Please welcome Anne from Stock Development at the Mitchell
It’s that time of the year again in Glasgow Libraries – our annual book festival, Aye Write!, is fast approaching – it takes place from the 9th – 17th March – and excitement is already building. The programme has been launched, the bookings are coming in and the banners are starting to appear but the big question on the mind of the Stock Development team is “Will we have the books on time?”
As well as offering visiting authors, talks and events we also offer the opportunity to browse and borrow from the Aye Write! Library. This is usually located on the ground floor of the Mitchell, based in Leisure & Lifestyle, but with small displays stretching out towards the Theatre area. It gives visitors to the library, both young and old, the opportunity to borrow the books that are showcased in the Festival.
The Stock Development Team’s work starts late in December – once the programme is finalised. It is with great anticipation we get our first glimpse of who is coming and the list of events. Is your favourite author on the list or is there an event you really want to attend? The challenge for the team is not only deciding what to order and how many copies of the books we want but making sure we have them in the building on time to support the various events taking place.
The process sounds simple enough – produce the list of authors, identify the book stock, place the orders and wait for the books to arrive. However, as always, there is more to this than meets the eye. Ideally, we will manage to locate a certain amount of the stock in our existing holdings. After a certain amount of checking the catalogue and requesting stock, we will be left with a list of outstanding titles. There can be many reasons for this – authors like to come to book festivals to launch a new title. This means a publication date very close to the festival itself and this puts pressure on our suppliers to source the material, process and deliver it to the library by the required date. Authors may not be launching a specific title but talking on a subject or be part of a general platform discussion and we like to source a back catalogue of their work which may or may not be still in print, it may be a local or Scottish author and we have to source the material ourselves which could involve an email to a small publishing company in the Western Isles and arranging to have the books dropped off the next time someone is visiting Glasgow. It may even involve a flying visit to the Festival Bookshop,Waterstones, on the day of the event to see if they have available copies we can purchase. It all adds to the excitement in the run up to the festival.
So, if you are coming to the Aye Write! Festival, bring your library card with you or join on the day and look out for the Aye Write! Library and the Aye Write! book displays. Hopefully you will find something amongst the lovely new books you will want to take home and enjoy at your leisure.