Library Assistant at New Ross Library, Wexford Libraries
It requires a lot of imagination and determination to tackle a course on the changing the visual impact of the books on the library shelves when that library is closed, you can’t meet the readers or touch the books.
Tina Callaghan was the first person to complete our course on Merchandising the bookshelves, after we adapted it to be taken without any access to a physical library. Tina used her library catalogue to research titles and bring them into virtual exercises online. Her work on the course has set the bar very high indeed.
She used the opportunity of this time away from the pressure of day-to-day working routines to re-examine how her library used in-shelf display and decide what practical methods could be introduced to target it more effectively for a wide range of readers.
Tina was particularly interested in bringing more readers to the YA shelves. She was able to talk to her manager about how the library managed the collection and to agree ways to expand the range and re-locate the books to increase the appeal.
Tina says: “ I realised that our student area which contains tables and chairs for studying is actually making it difficult to browse the YA shelves. As teenagers are the hardest demographic to get in and to keep reading, it doesn't make sense to put any obstacle in their way, so we've agreed to change the section to a different area. . I've also suggested that we split the bay into Teens and YA as a lot of bookshops do now. If we were to do this, I think it would make choice a lot easier for all ages.”
Tina has an acute awareness of the power of aesthetics and how to use face forward display to keep the library collection looking contemporary and dynamic. She has the insight to see how a library can adapt the way bookshops display books and so make the most of the huge range that the library can offer.
Tina’s work on this course has demonstrated that she is both practical and creative and will be contributing really good ideas for change in her library in the future.