Well there is no denying it, this summer has been nothing but hot, hot, hot! With some of the warmest days on record, it’s easy to understand why people are looking for ways to keep their cool. So what can you do to ensure your library is not only providing a cool-haven but also drawing people in from the red-hot-sun? Well, we're here to help, with these 3 innovative ways to bring people into your library this summer.
1. Keep it as cool as a cucumber.
You know that awesome feeling when you walk into a cool shop when it is super hot? Well you want to simulate the same relief and comforting feeling with the air-conditioning provided by your library to its visitors. There is an instant reward for coming inside. Think about walking into a fresh, crisp shopping centre on a brutally hot day. The sense of ‘ahhhh’ is immediate so try to recreate that.
Imagine also having a watercooler or water pitcher, with some paper towels to dry off and recyclable cups, for use in a specific area of the library. Customers often arrive hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. Provide as much comfort as you can, as if you were welcoming someone into your home on a hot and humid day.
Now let's tell the community that you have the coolest spot in town! You could do so by placing a few printed signs in the windows of local businesses, local hang-out haunts or in various printed media. You could also post to your social media accounts. Either way, think about ways to get the word out about being able to stay cool and do some cool things, like reading, crafts, gaming, chess club or makerspace activities!
2. Lean into it.
Yes, it’s hot, so why not think about ways to embrace the summer message whilst keeping users cool? Because although it’s human nature to complain about the heat, we also secretly love it!
You might consider starting a summer travel display filled with travel books from the hottest locations in the world.
Don’t be afraid to use all spaces available to you such as exterior walls. Think about creating a summer appropriate display that will capture the attention of people walking by.
Or perhaps place a selection of children’s summer books in a display for families to enjoy.
3. Bring them back.
Create and distribute Summer Reading Bucket List print outs to library users. Although these appear innocent enough, they actually encourage users to plan out and engage with new material, resulting in an increase in user stats. Create a reading list of the top 20 books that are topical at the moment. Create a competition or award for people who fulfill their bucket list. Celebrate the wins! This will increase continuous engagement and will be something to get your customers coming back throughout the summer months.
Don't let your imagine stop at these three ideas. Only you could possibly know how to engage your community best, so put the air-con on maximum cool, and start thinking of additional ways to bring people in from the hot summer heat, to feel the comfort and welcoming of their local library. Because we all know the library is the best place to hang out when it gets tough or hot out there!