Guest post: Reaching out with a ‘Holiday Reading Bag!’

Today’s post comes to us from Anita Vandenberghe an Information Specialist at the Goodfellow Centre – Idea Central at Saint Kentigern College. Anita has shared with us a great promotional activity they ran at her library. Thanks Anita!

Our College has over 300 staff members and it is not always easy to get them to our Library.

Most staff members do not know what our Library or collection is about. To promote our newest titles we came up with the idea to provide staff with a Holiday Reading Bag for the summer holidays

Midway the term we printed posters and send out emails to all staff.

My Holiday Reading poster - 9

3 Weeks before the last day of term 4, I showed staff, during the morning briefing, a red paper handbag, containing books, DVDs and a couple of magazines. Stapled to the bag were a postcard and bookmark with a literary quote, and attached to that a little chocolate Santa. The handles of the bag were tied together with a colourful ribbon. Inside were also a flyer to promote our eBook and eAudiobook collection and how to access the platforms. I promoted it as a special treat and explained that by ticking a number of boxes on the online request form, they could indicate what genres and type of materials they would like.

When I finished my talk I received a standing ovation! People clapped and cheered and talked excitedly as if Santa had arrived and they were to receive a lovely present. It was very moving…….

In the 1st week after our announcement we hardly received any responses but in the 2nd week the requests started coming in.

3 weeks later we had received 75 requests, often from staff members the names we didn’t recognize or teachers we’d never seen in the Library.

D-Day arrived and all bags were lined up along the glass balustrade near the entrance to the staffroom. It looked amazingly festive. Staff came in and excitedly collected their personalized bag. For them Christmas had begun!

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Was it a lot of work? Yes definitely. Was it worth it? Yes, Yes, Yes!

  • We created great staff satisfaction by providing a personalized service
  • It was a good relationship builder
  • We proved to have diverse and high quality material for all ages and interests
  • It enabled staff to request titles they might not normally ask for
  • We discovered what staff wants to read, watch or listen to. We purchased over 40 titles we didn’t have but were requested
  • It freed up time for staff, they didn’t have to visit a Library in their holidays to get reading material for their spouses, children and themselves
  • We issued 650 Library items in a single promotion and raised the reading statistics: Evidence Based Practise
  • We raised the profile of the Library – people were talking about it, not only with colleagues but even with people outside the College
  • We gave staff a feeling of appreciation and being valued by reaching out and all participants highly appreciated that

 

 

 

 

 

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