Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Surprise! Book Bundle!
I am excited to see so many libraries displaying “blind date with a book” and other book bundles lately. The Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson just experimented with this idea in December (I borrowed the concept from the recent WLA conference session called “More Ways to Increase Circulation in Your Youth Department”) and our patrons loved it! We wrapped groups of three juvenile books in holiday wrapping paper and encouraged families to check them out in addition to their other books. The bundles contained random mixes of picture books and nonfiction that could appeal to a wide youth audience (including lots of books with “boring” covers but beautiful content). All wrapped bundles featured a gift tag asking the lucky reader to return the materials by their due date so we could share them with more readers.
I could hardly wrap bundles fast enough! Kids chose their own gift-like bundles, parents brought home bundles for their kids, and one eight-year-old boy made sure to bring home enough bundles for all his siblings. In addition to boosting circulation numbers, the bundles were a fun way of generating excitement about books. After all, who doesn’t love tearing off wrapping paper? We heard many stories about kids begging to open their “gifts” in the car because they couldn’t wait the five minutes it would take to arrive at home. Our staff also enjoyed teaching mesmerized kids about the magic of RFID. Best of luck to everyone else’s book bundle endeavors.