New Horizons in Library Marketing and Signage
The other day I was at the Mall of America, where commercialism
takes forms purer and more intense than anywhere else. Looking
around me, I could not help but notice a trend I had only
peripherally been aware of before: ultra-specialty stores
carrying a narrow category of products, aimed at fans of that
narrow category. "Alpaca Connection", "Garlic Shoppe",
"Endangered Species", and "All About Purple" are just a few
examples of these types of stores at the Mall of America.
As a friend commented sternly as we passed Alpaca Connection,
"No llamas. Just alpacas. So if you're looking for llamas,
boy, are you in the wrong store." (We never did find the llama
store, but I have to believe there is one.)
All absurdity aside, it occurred to me that libraries might well
benefit from borrowing a page out of this marketing book,
especially where signage is concerned. What if instead of the
940 (European History) section or the SH (Aquaculture) section,
we offered our patrons "Old World Or Bust" or "Fish For All"?
Or, to narrow things down a bit further, how about...
Nothing But Nonfiction
- Every kid between 2 and 12 will drag Mom and Dad to
- For fans of everyone's favorite child wizard: Potter Barn
- Ah, those bewildering high school term paper assignments:
Out-of-Print Books You Can Plagiarize
- Because memory can be a tricky thing: House Of That Large
Red Book About Cars That You Checked Out Last August, Or Was
- For those who prefer sensationalized, unscientific health
information: The Quackery
- Suffering from insomnia? Stop by Focus On: History of
Your State's Small Towns
- Skip-tracing and missing persons research for everyone:
Where's Waldo? Too
...and miscellaneous sections that might be very useful near the
check-out (I mean, circulation desk):
- Celtic Castle--All Irish and Scottish romances featuring heroes
named Connor and heroines named Colleen, all the time!
- Christian fiction for heart and soul: Just Jesus
- For the mysterious type: Whodunit Haven
- For snoozers, not sleepers, by first-time novelists,
try Not Ready for Oprah
- Short attention span? Visit It's Less Than Fifty Pages!
- Cookbooks for those who can't cook: Recipes You'll Never Make
- For the toddler in your life: Books To Gnaw On
This piece was the Whimsy of the Week at
LibraryHQ.com for the week
of Oct. 1-7, 2000!
©Jennifer Friedman 9/17/00