How do you encourage church members to use the library?
We run about 450, not counting children's church which is close to 100, and yet the same dozen or so people consistently use the library. I need some ideas that will bring people in to browse and hopefully check out items.
Outside of newsletters, website info, having themes and other promotional things, something that has really worked for me is to just talk to people about what they like to read.
I ask anyone who even looks at our library (ok, an exaggeration) what they like to read. I try very hard to suggest books that they would like to read. I've even suggested books that aren't in our library. Admittedly I read lots of book reviews. The personal attention seems to work wonders for us.
I think Sharin hit the nail on the head. The one-on-one seems to work. It isn't surprising that the same folks make use of the church library. They are readers and they are the same ones that use the public library as well. "They are readers". I always acknowledge everyone that does come into the library member or visitor. That personal welcome can lead to places unknown for those entering. On the way to church each Sunday, I silently say a prayer for guidance for those entering the library or even touch their toes on the door steps. I recently retired after 33 years and I'm still promoting books. All the suggestions that Sharin gave are very appropriate. God bless you for your work. Do you have a coffee time following church service? Set out a display of seasonal books that may attract "customers". Never pass up a chance to share.
I create poster ad's that I hang up in various places around the church. Some are books being made into movies; some are seasonal/ holiday; some showcase new titles or similar topics, etc. I try to change them every few weeks, but keep the posters in the same general locations - outside bathrooms, on bathroom mirrors, above water fountains, and on doors. I make color copies of the front covers of books and include them on posters and bulletin boards.
Sometimes I ask others to write an ad - not a book review- to encourage others to read a book and include this with a color copy of the cover on a poster.
I also have found "book talks" on YouTube (I try for less than 2 minutes) that I post on our library Facebook page or get included on our email newsletter for new books.
I also "gently harass" anyone who comes in the library - what are you looking for, what are you reading, what do you think we need to add?
I often do the Children's Time during the service and remind the children to come visit me in the library and that we have things available for ALL ages!