Thursday, April 21, 2005

Trading Spaces (Library Edition)

So last week, I was in New Jersey doing a scan presentation for the library association conference there. One of the people at the program, Kathy Schalk-Greene, gave me her card and suggested that I check out the web site on the card.

What a find! If you’ve read the scan or attended one of the presentations we’ve done, you’ll know that one of our themes is the importance of the library as place. Thirteen months ago, the Mount Laurel Public Library hosted a conference called “Trading Spaces: Reinventing the Library Environment” and this site is an absolute treasure trove of information about how to re-make your library into a more inviting place for your community. And the kicker is that the emphasis is how to do this on a skimpy budget. Mount Laurel Public Library and South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative each kicked in $15,000 to renovate the library, and the results are phenomenal.

But this was more than just an isolated success story. Instead, the idea was to use Mount Laurel as a showcase, and when you check out the photos and the testimonials on these pages, you’ll see why this has worked. Kathy won the New Jersey Library Association’s Librarian of the Year Award at the close of their conference last week. Just another reason to listen, eh?

In the interest of full disclosure, I should note that Karen Hyman (the director of the South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative) and I are on the dais together in Chicago for a PLA preconference called “Creating a Library Sales Force: It’s Easier than You Think,” on Friday, June 24 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. We also have the absolutely wonderful team of Peggy Barber and Linda Wallace, with whom I worked back in my ALA days, and Gail Griffith from Carroll County Maryland, PL, on the program. (Google Gail’s name and you’ll find a wealth of programs with which she’s been involved!)

1 comment:

Alice said...

I love the merchandising section! We've been hard at work in OCLC creative-world to develop merchandising materials to promote eMaterials to end users. Here's why--usage stats show that if end users know eBooks or eAudiobooks are available from their library, they use them. And libraries have said they just need help with awareness of the "category" of eContent to patrons/students. So this merchandising section fits right in with that effort!