-b001-95fb10eee397&pd_rd_w=F5SmP&pd_rd_wg=DAh9e&pf_rd_p=bdc67ba8-ab69-42ee-b8d8-8f5336b36a83&pf_rd_r=621Q5Y5ZVD2SSBDH6Y3M&psc=1&refRID=621Q5Y5ZVD2SSBDH6Y3M

Listening with my heart: A story of kindness and self compassion

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0998958034/ref=sspa_dk_detail_3?psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyOU01NFpJSk5CVktWJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwMDkwNDE0MVdDTlpCSDFVS0wzRyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNTk4Nzk1VFVLNFBWUTZLWTRaJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfZGV0YWlsJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

Everybody Cooks Rice

https://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Cooks-Rice-Picture-Books/dp/0876145918/ref=sr_1_1?crid=TQHXWZP9V0SL&dchild=1&keywords=everyone+eats+rice&qid=1595385008&sprefix=everyone+eats+%2Caps%2C178&sr=8-1

Everybody Bakes Bread

https://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Bakes-Bread-Carolrhoda-Picture/dp/087614895X/ref=pd_bxgy_2/141-8595146-4866836?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=087614895X&pd_rd_r=dab7313b-7ff1-4d36-9187-9169e59e174d&pd_rd_w=sa4sP&pd_rd_wg=GFBpM&pf_rd_p=ce6c479b-ef53-49a6-845b-bbbf35c28dd3&pf_rd_r=W5SAY139BFA801EHQG8P&psc=1&refRID=W5SAY139BFA801EHQG8P

Everybody brings Noodles

https://www.amazon.com/Everybody-Brings-Noodles-Carolrhoda-Picture/dp/1575059169/ref=pd_bxgy_3/141-8595146-4866836?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1575059169&pd_rd_r=79d8a37c-c192-43e6-af7f-5393e69feaa2&pd_rd_w=scNFp&pd_rd_wg=mwEaT&pf_rd_p=ce6c479b-ef53-49a6-845b-bbbf35c28dd3&pf_rd_r=7R62G2DJZ5VBD6NF8DT6&psc=1&refRID=7R62G2DJZ5VBD6NF8DT6

The Proudest Blue:  A story of Hijab and Family

https://www.amazon.com/Proudest-Blue-Story-Hijab-Family/dp/0316519006/ref=sr_1_2?crid=HZ92MD5D5EAO&dchild=1&keywords=hijab+books+for+kids&qid=1595385108&s=books&sprefix=hijab+%2Cstripbooks%2C191&sr=1-2

The Travel Book: A journey through every country in the world (Lonely Planet kids)

https://www.amazon.com/Travel-Book-Mind-Blowing-Country-Lonely/dp/1743607741/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=lonely+planet+kids&qid=1595128956&sr=8-3

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How awesome.   

One Black friend said that they loved books that weren't about racism or civil rights or professional sports but featured every day Black characters (or multicultural) just doing every day things.....as they felt that they were so much more than just racial movements/civil rights, etc.

Does your community have a community FB page?  If so, post on there asking for book ideas.  This could be a way (if the group rules allow) for the library to post a book of the day/week, highlight various departments, offerings, etc 

 

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1 hour ago, Ottakee said:

How awesome.   

One Black friend said that they loved books that weren't about racism or civil rights or professional sports but featured every day Black characters (or multicultural) just doing every day things.....as they felt that they were so much more than just racial movements/civil rights, etc.

Does your community have a community FB page?  If so, post on there asking for book ideas.  This could be a way (if the group rules allow) for the library to post a book of the day/week, highlight various departments, offerings, etc 

The person that monitors the main library system facebook page helped me set up a facebook for my branch (added me as an admin). Now we both can post on it and she has shared things from the summer reading program etc. I haven't been able to get locals to like the page just yet. I have posted on it. I told a few patrons about it and created a flyer with link that I taped to the front of the book drop. I did hand out a few flyers, but that might not be a great idea during covid so I kinda shied away. For some stupid reason facebook will not let me share specific posts from the library page to my personal page as I'm logged in as myself for both and it confuses the heck out of FB. I think I can copy and paste the facebook url, though. 

