Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Trucks? Dinosaurs? Ballet? Public relations?

Every day parents ask us where to find picture books about ballet/trucks/bugs/space etc. I think we have a wonderful easy non-fiction selection but I feel that sometimes it is not user-friendly for those with little ones to watch.

While our staff is always willing to help locate books, I think displaying a sign with popular subjects and their dewey numbers would help patrons a lot.

In my mind's eye, the sign would be big, eye-catching, colorful, fun and include graphics of each subject alongside the dewey number.

This is where I see a possible public relations aspect. Instead of using stock graphics we could have storytime attendees or even local elementary school students draw the pictures. The pictures would be credited to the artist ("Drawn by Anna, age 7") and I think every little Madison and Aiden would get kick seeing their drawing on display at the library! I see this as a potential way for KRL to be a bigger presence in local schools and reach out to new, young patrons and their families. Each branch could even have a unique poster with art by local students.

I remember doing something very similar to this when I was in elementary school. There was a contest to draw a poster to warn people about duck mites in local lakes. It was a Very Big Deal (at least in my classroom) and Kitsap Parks and Recreation got us all really excited about visiting parks and playgrounds and avoiding duck poop in the lakes. It was a good PR move on their part and that summer, we frequented the park often to view my neighbor's winning poster design.

Regardless of whether or not we use budding Picassos, I think a sign like this needs to be made. It would really be helpful to patrons looking for specific subjects in the children's area and good customer service. It would encourage them to explore the easy non-fiction and also maybe check the adult non-fiction area for further resources.

So-- is a sign like this a viable idea? Or have I over-thought something that could be solved by putting out a few more "Where To Find It" flyers?


Kim Doyle said...

What creative ideas! I may try to do a version of the kids' illustrations of Dewey. (What I've got right now are black & white MS Word sheets with clip art, like a dinosaur saying, "567.9.")

carol c said...

Involving local children in the art used in the library signs is a terrific idea! The artist and all his/her friends and relations will just HAVE to make a trip to the library to see it. And what memories it will create for that child....

Stacy said...

Thats a great idea! It would also get young kids in on the Dewey Decimal System in general. We had a poster sort of like what you're talking at my junior high, with pictures with little illustrations representing subjects within each set of hundreds. It had a lot of tiny pictures but I think I having one in the kids section with big hit subjects would be great.