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Posts Tagged ‘book promotion ideas’

Donation Details

There’s nothing more special than the doting love of Grandparents.   But sadly, not all children have the pleasure of knowing their Grandparents, so that is where Special Friends can step in and fill the gap.

Providing an opportunity for the Grandparents and Special Friends of our students to be involved in the school lives of their young ones is one of the most enjoyable and special events I’ve ever organized in the school libraries in which I’ve worked.   Observing the look of joy on the faces of both the students and their visitors really is magical.

After setting up the date in the school calendar, invitations can be prepared and sent out by admin or Library Staff.  Contact your local bookshop or regular book supplier and get them to agree to ‘giving’ you a bundle of books on appro.  Better still go in and select what you want, being sure to include a range of cheap to expensive books, fiction and non-fiction.

Using easy to peel off labels, record the cost on the front of each book.  Then on Grandparents & Special Friends Day set up an attractive display with a sign inviting attendees to donate a book into the library in honour of their grandchild/special friend.  Be sure to have a pile of donation leaflets on hand so that details can be recorded – name and address of the donor (so you can send a note of thanks) as well as the wording that they would like recorded on the donation sticker which will be inserted into the book.

The only other bits and pieces you need is some petty cash and a person to handle the ‘sales’ and some morning and afternoon tea.   If you really want to make it a special day, you could, in advance, invite some of the grandparents/special friends to do a reading.  There’s nothing nicer than passing stories on from generation to generation.  Small groups of students, clustered around ‘visiting readers’, creates a warm and fuzzy feeling for the day.

And – by the way – if you are considering running this event, do think twice about the wisdom of restricting it to just “Primary’ aged students.  Being a Grandparent or Special Friend doesn’t stop when students move from Primary to Secondary school!  You’d be surprised how thrilled and excited older students feel when they are included in this special kind of event!

Give it a go.  If it worked for me, it may also work for you!

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There’s no easier way to promote your library and make it the centre of attention than by holding a book launch.   Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in a number of book launches which were held in our Library or organized by Library Staff in a central school venue.   Each of them were a stunning success and believe it or not,  involved very little effort on our part to get it happening!

No idea how to make it happen?  Well, the best starting point is either an author or a publisher with whom you have struck up a personal relationship.   If you haven’t got either of these, don’t be shy to approach publishers directly letting them know that you/your school are interested and available.  Make approaches well in advance so that you can be sure to secure the event.

Obviously there are various logistics that need to be worked out, but again these involve no more than a phone call or an email to confirm:

  • check the school calendar to ensure there are no date clashes; be sure to have the book launch recorded on the calendar
  • if the launch is to be in the evening or weekend, check the need for special arrangements such as security or parking
  • determine, preferably in writing, whether you or the author/publisher are to handle publicity – flyers, invitations, newsletter or newspaper articles or announcements
  • similarly, determine who is responsible for organizing and providing the catering – drinks, nibbles or more; include this in the written agreement
  • once details are confirmed, decide whether you will enlist the support and assistance of Library Staff, other school staff, students and/or parents in the running of the event
  • organize a photographer to be present so that good photos can be included with write ups of the book launch; informing the local newspaper of the event well in advance will ensure wider publicity of your successful book launch

Give it a go.  If it worked for me, it may also work for you!

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A few years back I used to team with another Teacher Librarian whose first name was also Bev, so the title we hung on this little event was a real draw card!

The event is as simple as it sounds.   We always pitched it at our Year 12’s who enjoyed being the focus of attention.  Being allowed to ‘feast’ in the Library as well as being able to be there during the usually taboo morning recess time added a certain something to the mood.  Having members of the Library Team as well as the Year 12 English teachers made this a nice mix.

An enormous batch of homemade choc chip cookies together with a couple of giant saucepans of hot chocolate were the backdrop to tables laden with the best of the best reads.  An enlarged overhead projection of book covers together with some ambient background music of Beethoven and Mozart added just that bit of colour and culture that ‘made’ the event ever so special.

Making this an exclusive event for Year 12’s was great.  Even when ‘the other’ Bev left our Library Team, the incoming Year 12 class came to expect that this was an annual event in which they would star!  Over the years though, as I’ve continued to implement this event in various school libraries I’ve worked in, the name of the event has evolved to be ‘Books ‘n Bikkies’ which still has a nice ‘ring’ to it!

Give it a go.  If it worked for me, it may also work for you!

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Don’t know about you, but whenever you ask a group of students to find a book to read, they kind of get up, hover around the shelves and chat with the closest friend next to them.  Then, with trepidation, they slide their hands over the shelves, timidly pulling a book or two off to look at more closely.  Some read the blurb, others consult further with friends on the book’s worthiness and yet others seek your advice.

Theme Fiction stickers I have used.

It’s obvious when you think about it, but theme fiction stickers are a great help in selecting books of appeal and interest.  For students it’s a quick way to locate books on a theme that appeals and for Library Staff it is a quick and  easy way to deal with a surge of many students all at once! 

I’ve worked my way through three school libraries to date, patiently identifying and then affixing theme fiction stickers to each of the books in the fiction collection.   Yes, it does take forever, but the dividends most certainly pay off!  The secret to getting the job done is to be methodical and consistent.  Being realistic at the outset that this is a ‘big’ task is also a great coping strategy. 

Determining some base criteria before you begin is important, especially if you are likely to have many helpers.

  • identify the themes to be applied to your library
  • purchase the stickers from a library supplier such as RAECO or Syba Signs
  • determine where the sticker is to be affixed to the book – above or below the call number
  • decide if to strip the stickers
  • consider if and how to record on the Library database the theme fiction assigned to the book.

Then set about the task. 

Select a manageable bundle of books.  Identify the theme of the book and affix the sticker.  If desired, strip the stickers.  Locate the bib record of the book on your database and add in the designated theme fiction in ‘local’ subjects.  Using the prefix TF before the theme fiction will allow you to locate books you have identified in your collection and will also be a great help when creating wider reading lists or promotion brochures.  I found it to be most efficient to attach the sticker then update the library database in the one step.  That way I was sure that once the book left my desk and either hit the shelves or went into circulation, all steps in the process had been completed. 

Familiarizing library patrons with the theme fictions stickers is a breeze.   Once the job is done, it is pleasing to see keen eyes roving the shelves.

Give it a go.  If it worked for me, it may also work for you!

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Ever been to a bookshop and noticed that you gravitate to those books facing out?

It’s actually a ploy by the bookshop owners to entice customers to pick up the books and leaf through them.  Once a book is in the hands of a customer, there’s more likelihood that the book will be bought!

Well ….. I thought ….. if this idea works in bookshops, maybe it will work in a school library.

So, I selected bundles of books, enough to fill the depth of a shelf, and sat them facing out.  If I could, I’d select books by the same author, but sometimes it was just whatever was at hand.  I also tried to ensure that the front book had a colourful, appealing cover and ….. well ….. if the truth be known ….. I tried to mix up the colours on the covers so that my library patrons were hit by a rainbow look rather than a mass of all the one colour.  I aimed to have face out bundles of books scattered over alternating shelves of each bay.

For those purists among you who I can hear cringing at the idea of disrupting the nice shelf order of books, I can only say that it was worth it!   Books placed face out were regularly picked up and borrowed by my young adult readers.   Books stacked face out were also the ones that a group of students would stand around chatting about.

Give it a go.  If it worked for me, it may also work for you!

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