I'm connected to the Friends of the Library (attended a meeting with them via teleconference this week) and I'm in the nearest literacy association for my state, but everything is on hold for them right now. They meet roughly 45 min. away. 

I totally agree on the books. I want a mix. I'm just still trying to figure out what will go over well. They are placing a book order this Friday and I just found out this afternoon that I can throw stuff in the cart. But they will do one more order this summer and then after that I think we let go of whatever budget we had for this fiscal year and start new. I'm not sure if I understood correctly. I don't think any money rolls over, which is why I was a little eager to just buy some stuff now rather than make the list perfect. We do ILL with a million other libraries so even if my patrons don't check the items out, they could be checked out by others. 

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I'm sure that Baker & Taylor has some core collection or collection development lists they could give you to assist with ordering.  I've been working with libraries for many years and from what I've seen, although we'd like to think library collections should contain highly educational or multi-cultural materials, for most libraries the top items that circulate are mainstream and popular.  Not that there shouldn't be an array of titles but you don't want to waste a limited budget on titles that will never leave the shelf.

Perhaps you could request input and suggestions from your patrons?

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6 hours ago, Ausmumof3 said:

Would it be in your sort of department to set up some displays with book podcast recommendations etc?  That’s where I get a lot of my suggestions from.  Just a thought.

A display about podcasts for my patrons? I’m not sure if that would be used. I can certainly go through podcasts or create displays. I started looking at the Levar podcast mentioned upthread. 
 

21 minutes ago, Library Momma said:

I'm sure that Baker & Taylor has some core collection or collection development lists they could give you to assist with ordering.  I've been working with libraries for many years and from what I've seen, although we'd like to think library collections should contain highly educational or multi-cultural materials, for most libraries the top items that circulate are mainstream and popular.  Not that there shouldn't be an array of titles but you don't want to waste a limited budget on titles that will never leave the shelf.

Perhaps you could request input and suggestions from your patrons?

There is a standing order list of popular authors. Those orders are developed and placed by someone at headquarters. I’m adding items that don’t duplicate them. 

As I said upthread, it’s kinda hard to ask my patrons before I place the summer orders. Only a few come in a day and most are using their services, not materials. Using computers, asking for copies or faxes. Our Facebook is brand new and doesn’t have real traffic yet. 

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What's the demographic profile? The demand here is always large print...that population can't easily switch to e-reader.  The next shortage is e-book; people just abandon the local library when they discover that the children can check e-books out from the school district (without being enrolled) and every NY resident can get an NYPL card without going there in person, so can access their e-books. https://mlpebooks.overdrive.com/ seems to be what your patrons have access to if the library is a member.  After that, demand here is Birth to 5; Tumblebooks or the equivalent ebook service is what the parents are finding helpful as its so easy to use.  The draw to physically come in to the library (aside from beautiful physical children's books) is: museum/park passes, DVDs, programs, and convenient hours - families will come in before Summer Food distribution starts at the school, or on their way to sports practice, post office, or grocery store.  

Edited by HeighHo
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The Expanse series has a tie in with an Amazon Prime tv show which might increase interest.  I loved the books........

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15 hours ago, Rachel said:

I’m not a librarian but I do spend a lot of time in my local library. Do you have a library board or patrons that stop in regularly? I would want to know who is using the library and what they want to read. Is the library trying to attract more people from the community? Do you need books for clubs or so that students can complete reading lists?  I would have a lot of fun ordering the books I like, but that probably isn’t what my community would want. 😆
@Tanaqui@Lori D.

 

Our higher level English classes in middle school and high school require summer reading from their students. You might talk to the schools and see what books are required reading like that for the kids to make sure you have several of the titles

(Ender's Game is one of the titles on the 9th grade list)  p2 of the attached is the High School list https://www.pfisd.net/cms/lib/TX01001527/Centricity/Domain/8/9-12 Summer Reading HS 2019.pdf

My son didn't like any of the 8th grade list but could read off the 9th grade and enjoyed several: The Boy Who harnessed the Wind, Ready Player One, The Secret Life of Bees

Also see if your state has an awards process like the Texas Bluebonnet Award: https://txla.org/tools-resources/reading-lists/texas-bluebonnet-award/current-list/

You can order past award winners and, for the future, candidates so people can be part of the process.

