5 Ways To Improve Your Library Circulation

Looking for quick and easy ways to increase circulation in your library? Check out our recommendations for increasing patrons and circulation in your library today! 1. Create An 'Atmosphere' In Your Library You know your school and students and what makes them happy, stimulated, and eager to learn. Think back to the 5 senses for easy ways to create a welcoming space.

  • SIGHT - This one might sound simple, but often libraries leave the tops of shelves and other unused spaces in the library blank. Take the opportunity to display old and new titles and come up with new and creative display boards. What is the first thing students see when they walk into your space? Start here first.

  • SOUND - Libraries don't have to be completely silent 24/7! Studies have found background music may help with concentration and would make book browsing

  • SMELL - Think like a realtor and bring yummy smells into your library! Often times, libraries can smell old. Look into natural mold removal remedies and scents fora pleasing and welcoming smell.

  • TASTE - If you're able, offer students and teachers a space for them to be able to eat, purchase small items like coffee and water. If you're not able to do this, think about holding a book 'tasting'!

  • FEEL - Create comfortable places for students to read, collaborate, and find security in your space.

2. Staff & Student Picks Love reading staff picks at your local bookstore? Post a short review of your favorites for students to see. Better yet, have students write their own reviews to post! These can be short, simple, and cheeky! 3. Reduce Information Overload How are you presenting titles to your students? Great ways to reduce information overload and help patrons find books easily are to:

  • Weed

  • Genrefy

  • Ditch the Dewey

  • Provide Recommended Book lists to students, or help them create collections within current automation systems.

  • Book Displays - The best way to recommend titles

4. Visibility How visible are you with students and teachers on campus?

  • Visits to classrooms for booktalks and co-teaching

  • Collaborate with teachers for more library time

  • School to home connection through reading

5. "Power Aisles" Take a cue from the local bookstores, grocery stores, and other businesses to take note of where the traffic flows in your library. Librarians should observe how patrons move through their library. Here is a way to discover patterns of patron movement in a library. Make a simple map of the library. This map does not have to be to scale, but it should record furniture, collections, and other objects patrons may use. As patrons enter the library draw lines recording their path through the library. Record the paths of 25 to 50 patrons on the same map until traffic patterns begin to emerge. Major book displays should be located along major paths of traffic. These patterns will also show which parts of the collection are being used and not used. (Web Junction. What Libraries Can Learn From Bookstores. Chris Ripple.March, 2012)

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