Thursday, February 07, 2013

Clutter Busting the Playgroup Schedules

Once upon a time, I got an email from the school district announcing that their March and April playgroup calenders were available. "Oh no," I thought. "Now I have to print them and stick them somewhere they won't get lost or clutter up the youth desk for the next three months... OR DO I?"

So I decided to try something different. I stapled 3 manila folders to the Events bulletin board, which is the first thing patrons see when they enter the youth department at my library. For a few months, I used handwritten index cards taped to the outsides to designate them as "January playgroup calenders," etc. It was an ugly but functional, temporary situation. 

I was amazed at how many more of the calendars patrons started picking up when it was right where they were looking as they entered the department. I'd always assumed that the spot right next to the checkout counter was where we were getting the most eyeballs. BUT, and this makes sense when you think about it, the caregivers of the playgroup aged kids are sick of being at the library by the time they make it to the checkout. They've played with puzzles and dollhouses, read a few stories, chased the kids around the stacks and are more than ready to go home. When they walk in the door, they are curious about what's going on and more tuned into their surroundings. When they are at the circulation desk, they're trying to wrangle dozens of picture books and a toddler ready for nap time. They are no longer a captive audience. 

Now I knew this was a great location for this type of information, and I wanted to make it a more attractive greeting. I whipped these labels up in Publisher and then used the paper cutter to size them for each folder. The images are from Open Clip Art, so I'm sharing my file if you too have playgroup calendars everywhere. 

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