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ETA: And Fuse #8 is really great at telling you about diverse books that are coming out. (mostly for kids -- her blog has changed some since her job as changed but it might be another resource)

http://blogs.slj.com/afuse8production/

 

For current science fiction, you might start by looking at the awards winner.

Barnes & NOble includes most of them here:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/a-roundup-of-2019s-major-science-fiction-fantasy-award-winners/

But they missed the Dragon Awards:

https://www.dragoncon.org/awards/2019-recipients/

 

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I’m on my lunch break. Here’s a pic of the sad sci-fi shelf. I need to pull them and see the circulation. I’m still going through a stack of African American biographies so I can sticker them. 

I’ve been talking to patrons as they come in, but most do not check out anything on their visit. They want photo copies, etc. 

The school district here is not very cooperative. However, I did message them on Facebook to encourage then to share our page and send me requests for materials. There was no summer reading list to be found this year and I was told by other staff that the school did not supply it in the past when asked. The nearest school staff knows me... I can probably make some headway later. Not to say they like me lol 

The one author a patron requested has hard to obtain materials. I was looking for her paranormal series (based on patron’s interests) and could only find electronic. 

Don’t know yet how popular large print is. I know some authors don’t have LP versions. 

Yes, I had thought of the tie-in with Expanse on streaming.

we have large mystery and western areas but don’t know of anyone reads most of them?? 
oops limit reached. I’ll try to delete some stuff and add photo 
 

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Someone must have been a big Stuart Woods fan (and I've never heard of him!)

Interesting they have Artemis and not Andy Weir's original book -- The Martian

 

And a couple of books out of David Weber's Safehold series, but nothing from his Honor HArrington series (which I would have thought more popular!) And neither of those is the first book in the series: _Off Armageddon Reef_

I wonder if this is a bunch of random Sci-fi that was donated to the library?

Checking Amazon. _Ready Player Two_ by Ernest Cline is coming out (The sequel to REady Player One)

 

You might pick up some Octavia Butler -- Classic science fiction by a african american author.

Watson & HOlmes: A Study in Black is an alternate history graphic novel that looks interesting. https://smile.amazon.com/Watson-Holmes-Study-Karl-Bollers-ebook/dp/B00HATNYP2/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Watson+and+Holmes&qid=1595442228&s=books&sr=1-1

 

In kids books: My daughter LOVES Zoey & SAssafras: https://smile.amazon.com/Zoey-Sassafras-Books-1-6-Pack/dp/1943147590/ref=sr_1_31?dchild=1&keywords=Black+science+kids&qid=1595443380&sr=8-31

 

ALso the Upside-Down Magic series:

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B087C3QGL4?searchxofy=true&ref_=dbs_s_aps_series_rwt

 

 

 

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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How confident do you feel on camera?  Can you do story time online for kids? Have paper craft kits for people to pick up and do at home?

I imagine circulation may be low right now just because people are home and trying to stay healthy. I'd look for ways to overlap marketing + service to your community....and I think an online story time may be a way to do that.

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Posted (edited)

@vonfirmath yes, so much to consider! I need to figure out what is logical (ie. why not have the first in a series). I think Ready Player One would be an excellent set. I saw the movie so that at least is familiar to me lol.

@prairiewindmommaI did offer to do stuff on camera. This is only my third week at the library and I was told that we could figure something out after summer. We had a lot of summer programming on our main facebook page and those were shared to the smaller pages like mine. That included story telling and third parties that normally visit the library. I don't know if crafts were done much, but I know some of the other libraries I follow do them. I said I was willing to do any of that (read a story, demonstrate a craft, etc.). I would probably not do it live (facebook live feature) and then just upload it. 

Well I finished my African American biography section. I have a "this should go" pile, a "maybe go" pile and then the "let's hang onto these, at least for now" group on the shelf with stickers. My maybe go pile has an excel spreadsheet attached to it with the info (last checkout, copyright date, etc.). I think they will be shocked at how many items I pulled off the shelf. They just haven't been circulating or are so dated. I will put them back if we need them, but I plan to buy more for that section so I think it will even out. Example, I ran across a book about Will Smith. I mean, he's still popular but surely that info leaves out so much of his life given the date it came out. 

