Creative approaches to book promotion

Finding creative ways to blend a physical library collection, an e-book collection, and online tools can improve students’ access to reading.

At Internet Librarian 2012, Susan Geiger, Jessica Simons, and Anne Arriaga, Librarians at Moreau Catholic High School shared a plethora of ideas for promoting the library collections in their presentation at Internet Librarian–mixing online and offline tools.

Their session reminded me, as did others at Internet Librarian, how much we are embracing commerce 3.0–as we use both physical and virtual attributes of the library to reach our students.   They included doing everything from creating a virtual catalog on GoodReads, where many of our “readers” are, to physical displays by genre as ways to highlight our collections to students.

Some ideas I ran with based on their suggestions?  We’ll be creating our own “Good Reads” page for new books we are reading, and create our own presence on the site.  We’re going to promote our e-books, not just as a service, but promote the books individually as well, creating a paper book cover with a QR code printed on it, so students can pick up the flyer, read a summary, and launch the Overdrive or Follett site to check it out.

I’m also excited to check out Riffle, which they describe as a “Pinterest for Books.”

Both in this session and in others I saw at #sljsummit, like Melissa Techman’s presentation, librarians were suggesting incorporating students into the purchasing process.  I’m excited about the idea of a more collaborative approach to purchasing.  We have a suggestion box, but I was thinking of going further and trying a concept I heard from the Fashionista librarians at #IL2012, who mentioned a maker site, where they only “make” what people vote for. (see my previous post).   I have to think on that one and how we could create some sort of attractive way for students to contribute ideas for our purchases.  If any of you have models for that, I’d love to hear more.

I also loved the collaborative blog they shared– A Year of Reading–which is a blog written collaboratively between a librarian and a fourth grade teacher.  It struck me that setting up a place for other teachers to share along with the librarian about good books would be a way to get students more involved in reading about them and sharing their ideas as well.  It could even be a collaborative teacher-student-librarian blog site or some kind.

In another session from Internet Librarian Schools, Enriching LibGuides for K-12 Learning, Lauri Vaughan, Sue Smith, and Meredith Cranston, (librarians from the Harker School) shared ways they were using LibGuides creatively.  In terms of book promotion, I loved how librarian Lauri Vaughan asked teachers to create video trailers for “recommended” summer reading titles for students, posting them on her Libguides page.   Including the teachers, again, made the videos a real draw for the students who couldn’t wait to see their teacher in an amusing video review.  (It appears the videos have been taken down, but watching a few of them, it was clear why the students would have loved this.)   I really like that she created a Libguide page for every book in the choice list, with highlights, Youtube promos or book trailers, and thus giving more than just a paper list of titles for students to choose from.

I’d love to hear more ideas how you blend offline and online book promotion in ways beyond book trailers!

2 thoughts on “Creative approaches to book promotion

  1. Every year since I’ve been a school librarian (2009), I’ve done a contest where students have the opportunity to win a chance to go book shopping with me. This gives them a little more ownership in the book selection process and shows them how it works; but alas it only affects a small percentage of students. So, this year, I’m switching it up a bit and combining it with a less on citations. This year, my middle schools, in collaboration with their English teachers, will be doing a lesson on how to write a citation. The culminating activity will ask them to put together a list of resources on a single theme that to form a “collection” of books that the library has, or should purchase. Their collection will be judged according to a set of criteria and then the winners will get their books purchased and added to the collection with a nameplate inside. We haven’t implemented it yet this year, so we’ll see how it goes.

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