Marty Woodall's Posts (2)

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Copied from Illinois Libraries Matter

At the Hairdresser’s, Contemplating Readers’ Advisory
Posted on October 31, 2013 by sporteus
I love talking to people about what they’re reading.  I always apologetically preface my questions by explaining that I’m a librarian because I don’t think folks frequently talk about what they’re reading.  Lately, the service man who came to fix my stove shared that he likes to read biographies of sports and rock stars although he avoids the library because he just doesn’t have as much time to read as he used to (he works more hours than ever before).  The baseball dad who jump-started my battery told me that he liked to read Bill O’Reilly.  He doesn’t use the library, either.  Someday I’d like to spend some more time thinking about how to serve men and get them into the library, or conversely, serve them where they are.
But my most interesting recent conversation was with my hairdresser’s assistant who told me that she used to check out books at the library, but now that she downloads books to her iPhone she never uses the library anymore.  She doesn’t download free books from the library; she purchases everything she reads from Amazon.  When I told her she could download books for free from the library, she said that the money her books cost her was not an issue. She told me that she values two things especially about the service Amazon provides:  when she finishes a book, Amazon prompts her to select a new book it recommends for her based on the book she’s just finished and, Amazon gives her “samples” of books which she saves to remind her what to buy when she’s ready.
My hairdresser’s assistant’s story highlights three concerns I have.  Her willingness to pay to have the convenience of not using the library is evidence that, among some of our patrons, library use is not convenient and they would rather pay for materials than suffer the inconvenience of borrowing them from the library.  Could we make the patron experience more convenient?  Perhaps we could permit patrons to borrow fewer and older books for a longer period.  Perhaps we could allow patrons to borrow reference materials when they are not too expensive or recent.
Another concern I have is that we don’t do enough to interest patrons in new titles or read-alike titles while they are in the library.  While I’ve been told that readers are always looking for suggestions for new things to read, I’ve often observed very little in an organized fashion to offer suggestions to readers besides telling them about new books (or simply displaying new books in a special area).
Lastly, I think that we need to be where our patrons are.  If that means that we need to know something about how hot and steamy a particular romance author is, or which authors would be good readalikes for Debbie Macomber fans, or to be able to rattle off all of the Duck Dynasty spin-off book titles (shucks, I don’t know what they are, either) than that’s something that we should be doing.
I greatly appreciated Kasey Riley’s blog post on Readers Advisory that appeared last week in Illinois Libraries Matter because I believe that readers advisory is very important to the future of libraries.   Reading, whether fiction or nonfiction, is still central to many patrons; serving their needs for news and recommendations is simply part of giving them the excellent service they deserve.
Given that fiction is important to patrons at most of our libraries, we need to know something about it and be able to share that knowledge with our patrons.  (Of course, nonfiction readers advisory is vital to serving all our patrons, and especially, men.)  Libraries are retail environments, and those of us serving the library public need to know the merchandise so that we can express its value to our users, and to make appropriate suggestions to meet their needs.
Elizabeth Neill is a current member and former co-chair of the ILA Marketing Committee. She is extremely active in advocating for Illinois libraries and loves to talk with people to determine how libraries can serve their communities better.

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I THINK THAT CHURCH LIBRARIANS SHOULD BE EVEN MORE CONCERNED WITH WHAT PEOPLE ARE READING. WE HAVE VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO SHARE WITH A LOST AND HURTING WORLD. BUT ARE WE MAKING A REAL EFFORT TO FIND OUT WHAT PEOPLE ARE READING AND EVEN HOW THEY ARE READING IT? WE DO NEED TO BE TALKING TO PEOPLE IN OUR CHURCHES NOT ONLY THOSE THAT COME INTO THE LIBRARY BUT THOSE THAT DON'T. WE ALSO NEED TO BE ASKING OTHER PEOPLE THAT WE COME IN CONTACT WITH WHAT THEY ARE READING, LISTENING TO OR WATCHING. THEN WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THEY KNOW THAT WE HAVE GREAT MATERIALS TO SHARE WITH THEM AND IT'S ALL FREE! BY THE WAY, BOOKS ON CD ARE A GREAT WAY TO GET MEN USING YOUR LIBRARY. THEY CAN LISTEN TO CD'S DURING THEIR DRIVE TIME TO AND FROM WORK.

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What do you think of the LIBRARY here at SCBC? Do you think of it as room with a bunch of shelving with books on them? Is it possible that the LIBRARY here is really much more than that? Those of us that are involved in the library know that it is much more than that! The library is a viable Ministry of this church, not only viable but VITAL ministry. This ministry is unique because it is the only ministry that actually supports all other ministries in the church. The “old view” of a library needs to be “DELETED” if you think it is just a room with books. When it comes to the library here at SCBC our TEAM has a heart for ministry. Here are some examples of the support for other ministries here:
         Men’s ministry—Wild Game Events- BIG GAME SHOOT for children
         Children’s Ministry---Great Eggsit and Light the Night-Bibleman RING TOSS
         Die Cuts---Laminating---Craft Ideas
         Children’s Bulletins to help children pay attention to Church Services 
         Sunday School & Discipleship---Teaching Aids, Reference materials and other support materials
         Pastoral ministry---Mediagraphies available on request on what ever “Study” Is currently being done
       Children’s Church---Bible Stories, DVD’s and Books to support what is being taught In that time frame.
         All Ages---Greeting cards for all occasions
                         Book and Bible Repair
                         Need IT basket-do you need a needle & thread, Eyeglass repair kit, Fingernail file or Band-Aid. We have those too!
       Outreach---Library OPEN to community on Thursday Nights, before and after all services
          Letters to all VISITORS inviting them to use our library which will encourage them to return to THIS CHURCH
      Adults---Coffee and a gathering place to just sit down and talk with people you don’t get time to talk to very often. (Check us out on Wednesday evenings.)
      Homeschoolers---many resources to support the education of the next generation from a Biblical Standpoint and general knowledge
            Even provided a class on the Dewey Decimal system and would like to provide additional classes on other aspects of library work in the future
           Storage of Homeschool materials.
      Youth---We have several “Kits” available that will be excellent   material for their study
      Missions---Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes
                        Collecting Eye Glasses and Eye Drops for Mission Trips
      Prayer---National Day of Prayer Event open to the Community and other churches
      VBS---Support materials, Craft Ideas, Overhead projectors for background setting
      Families---Summer Media Programs that help children maintain their reading levels during the summer vacation and encouraging family time
                     Media in all formats with good Christian Values
      Choir---Accompaniment CD’s for Soloists and ‘coming soon’ many piano music books
      Other Libraries---We offer training for others libraries (church, public and private schools, and public libraries) by planning and hosting annual Central Alabama Spring Library Workshop
       This list is just a few things we do to provide ministry to our church and community. We are also open to IDEAS for other ways to support this church and ministry for Christ!
In Service to Christ,
Marty

 

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