This library is in a tiny town and I was told even pre-covid you don't get a lot of people per day but I also think that programming wasn't advertised enough, etc. The library system just got a new website and I think the events will be updated more, but on my own I will also do advertising. That's what my degree is in, so it comes natural for me to say, "wait, how will anyone know about this? Did we give them enough details?" 

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School Library Journal is currently free to view online: https://www.slj.com/

There are instructions on the page on how to access this month's issue. 

Diversity in books has been a hot topic of late and there might be some lists of reviewed books that will help. Their starred reviews are usually good bets if you have limited funds to work with.

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I’m slowly making my way through some ideas. I got a few things in the cart for the first order and am going to start on the August cart soon. 

I’m not specifically looking for books on diversity, but books that will be more likely to appeal to my community which is mostly black. I do intend to get a few diversity books, though. 

I was slightly crushed today as my weeding list will likely not be used. They have their way of doing things. For fiction they mainly rely on a computer-generated list they print annually. Dh weeds every month. Such polar opposites. 

B&T is already pissing me off lol I wanted to get the show Blackish but they only had the book. 

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Some of these may have already been mentioned...

Along the electronic route, our main library offers Hoopla, CloudLibrary, RBdigital, READsquared, and BookFlix, and anyone within the system has access.  We heavily use Hoopla and CL.  If your main library doesn't have these, maybe there's room in your budget for a subscription--not sure what these cost.

Also, we have those small, basic mp3 players that only have one audio book loaded for listening, just plug in your earbuds. We look for these whenever we can. A few of my children like to listen and read the actual book at the same time, even our high schoolers.

Programming such as a basic sign language class(es), science kit competitions, lit themed escape rooms, age appropriate book club, knitting/crochet...

Any display or shelving that shows the book faces seem to increase check outs. Mine always go there first. 

A fun idea I just thought of is a themed display across the ages (reading is exciting at any age!), like all about dogs (or whatever theme): a board book, a 1st reader, a graphic novel, a chapter book (late elementary/early middle), a jr high book, teen, adult.  It visually shows that if you liked those type of books as a younger you, you may like the more adult version without having to read the back--easy to pick up and go.  It also shows what you may want to keep in mind when you get older...

I'd show up in person at the local schools, introduce myself, ask for reading lists, etc.  In person meetings go a long way and show you're interested in staying connected with the school.  Maybe with any local major day or after school cares, too.

Not sure if this could be within the scope of a library, but would your budget allow you to hire an elementary reading tutor 1 afternoon/wk for a couple of hours after school. Your library would house the materials for the tutoring. Children would be encouraged to check out books afterwards for practice. Parents waiting might be inclined to check out an item or two.

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5 hours ago, ChrisB said:

Some of these may have already been mentioned...

Along the electronic route, our main library offers Hoopla, CloudLibrary, RBdigital, READsquared, and BookFlix, and anyone within the system has access.  We heavily use Hoopla and CL.  If your main library doesn't have these, maybe there's room in your budget for a subscription--not sure what these cost.

Also, we have those small, basic mp3 players that only have one audio book loaded for listening, just plug in your earbuds. We look for these whenever we can. A few of my children like to listen and read the actual book at the same time, even our high schoolers.

Programming such as a basic sign language class(es), science kit competitions, lit themed escape rooms, age appropriate book club, knitting/crochet...

Any display or shelving that shows the book faces seem to increase check outs. Mine always go there first. 

A fun idea I just thought of is a themed display across the ages (reading is exciting at any age!), like all about dogs (or whatever theme): a board book, a 1st reader, a graphic novel, a chapter book (late elementary/early middle), a jr high book, teen, adult.  It visually shows that if you liked those type of books as a younger you, you may like the more adult version without having to read the back--easy to pick up and go.  It also shows what you may want to keep in mind when you get older...

I'd show up in person at the local schools, introduce myself, ask for reading lists, etc.  In person meetings go a long way and show you're interested in staying connected with the school.  Maybe with any local major day or after school cares, too.

Not sure if this could be within the scope of a library, but would your budget allow you to hire an elementary reading tutor 1 afternoon/wk for a couple of hours after school. Your library would house the materials for the tutoring. Children would be encouraged to check out books afterwards for practice. Parents waiting might be inclined to check out an item or two.

