Thomas worked on our course Understanding Book Appeal, exploring how to use the reading experience and the look of the books themselves to help readers discover something new to them.
Like many library workers at the moment, Thomas took the course while working from home as his library is currently closed. Whilst this isn’t simple, it did offer an opportunity to plan and think about how to tempt readers to explore a wider range of the library collection. It also led him to use the online library catalogue to select books as examples within the course.
It was clear from the start that Thomas was full of enthusiasm for the job and very keen to find ways to get round the barriers that readers often experience both in the layout of the library but also in widely-held prejudices around genre. Thomas is particularly strong on how to promote books that he himself would not read but also has astute strategies to interest readers in books they might otherwise avoid.
Thomas took a good look at areas of the collection might reward attention and is keen to talk to readers to uncover practical ways to increase their appeal. He used the opportunity to expose the gaps in the current collection and suggest titles to fill them.
“Audio books are not something that I would ever use and I would need to talk the readers more and find out why they use audio books, when they use them and what they look for in audio books? Do they listen to the same audio books as the physical books they read?”
Thomas used his work on the course to think about how readers choose and to devise creative ways to use his knowledge to widen the appeal of the library collection. He looked at how the library might use social media to connect with more readers.
Thomas contributed some of the very best work we have seen from learners on this course and his good humour, insight and empathy shone through in everything he wrote.
If you have questions you can contact Thomas on: Thomas.Maher@wexfordcoco.ie