Saturday, February 11, 2012

We Like To Move It, Move It!

Tomorrow or Monday (or before the Mayan Apocalypse) I’ll post my personal feelings on The Help. But for now, you’ll have to be satisfied with tips on advertising.

Ever pass by those poor, unfortunate souls whose job it is to hold signs while dressed like inanimate objects? Simultaneously you think, “I wonder how many calories that burns…” and, “Wow, cell service for only $9.99 a month!” It’s catchy, but you won’t find any librarian dressed as a hot dog while doing the Running Man on the corner to advertise a cooking program.

At least not outside the Elk Grove Library.

Yet sometimes you feel as if you need to wear a sandwich board to get people into your programs, which is almost as unflattering as dressing as a questionable meat product. Programs are listed on Evanced, in calendar, but when you see stacks of flyers collecting dust you wonder if only you and the crickets for your event. However, you can get these flyers out the door in a method that doesn’t involve you tossing them in the recycle bin, cutting them into note paper, or standing at the door like a bouncer at a night club.

The reason many flyers are sitting about is the white and mint green bookmark that list tax prep info blends with the white and mint green bookmarks you set out last week that lists storytimes, which blends with the ones on some writing contest sponsored by professional wrestlers, which means none of them get moved out the door. But if you draw attention to them, about every 3rd person who asks about them will pick them up, and maybe, just maybe, take them home.

Moving the Bookmarks

Library Bookmarks
Ribbon and/or twine
Hole puncher

1. The Eye Catcher
I brought this glittery red tree to the library several years ago after I bought it for myself but my family looked at me as if I needed an intervention. Yet it goes great with these flyers for our Dr. Seuss program featuring Chicago Bear Lance Briggs that happens on Friday, March 2nd from 1-5 pm.
2. The Post-Story Craft
I know, kids’ crafts are supposed to be interactive, but have you ever tried interactive with 80 people? Doesn’t work too well. So I give them bookmarks of upcoming events, chat up the event, then have them decorate the back with crayons, (washable!) pens and stickers. Kids love stickers. Even if you run out you’ll come over and see they’ve adhered the sticker outline to their forehead and are having fun running around, ‘cause that’s what you do when you’re 2 years old.
3. The Official Bookmark
This is the best one because it gives teen volunteers something to do (quietly, at a table far, far away from you), and it makes the bookmarks so attractive that people will spot it, pick it up, then come to the front desk to ask, “Can I have this?” Which is when you say, “That bookmarks for our Friday Stitch and Chat program, and we would love for you to keep one of those bookmarks.” Simply punch a hole in the top of the bookmark and tie on a ribbon or twine. (I colored the twine with a pen because I was desperate to use up stuff we already own.) Tapering the side with scissors is optional.

Hopefully these ideas will get the flyers flying out the library!

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