Another librarian said they have those mini MP3 players but I told her I haven’t seen them at my branch. I’ll have to get more info to see if they would be worthwhile. Someone at headquarters is in charge of the electronic stuff like Hoopla and Axis 360 materials. That’s what we currently use. 

I don’t know if I’m permitted to ask for funds to go toward those things. My current budget seems to be for materials and then headquarters gives me stuff when I need it (Supplies for events, cleaning supplies, etc) and probably takes it out of a fund of their own that’s split among libraries or has a figure for each branch and deducts it from that? 

All close contact stuff is on hold so tutors and face-to-face events are a no go for the foreseeable future. 

Im spreading the word about the Facebook page and asking people what they want. It will probably get easier over time. 

Another librarian said she has the same problems — getting people to check out materials. Many are just there for services. It’s a common issue. 

I like your display idea. 

no one is at the schools right now I think. The district office told me that when I left the voicemail with the person they told me to reach about books. I had called the school by my library first. They may not allow visitors on campus in any case because of Covid. So much is affected by Covid. I have to quarantine used books in bins for a week at a time. I have a bin for every day we are open. 

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I have the pleasure of being a librarian's daughter and living in the town with the voted "best small town library of 2019". Which means I have no real knowledge but lots of enthusiasm for you!! 🙂

Assuming we are just looking at book funds:

Can you look at local bookstores and find out what they sell mostly, and what they see people having the most interest in? Even just casing the place and seeing where patrons go.

How is the periodical section looking? Can you test out certain subjects/genres by getting the periodicals, putting them in strategic places, and see which ones are getting used? This may be more expensive depending on your sourcing system, but maybe you can get faster feedback.

Books that have movies associated with them, recent movies at least, seem to get more circulation, esp if they are the "movie version" of the book with the matching cover. I think you touched on that kind of above but I wanted to say it anyway.

Outside what's probably in your scope now, but just enthusiastic ideas:

I know our library set up a "library" of garden tools and stuff that you need every once and a while like ladders, but may not have the space and money to buy for a once-a-year use. Also, a seed library, which is really more a take than borrow situation, but they have locals contribute back to it so it's more a seed exchange.

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9 hours ago, Moonhawk said:

I have the pleasure of being a librarian's daughter and living in the town with the voted "best small town library of 2019". Which means I have no real knowledge but lots of enthusiasm for you!! 🙂

Assuming we are just looking at book funds:

Can you look at local bookstores and find out what they sell mostly, and what they see people having the most interest in? Even just casing the place and seeing where patrons go.

How is the periodical section looking? Can you test out certain subjects/genres by getting the periodicals, putting them in strategic places, and see which ones are getting used? This may be more expensive depending on your sourcing system, but maybe you can get faster feedback.

Books that have movies associated with them, recent movies at least, seem to get more circulation, esp if they are the "movie version" of the book with the matching cover. I think you touched on that kind of above but I wanted to say it anyway.

Outside what's probably in your scope now, but just enthusiastic ideas:

I know our library set up a "library" of garden tools and stuff that you need every once and a while like ladders, but may not have the space and money to buy for a once-a-year use. Also, a seed library, which is really more a take than borrow situation, but they have locals contribute back to it so it's more a seed exchange.

That’s awesome 

The seed library idea was shot down in the past (Dh knew someone that pitched it). But he said the flaw was that there’s no circulation affiliated with the seeds, so it has to be paired with gardening tools or something (and I’m assuming you’re spending library funds on seeds). Basically what you said. So for now I’m avoiding that idea just because it didn’t go over well. And I don’t know if my patrons garden. 

I did think of a Blessing Box to encourage library visits, but I’m trying to be realistic. With Covid that would encourage too much surface touching and likely I’d end up with an empty box or spend my own money to refill it. A library I visit in a bigger city has one in their lobby (we don’t have a lobby) and periodically they post on social media asking for donations to fill it. This can be peanut butter, dry goods, paper towels, anything like that. 

One librarian shared things they are doing to encourage material usage (once had a raffle where you are entered if you check out something. They had a main prize which I guess came from their budget?). 

