In the spring of 2009, the State Library sponsored the first of the Administrative Training Packages, which combine video workshops Wimba presentations, website development and participant projects. The first topic has been Collection Marketing and Merchandising, which combines the traditional with the cutting edge, and has given the participants a lot of ideas to explore.
In early May, Michele Leininger gave one-day workshops that considered collection marketing in the larger context of collection management and networking with the community.
Two Wimba presentations have considered the modern merchandising of collections in more specific ways.
On May 27, Thad Hartman and Renee Patzer, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library staff members, demonstrated the benefits of developing collection neighborhoods. Their powerpoint and Wimba archive are available on the Marketing and Merchandising website on WebJunction Kansas at: http://ks.webjunction.org/merchandising_and_marketing/-/resources/bparticles.
On June 24, Leah Krotz, director of the Belleville Public Library, gave a presentation called Dazzling Displays and Rave Reviews to over 40 librarians. The archive of this Wimba program is a “must see” for anyone who has any interest in library displays. Leah shared practical, lavishly illustrated information on creating eye-catching, attractive displays that showcase a wide variety of the library’s materials. The approach is very professional, incorporating respected design principles. It is also entirely feasible, even for small libraries, since the materials used are available and inexpensive. Belleville serves 1900 people.
The Belleville Library has used stack panels, stack tops, tables, desktops, shelves, walls, windows, book carts, benches and even hay bales for their displays. Clever use of color, texture, signage and props make the displays dazzling. Many parts of the collections have been showcased for a variety of reasons.
The ideas for library displays are limited only by the imagination of the library staff. Belleville capped the climax at one point by incorporating a live black chicken into a striking display.
Leah’s edited powerpoint and Wimba archive are available on the Marketing and Merchandising website on WebJunction Kansas at: http://ks.webjunction.org/merchandising_and_marketing/-/resources/bparticles.
2009 is going to be the perfect year to share and adapt display ideas from Kansas librarians and from published resources. The State Library will continue to gather these ideas on the Marketing and Merchandising web page in the Continuing Education section of WebJunction Kansas.
Library displays are fun but they are not frivolous. They are an essential part of modern collection merchandising and vital to connecting library materials with library users. As one Texas librarian put it memorably, if rather dramatically: “Dig up those books you have buried and bring them back to life!”
The State Library staff offers fervent thanks to Thad, Renee and Leah for the very creative ideas they have shared and will share with so many Kansas librarians. The nice thing about the Wimba Webinars is that they remain available for viewing. If you have comments on either of the sessions, please take time to put them on the project’s discussion board at: http://ks.webjunction.org/merchandising_and_marketing/-/resources/discussion.