Thursday, January 26, 2012

Displays in New Locations

In the review I wrote about one of the books I read recently, What They Don't Teach You in Library School, I mentioned that it discussed thinking about one's library like a retail store.  Based on this idea, I started contemplating new locations for some of our displays.

A few weeks ago, I moved our popular reading display to a more obvious location that is adjacent to the path many students take on their way into the library.  The number of students I've seen looking at the display has skyrocketed!  The former location is visible in this photo:
You can't see the doors, but students enter the building off the right side of this photo and continue on into the rest of the library without ever really entering this area. The popular reading display is the small one tucked back in the corner (kind of in the center of the photo itself) behind all the furniture. The chairs move around a lot, so inevitably they end up quite close to the display. People are then even less likely to notice it or approach it.

I don't have a good way to get a picture of the location of the display now (the main floor has a pretty big open area for my little camera), but it's much more centrally located and looks like this:

It would be nice to be able to expand it to include more books, but the books rotate pretty frequently so it doesn't seem to be a huge issue.

We've also recently added "Staff Picks," one of which includes a student worker's review of that book.  I'm hoping more students will review the books as well.  We'll see what effect the "Staff Picks" have.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Suggestion Box Display

I've mentioned our Suggestion Box display several times already, but thought I would post a picture of its current state.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Getting Feedback from Students

A few years ago, I created a display of the suggestions students had submitted and the responses from the library. This seems to have had a very positive impact.  There are far fewer suggestions now because many of them have already been answered.  In addition, my boss believes (as do I) that our responsiveness to the suggestions has increased students satisfaction with the library.  We are unable to carry out many of the suggestions, but we always respond and tell them why.

Recently, my boss gave me another suggestion for soliciting student feedback: a poster board with a starter phrase and space for students to respond.  Over finals I thought it would be nice to get them used to the idea of being able to write in this space by putting up two posters more for stress relief than feedback.  We had "Finals are..." and "All I want for [favorite winter holiday] is...."  As you can see below, we definitely got some responses.

I just finished putting up two new posters - "I love my library because..." and "I wish my library would...."  I'm looking forward to seeing what the students write.  Classes start tomorrow, so they'll be back soon!

Monday, January 02, 2012

What Do You Call Those People Who Use Your Library?

I just started reading Listening to the Customer (2011) by Peter Hernon and Joseph R. Matthews.  The book opens with a discussion of what to call those people who use your library in some way - in person, online, etc.  I tend to call them users (I think a lot about our library webpage and its usability) or just students (or faculty or staff).  I understand the argument for "customer" but it feels so business world-y.  I know their tuition pays for the library and all, but it feels so strange to call them customers. 

What do you call them?  If you call them customers, does this change how you view them?