Periodical usage is down in general I believe. My library has 4 magazine subscriptions and a local newspaper. No one has looked at or asked about any. I am getting a new magazine stand from headquarters soon. They removed the huge awkward one last week. I will probably end up canceling some of those magazines. I’d be fine replacing them with other titles. They don’t eat up a lot of budget. I just need to investigate what moves. One day maybe I can get my publisher from my other job to move our magazine here. It’s free so she might let being a few copies. It’s local-ish stuff (geared more toward the city but still). Our magazines are delivered to other libraries but people grab them and go. They aren’t in the system. I don’t know if I’d have permission to count them toward circulation. The way we do it we don’t barcode the magazine, just scan a barcode at the register for magazine use. So it might be something we could eventually tie in, depending on rules. We probably have to pay for an item for it to count though? I have no idea! 

Yes, I’m working on movie tie in stuff. Dh said there’s a new Dune movie so I will add Dune. I put The One and Only Ivan and The One and Only Bob in the cart (or whatever the titles were). I am ordering Ready Player One & 2 books and first movie. 

I am adding a few TV shows. Then I want to add a new heading to the bookshelf that says “TV.” Not everyone is into movies, but they may like tv shows. Possibly the Carmichael show. But I wonder if a show like Empire would be more appealing. I’ve never seen Empire, just ads. 

I’m trying to be realistic but optimistic. I called the police dept next door to encourage them for ideas lol and the girl at city hall. One police officer comes in and checked out 3 items yesterday. I asked him to help me with ideas/requests. As a patron I have never had a librarian express much interest in ideas for their orders. I always was nervous to request things, like thinking oh the library barely has funds. Which can be true but I’m not strapped right now. One librarian whom I’ve known for years told me she thinks the book portion of my funds will roll over (but not media). I hope so. 
 

The only Tolkien in my branch is a book about Tolkien and the Hobbit movie. A staff member sounded really hesitant when I said I was ordering LOTR. She said know your community. Sigh, LOTR might be a flop here. I just felt if you have the Hobbit why not the rest. 

Lots to think about, thank you. 

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Oh yeah we have a Mississippi section and some items are in their regular section with a MS sticker. I’m trying to get my friend’s book for the library (one of those books about things to do in your state). She said it’s out of print? I’ve read it before when I got Dh to order it for his library. I need to investigate more local ideas. 

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How about a homeschooling or education section? If the main library has some things in circulation, you could round out a few curriculum choices. Or start building your own if they don't. Are you seeing an uptick of people who'll be homeschooling in your area?  I've always wanted a section to browse different choices so I didn't have to borrow from a friend or buy to see.  

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I used to be on the library board for my village library in England.  Think small location connected with about 20 other small library’s and a larger central one.  Our in library collection was kept rather newish and small.....no whole collections of books by any author which really irritated the series reader in me😉 but the inter library requests moved rapidly.....frequently next day.  The whole series is usually there just shared between all the libraries.  
 

One really popular thing that our librarian did was gather all the books by an author/theme at our branch and display them on a special shelf face out......showing covers ........which let people browse and check out.  Normally we had more than one copy and would replace the books as they were checked out.  We kept hold’s on the book they were constantly returned to our branch and not returned to their originating library until we were done with the theme.  I think your first post talked about Sci Fi ..........this would be a great way to see if your patrons would be interested.  
 

We had a lot of elderly customers who loved series but had problems accessing order of titles lists etc.  We actually kept printed lists in a binder for their series and helped them place their hold’s for the next book when they picked up books.  We also really adjusted the size of different sections because of patron interest......we only had one faithful romance reader so we shrunk those down to a small stand for people to browse and worked with her using hold’s to keep her really happy.  Our mystery section was quite large so was the large print.  Lots of local history, craft books, and cook books.  

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The only Tolkien in my branch is a book about Tolkien and the Hobbit movie. A staff member sounded really hesitant when I said I was ordering LotR. She said know your community. Sigh, LotR might be a flop here. I just felt if you have the Hobbit why not the rest. 

 

Did she explain why she thinks that?

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10 hours ago, Tanaqui said:

 

Did she explain why she thinks that?

