As our Incubator group rounds out their mission for the 2015 year, we the 10 participating libraries, presented our findings to our 66 member libraries, the Mid Hudson Library System. Thank you to Rebekah Smith Aldrich and Tom Sloan for coordinating our group’s efforts to stop (if not reverse) the downward slide of library circulation.
While our group recognizes that circulation is merely one of many tell tale library user metrics, it is a basic one. I am pleased to say the Lagrange Library was frequently reported each month as improving our circulation stats.
Lagrange Library primarily focused on our adult fiction collection. We weeded our adult fiction collection, leaving items on the selves which have been circulated within the past 3 years. We also employed the CREW method. The condition of items which remained on the shelves was taken into consideration. Many titles we simply replaced with a cleaner copy/ more attractive cover. Finally, we moved items off the bottom shelves to aid patrons with mobility issues. In doing this we have noted an increased need to shelf read. Now, each staff member has a section of the collection in which they are responsible for straightening as well as shelf reading.
Also, we focused on what we were purchasing. We monitored the ‘high holds’ list in Sierra several times each week. Items which had more than 4 Lagrange patrons on hold for an item, we purchased a second copy, to circulate as a local holds to Lagrange patrons soley. The primary copy circulated system wide to satisfy Mid Hudson Library System’s Resource Sharing agreement. This effort has been met enthusiastically by our conservative community.
Finally, we have been offering one on one tutorials to help guide patrons with the Overdrive eBook download process. This instruction has resulted in a notably positive change in eBook circulation.
Where do we go from here? While our Incubator group mission has come full circle, I plan to further instigate circulation with the use of social media. I feel that the power of our electronic catalog has been over looked. We have created a carousel of New York Times top demand titles which rotate on our library’s web page and ultimately links to our card catalog entry for that particular title. This creates an easy placed hold transaction. I would like to create some sort of e-list for upcoming titles and pre-ordered copies of high demand authors to further facilitate circulation. Social media will play a big part in reaching our community.
This project has benefited our library, in that it has stimulated our staff to further weed other collections, shelf read, and look at our collection content more in depth. Library sustainability means offering what your community is asking for and satisfying that demand in a timely fashion.