I'm reading a great article entitled "Giving Pleasure Its Due: Collection Promotion and Readers' Advisory in Academic Libraries" (The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34.6: 520-526). The authors of this article make a number of suggestions for incorporating popular reading into the academic library:
- Create genre lists (in print and/or online) of popular reading materials held by the library.
- Leave the book jackets on to grab readers' attention.
- Displays: pick a popular reading book and highlight related nonfiction and archival materials, books from the year end "Best of..." lists, Banned Books Week, books and their movies, staff recommendations, etc.
- Bring eye-catching books (and CDs or DVDs) to display during instruction sessions.
- Recommend and encourage use of the local public library for popular reading and for various assignments where a public library would have more resources (self-help books, an entire class reading the same novel, etc). Along with that, of course, is having an awareness of the local public library's policies for college students.
- Become more familiar with readers' advisory resources.
I have done a few things both at my current library and my previous one to promote popular reading. Over the Summer, I put together a more or less permanent popular reading display (as opposed to all the other displays I attempt to change monthly). The books cycle as they are checked out. At my previous job, I set up a popular reading collection by leasing books through McNaughton. I also really enjoy creating displays for Banned Books Week, although sadly I did not have time to do that this year. After reading this article, I am also considering the creation of a online list of popular reading books available here at my library, which will be helpful to students and also to me when I'm trying to restock the display. :)