The implication I took away was either she doesn’t think POC in this area read it or it’s never been requested by the branch’s patrons so why bother now? She also told me not to bother designating a graphic novel section but I’ll do what I want lol ... eventually. Right now she keeps coming in and rearranging my stacks and books so all I can say is thank you even though it’s been slightly unnerving. She comes from headquarters primarily on my day off. Then I go back like where is everything? It has mostly been a positive adjustment (the library was a mess and miSc objects were on some shelves) but since it’s considered *my* library there’s a slight ego brush. I’m the only employee so I’m the branch manager but I’m partly treated like I have no say. If I’m sick I have to call in a sub. Luckily I hit it off with the sub that did some of my training. His primary job is not sub. It’s cataloger. So I got him to fix errors I found checking in new books. 

It’s just a weird dynamic now. I’ll find my bearings and learn my patrons. 

I’ve been telling all my city friends to join our library system since you are able to if you live in a county adjoining one of our branches. Then they could ILL from any of our libraries. 

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On 7/25/2020 at 12:01 PM, ChrisB said:

How about a homeschooling or education section? If the main library has some things in circulation, you could round out a few curriculum choices. Or start building your own if they don't. Are you seeing an uptick of people who'll be homeschooling in your area?  I've always wanted a section to browse different choices so I didn't have to borrow from a friend or buy to see.  

Yes, that’s on my list! 🙂 The woman in charge of placing orders said she did order some homeschool materials so I need to find out what and not duplicate. So far I haven’t looked to see what, if anything, we have on the subject. And I didn’t go through the whole cart — it’s order requests from 13 branches and you cannot tell at a glance which items for which branch. You have to click on them. I think ones I have in mind are not there, though like The Brave Learner: Finding Everday Magic in Homeschool, Learning, and Life https://www.amazon.com/dp/0143133225/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_VOEhFb7138Z0N and The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading https://www.amazon.com/dp/0972860312/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_OPEhFbQP3DXG1. 

I don’t know if many will homeschool but a few may. I think too many parents have to work so won’t be able to HS. 
 

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16 hours ago, mumto2 said:

I used to be on the library board for my village library in England.  Think small location connected with about 20 other small library’s and a larger central one.  Our in library collection was kept rather newish and small.....no whole collections of books by any author which really irritated the series reader in me😉 but the inter library requests moved rapidly.....frequently next day.  The whole series is usually there just shared between all the libraries.  
 

One really popular thing that our librarian did was gather all the books by an author/theme at our branch and display them on a special shelf face out......showing covers ........which let people browse and check out.  Normally we had more than one copy and would replace the books as they were checked out.  We kept hold’s on the book they were constantly returned to our branch and not returned to their originating library until we were done with the theme.  I think your first post talked about Sci Fi ..........this would be a great way to see if your patrons would be interested.  
 

We had a lot of elderly customers who loved series but had problems accessing order of titles lists etc.  We actually kept printed lists in a binder for their series and helped them place their hold’s for the next book when they picked up books.  We also really adjusted the size of different sections because of patron interest......we only had one faithful romance reader so we shrunk those down to a small stand for people to browse and worked with her using hold’s to keep her really happy.  Our mystery section was quite large so was the large print.  Lots of local history, craft books, and cook books.  

I want to do displays but trying to figure out what. Right now I have a display for our physical audiobooks called Wonderbooks. I may have mentioned that already. 

We don’t have a paranormal/supernatural section. That may be a display better received in October. But I did request Sylvia Day’s books with vampires for a patron that asked about her and reads stuff like that. Issue is we cannot get ahold of book .5 so I’m upset the book 1 may be the wrong beginning book. Some say .5 may not be necessary to read if it’s a prequel but I don’t think it is. Ugh don’t know when I can get .5. No one seems to have it. 

Some LP is on its own shelf. Some is mixed in other categories. Example - a book with YA sticker with LP on the cutter. In the African American section a book had a sticker and LP. Can’t remember if it was an AA sticker or Mississippi sticker. So that’s a little confusing if you were to walk straight to the LP shelf. 

We have a lot of mystery but I don’t know how popular it even is here. I was told to stop my weeding... wait for instruction. But for my own curiosity I will pull some books and check circulation. You can’t stop me from learning about my library lol 

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A tool lending library, paired with basic books on home repairs, gardening tools and books, learn to knit books with knitting needles etc. Might go over well with your patrons.   If this is a lower income area, these things might be very welcome as tools, etc can be very expensive but would be helpful for the community.

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1 minute ago, Ottakee said:

A tool lending library, paired with basic books on home repairs, gardening tools and books, learn to knit books with knitting needles etc. Might go over well with your patrons.   If this is a lower income area, these things might be very welcome as tools, etc can be very expensive but would be helpful for the community.

