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At work this week, I’ve been heads down in a statistical review of the library’s marketing efforts over the last six months. My desk is littered with spreadsheets and highlighters, and my brain is calculating a never-ending stream of data. And I love it.

As I look over these results, I’m especially proud of the job our library is doing in collection marketing. I attribute our success to a collaborative relationship with the good folks in our collection development department. That collaboration has led to some strategic marketing efforts that I would have never been able to dream up myself.

For example… the Yeti.

Near the end of last summer, one of my coworkers received an email from someone in collection development. This person noticed a trend in children’s books for the fall. There seemed to be a plethora of books about Yetis–those large, hairy creature resembling a human or bear, said to live in the highest part of the Himalayas.

And so, our Yeti book list was born.

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We asked this particular collection developer to put together a list of books about Yetis from our collection. In a matter of days, we had plans for a full-on Yeti campaign… a special webpage with links to the books, an infographic, social media posts, and an eblast to parents.

And boy, did moms and dads love it. I tracked holds and check-outs on the books over the course of the campaign. Circulation increased by 90 percent.

Our collection development department has helped us in other ways.  We’ve put together a collection of readalikes–books that are similar to a popular title like The Girl on the Train or a popular movie like the recent installment of Star Wars, but that haven’t gotten as much press or publicity. That strategy led to an average increase in circulation of 25 percent.

At Christmas, the collection developers put together book lists of new themed books for adults and children. At the end of the year, they picked a bunch of great new books that would be perfect for book clubs in 2016.Those ideas drove an increase in circulation of 37 percent per campaign.

I think it’s a great idea to make friends with the collection development department of your library. Those staffers know the collection backwards and forwards. They know the books coming in and they know which books are already popular with your readers. They can spot a trend and help you to fully showcase it. And if one of your strategic marketing initiates is to increase circulation, this is a great idea.

Are you interested in writing a guest article for this blog or do you know someone whose insight would be helpful to my readers? Leave a message in the comments or email me at ahursh@yahoo.com.  

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