Frontline Online Reader Development Training
What is Frontline? • Online course tailored to your workplace. • Takes place over 4 months and involves 7 practical modules. • Aims to improve the ways readers discover books in your library (promotions, displays, recommendations etc.)
Readers • Talking about books with patrons • “A good read is often the one that you didn't know you wanted, the chance discovery.” • Whichbook.net
Reading Preference • What are your reading preferences, prejudices and habits? • How do you recommend a book without reading it or even liking it? • “In observational research in a wide range of libraries, we have found that 75% of borrowers in fiction choose their books by browsing.”
Books and Audience • A successful promotion brings together a wide range of books from different areas of the library and includes fiction as well as narrative non-fiction. • The returns section is responsible for up to 50% of issues. • Book industry research says that practically nobody under 40 would choose a hardback over a paperback. • When you pick books for a promotion, keep the age appeal consistent.
Displaying Books • Few people visiting a library ask staff anything. • The average length of visit to a public library is between five and ten minutes. • Around 75% of people who come into an adult lending library choose by browsing. Approximately 25% are borrowers who are looking for a specific title and author and know how to find it. • 25% use the A-Z sequence, Dewey and occasionally the catalogue. • 75% have never understood Dewey, can't be bothered to follow A-Z and never go near the catalogue. • 25% hate surprise books and don't use returns or promotions, they prefer to go their own way. • 75% use returns and face-on display, they like promotions and are delighted by surprises.
Reader to Reader Recommendation • Reader-to-reader recommendation is a powerful tool in promoting books. • There is no form of promotion more powerful than one enthusiast raving about something they’ve enjoyed to someone else. • Libraries are places that don’t have to sell anything except a good read. • The returns trolley epitomises the whole principle of reader-to-reader communication as it is the place in the library where books are most plainly seen exchanging hands.
Targeting a Promotion • In stock centredpromotions we only promote books from one area of the collection, for example ‘gardening’. • In reader centredpromotions we promote books from various areas of the collection (fiction and non-fiction) and target a particular audience, for example ‘busy mums’ who may enjoy reading from various genres.
Running a Promotion • Are the books moving? • Are they being borrowed by your target audience? • Is the display in the right space – do you need to move it? • Counting the gaps, how often do you have refill the display? • Observe who looks at the display. • Talk to the people who borrow from the display.
Now what...? • Small changes can make a difference • Get involved • Ask us any questions