Right now we have space issues. I don’t know where to put anything. They hope to build a meeting room, but we don’t even have that now. I could store some items on a cart I guess. I would consider a sewing machine station, too if anyone would use it. Of course right now there’s the issue of sanitizing all public surfaces. My town library had a quilters group? Knitting group?? at one point but I don’t know how popular it was. I’d definitely need to find out if people would come for those things. I’d like to do stuff like that. 

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Still working on my cart. I added The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading... does that violate any copyright? Assuming they don’t photocopy. 

If not, that other books could be useful for multiple families? I looked through our collection. Not much there. One “Everything your _ Grader Needs to Know” and Rethinking School by SWB. Plus a few other misc books on education. 

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On 7/24/2020 at 9:31 PM, Moonhawk said:

I have the pleasure of being a librarian's daughter and living in the town with the voted "best small town library of 2019". Which means I have no real knowledge but lots of enthusiasm for you!! 🙂

Assuming we are just looking at book funds:

Can you look at local bookstores and find out what they sell mostly, and what they see people having the most interest in? Even just casing the place and seeing where patrons go.

How is the periodical section looking? Can you test out certain subjects/genres by getting the periodicals, putting them in strategic places, and see which ones are getting used? This may be more expensive depending on your sourcing system, but maybe you can get faster feedback.

Books that have movies associated with them, recent movies at least, seem to get more circulation, esp if they are the "movie version" of the book with the matching cover. I think you touched on that kind of above but I wanted to say it anyway.

Outside what's probably in your scope now, but just enthusiastic ideas:

I know our library set up a "library" of garden tools and stuff that you need every once and a while like ladders, but may not have the space and money to buy for a once-a-year use. Also, a seed library, which is really more a take than borrow situation, but they have locals contribute back to it so it's more a seed exchange.

I'm a little jealous - what a wonderful position to be in!

Building off the seed/gardening library: a local library has telescopes, fishing poles/tackle boxes, and tennis racquets/balls & pickleball racquets/balls available. None of them require much space to store. Storytime bags are available at a different library - a bag with a picture book, a puppet or toy, an idea sheet about fingerplays, and possibly a worksheet or simple craft. 

A lot of libraries in my area right now are doing "the gift of reading". When they give out their craft bag for summer reading program (they've done sidewalk chalk, bean seeds and a clear baggie to stick on a window to see it sprout, and modeling clay, the kid gets to pick out a present which is a picture book to read for the week (they have some out front and they have some hidden in the back that they know the topics of - so they can still steer the kid to a matching book if warranted). 

Book/movie combo, book/graphic novel equivalent/picture book equivalent, color ("I remember the cover was red"), staff recommendations, book selfie area in kid/teen area with covers of books with partial faces to get pics with it covering that part of your face, Azkaban mug shot cardboard box to hold up on HP's birthday, etc, are popular displays in our area. 

List of Amazon African American children's bestsellers here: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Childrens-African-American-Story/zgbs/books/3095

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  • 2 weeks later...

We're starting to get more patrons. I am learning more "regulars." My August order won't go through til later this month so I decided not to wait on my "back to learning" display. I threw one together today using various things in our library. I didn't call it "back to school" because many schools are delaying the start, parents might be choosing to keep kids home, etc. 

I've been giving out free books leftover from the summer reading program. I couldn't find them at first... we have a major storage issue so I had no idea someone decided to store the leftover books in a bathroom cabinet. 

I just created a "grab n go" craft. I hope I did a good enough job. It's the thought that counts, right? LOL. I made it from scratch so no copyright issues. It's a bunch of ice cream scoops, a banana, and bowl so kids can decorate/assemble an ice cream split. I hope to make a door hanger/wreath for Fall and make a video about it to post to the facebook page to inspire others and encourage people to share their creations (though we aren't getting much interaction so that will take time!). We have some colored paper at work so I plan to print the bananas on the yellow, the mint chocolate chip on the mint paper, strawberry on pink, and a blank one with cherry they can decorate with sprinkles or whatever. Might throw an extra blank one in there for them to color their own flavor. 

backtolearning.jpg

icecream craft.jpg

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