You know how some of your best ideas just “hit you” out of the blue? Last school year, a senior service learner (who was also a member of our Bulldog Booklover Club) was assisting me in processing a new shipment of books. We were like the proverbial kids in a candy store as we checked the books received off the packing list.
“Oooh…I wanna read this one!”
“I remember the reviews I read as I was considering this one; it is supposed to be awesome!”
My service learner grabbed paper and a pencil to start writing the titles of the ones she wanted to be sure to read. After all, she was a senior, a voracious reader, and she didn’t want to miss out on one single book that could sweep her into another world for a few hours.
The “Aha!” Moment Strikes
What reader doesn’t love new books and the prospects for adventure, mystery, and/or romance each holds? As we continued to pull each new title out of the box, I had one of those “aha” moments: why not hold an exclusive new book preview just for our book club members?
At the time, we were still in our old facility and decided to set up a preview display in our conference room. Invitations were created and announcements were made and I arrived at school earlier than usual on the morning of our first preview to set up the waiting area for our book club members. Because our space was limited, I could only allow three members at a time into the conference room to pour over the new books and choose the one they were allowed to check out.
Eager faces awaited me as I opened the library doors at 7:30 and a horde of students raced to the back to claim their space in the preview line. Excitement bubbled over – letting me know that this was a tradition in the making.
Setting Up the Preview in our New Facility
We still use a conference room in our new facility, and even though it is smaller in size than the first conference room we used, it contains bookcases and tables perfect for setting up the display.
Our book club members love this membership perk; watching them as they make their selections (and smell those new books!) makes the time and effort of setting up the preview worth every minute. I photograph each with his/her selection and request a honest review of it when each is finished reading.
An added bonus: other students in the library the morning of an exclusive new book preview often ask to see what our members are checking out and ask to have a copy of the book held for them. Seeing the excitement of their peers creates more interest in new arrivals than do announcements or displays.
How do you promote new books?