It’s been a month since I started a Staff Picks area at my place of employ. It might still be a bit early to tell, but it seems safe to say that it’s a success. Not everyone has done a “pick” yet, but everyone still remembers and says they will. Some staffers are having difficulties getting the book they want to recommend before it gets checked out, not a bad problem to have really.
The display is located on top of a low-level bookshelf and even though it’s not in the front of the library, people are finding the titles. The line for the circulation desk also forms right next to the staff picks which likely helps (and is why I put the staff picks there to begin with).
Plus, they’ve been circulating! Just the other day two people checked out recommended books. Earlier than that another woman checked out one of the books I had written up for the display. I didn’t help her, but “Susan” later told me that the woman thought Staff Picks were a great idea. She said when she went into the library and saw all of the books, it was daunting to wander around and find something really good. And I’m so glad she felt that way because that’s exactly why I really wanted to get this thing off the ground.
I’ve also been urging staff to pick titles from all parts of the library since, having only one circulation desk, all patrons pass the Staff Picks on their way to check out. So far I’ve only written up children’s or YA titles and I have to say that adults have been looking at them as well. My mom says I need to write larger so that older patrons will grab the books and I suspect she is right about that.
On the whole, I’m feeling really positive about the whole thing and am thrilled that I was able to initiate change–even for a small thing like a display–at my library. The true test of any program (I use the term loosely here in reference to writing up and displaying the staff picks) comes when the iniator leaves. Will my legacy live on should I eventually leave this library? I don’t know. But I hope that the first month suggests a certain level of staying power. Time will tell.