A warm welcome to Anne from the Stock Development Section in Glasgow Libraries
Have you ever wondered who chooses the books for your library or indeed the process behind that final selection? Over the years I have heard the question – Who buys these books? – asked many times by our customers sometimes in a good way and sometimes not so good. To address this question and to get out and actually meet our customers we have established a rolling programme of visits to Glasgow Libraries under the title:
By the Book ( play on words here!)
We invite the customers to their local library to meet the selection team on a particular day and time so that they can find out the who, why and what lies behind the selection of stock for their libraries. It is also an opportunity to let our customers know about any new services we are offering and to publicise everything we do as it relates to stock e.g. do you know you can now place a reservation online and choose which library you want to pick up the item? Or if you think we have missed a book you can place a suggestion online?
We also want to hear from the customers themselves to see if we are buying the right stock and if not what can we do better.
Each visit follows the same format – posters are sent out in advance publicising the event, a notice goes on our website as well as on twitter and facebook . The staff are represented by myself and another member of the Stock Development Team, the Customer Service Supervisor for the library concerned and at least one representative from the local Area librarians.
The event itself lasts approximately 2 hours and takes place in the afternoon usually arranged to coincide with a busy time when we can meet as many customers as possible. Sometimes we have people waiting for us with a list of questions e.g.
Why do you never buy any Americana music CDs?
Why do you not buy your books from Asda?
Can we have more magazines?
Sometimes it is just a comment:
I have been coming to this library for 30 years and always find something to read!
Love the atmosphere in GoMA!
I think my favourite is:
The library card is the last piece of socialism left apart from the bus pass!
After the event the Stock Team compiles a report listing the number of people consulted, the number of comments made, the comments that require action and who is responsible for any action points. This report is distributed to the Customer Service Supervisor, the Area Librarians and any other relevant member of staff e.g. if a comment is made about children’s books it will be passed on to the librarian in charge of selecting children’s stock.
Just to show that we do listen here are some actions taken as a direct result of one of our visits:
ANF craft section in Couper Institute library refreshed
The graphic novel section in the Library @GoMA refreshed
A customer was signed up for a computer course at Govanhill Library during a visit.
So look out for the poster saying we are coming to your local library, come along, tell us what you think and hopefully we will be able to answer your questions!