Ideas for Programs & Promotions
20 No. 4 — Jul/Aug 2006
September - October
Each issue of MLS highlights some things from Chase's Calendar of Events and offers some program ideas for each event. All sorts of librarians can take advantage of these opportunities to reach out to customers.
This represents just a very few bites of information from the huge feast offered in the reference volume. For full information, consult the book (or CD-ROM): Chicago, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. ISBN: 0-07-146110-8 (for book/CD set).
Since this is College Savings Month, it’s a perfect time to have programs for parents. Ask some local financial advisers to come and give free presentations. They’ll be excited for a chance to win new business, and you’ll be building a new partnership.
September is also Self-Improvement Month. Why not have some lunchtime programs for staff to help them improve their library knowledge or customer service skills? If you get administrators to attend the sessions, more staff members are likely to come on board. Everyone can improve something!
This marks the 150 th anniversary of the birth of Louis Sullivan, the famous American architect whose motto was “form follows function.” (Frank Lloyd Wright was a student of his.) Special and corporate libraries in this field can celebrate by creating an online quiz for customers or having a design contest that the boss judges. Offer prizes and encourage creativity!
The date “September 11” is now burned into American history. On this 5-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks, one way your library can participate is by joining in “Libraries Remember,” an effort led by Bill Erbes at the Bensenville (Ill.) Community Public Library. Libraries represent human knowledge, access to it, and freedom, Erbes says in Chase’s. He encourages U.S. libraries to stay open for all 24 hours of Sept. 11, 2006 “as remarkable symbols of freedom, tolerance and hope.” You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tolkien Week is a great opportunity to promote this popular literature and the movies and games that tie in with it. J.R.R. Tolkien wrote more titles than most people realize; make them aware of his work by highlighting it on your Web site and in your collections. Make displays, have people come dressed as their favorite characters (great newspaper photo op!), or offer Tolkien books as prizes for “why I like this stuff” essays. You can e-mail email@example.com for more ideas.
There’s a lot going on in October. It’s National Book Month (http://www.nationalbook.org), National Reading Group Month (Martha Burns, firstname.lastname@example.org), National Medical Librarians Month (http://www.mlanet.org), and even Organize Your Medical Information Month (http://www.otherwisehealthy.com).
Mystery Series Week would be a great time to highlight the many mystery books (print and audio!) that you carry. According to Chase’s, two-thirds of all new mysteries feature a series detective. Get your readers’ advisory folks involved and/or use your “more like this” electronic tools to point mystery lovers to new sets of books that they’d enjoy. Which sleuth is the most popular? Poll readers this week or publicize numbers from your circulation records. You could even host a murder mystery dinner!
Today is the 150th birth anniversary of Edward D. Jones, who was a news reporter alongside Charles Dow and Charles Bergstresser. In 1897, the three left their current agency to form a little organization you might have heard of—Dow Jones & Company. It prepared and distributed new bulletins to the Wall Street financial houses. Eventually they began publishing The Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, staples of today’s information industry. Educate others about their work and make yourselves look extra-savvy to your customers!