2013 Projects – Blind Date with a Book

blinddateI did a Blind Date with a Book display in April, it went over really well.  I was pleased.  The books were wrapped and had a few key words on the cover, to give a sense of the book, without giving too much away.  31 of the 47 books circulating in just over three weeks.  The books were marked as “unavailable” in Polaris, so they needed to be checked in before they were checked out, but patrons and circ staff were fine with the slightly added check out time.

People I spoke with generally seemed to enjoy the idea, even if they did not check out a book off the display.  Strictly in an observational sense, many people stopped and looked at the display.

Total time spent on the display from set up to take down was about 6 hours, so it was time consuming.  Two quick things could make this faster; the first would be to pre-select the books (which I did not do, I just pulled shiny looking books and some of my favorites) and have a page pull them,  and the second would be to enlist volunteers to wrap the materials.

 I think if it is done again in the future it might go over well as a summer reading event or tie it in with February around Valentine’s Day.    I’d also love to do one for teenagers, if given the chance!

2013 Projects – Teach Yourself Microsoft Office @ TPL

office imageFor my Advanced Online Searching course, in conjunction with work, I created a pathfinder on self-teaching Microsoft Office.  Our classes are currently at hold in my workplace, and this was in part to show our patrons we still care about their computer education.  It was successful, and I found that patrons were pleased to have this information about our library services on hand.   I hope to set up shorter pathfinders on setting up different social media and email accounts, for an upcoming technology program at work. 

You can see the full handout at this link.  

The hardest part about this project was simply time involved in formatting.  The materials themselves were easy enough to put together. 

2013 Projects – Books on the Go

lame clipart!  it was free

The best of the lame clip art available for the project.

The biggest project (beside graduating) that I’ve tackled this year was was the revamping of Troy’s Books on the Go book group kits.  Of the previous twenty-odd kits, many had gone missing or were no longer circulating.  The bags were in disarray, and it was generally an underused collection.  When my boss asked me to select some new titles for consideration, it was simply exploratory; I did not expect it to turn out to be such a massive undertaking.

My first steps were to discover what local book clubs, and groups around the country, would be reading the coming year.  I gathered my titles and narrowed it down to about 20 items, sending it off to my boss for her perusal.  I was surprised when she told me she wasn’t going to make any changes, and even more surprised when I was informed to start ordering them!

Hours of time later, I realized that not all 20 items would be possible to get in an affordable fashion.  A decision was made to get things available in paperback only.  I made a few substitutions and ended up with 16 titles from the original twenty, with two titles that we would source from copies we already held.

My boss suggested new bags, which I was more than happy to track down, as the small tote bags from past kits were dingy and looking pretty bad.  By the end of the day I had sent her a list of options, and within a week or two, we had approval to order them  We ended up with these great zipped canvas tote bags that are really going to hold up to a bag of 12 or more books!

0508131706a

The hardest thing about this project was putting everything together.  The display needed to be set up with a binder of book summaries and discussion questions, processing needed to happen both in Tech Services, and then more on my end.  Barcodes needed to be added to the bags, discussion questions needed to be laminated and added, displays needed setting up.  It took at least two shifts for everything to come together.  Much to my surprise, 7 of the kits already had holds on them!

For those curious, here is a link to the list of the books/binder cover.

I’m really looking forward to getting feedback on this project from patrons, and I hope these kits will hold up over the next few years.