New Ideas in Collection Development and Merchandising

Revamp Your Strategy to Engage Readers and Increase Circulation

Starts October 26, 2016

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Back by popular demand is Library Journal’s second online course on innovative ways to increase circulation, engage readers, and expand your staff’s capacity for readers advisory. In this 4-week course, you’ll hear weekly from guest speakers from retail and library settings via live webcasts. Additionally, participants will work with a dedicated advisor who will provide you with one-on-one feedback for your plan within an online discussion group, where you will work on weekly assignments, share resources and best practices with a group of peers from across the country.

By the end of this course, you will

  • Learn from program blueprints that you can emulate.
  • Develop a new collection development strategy and a staff training plan within your budget, whether it’s $0 or much larger.

Online course features

  • Instructor-led online courses feature personalized interaction over four weeks
  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available afterward)
  • Weekly homework assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help sort out challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums
  • Articles, videos and other resources

Course advisor Kiera Parrott, Reviews Director for Library Journal and School Library Journal, shares highlights from the guest speaker program and explain what you can expect from the interactive online course.


Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Wednesday, October 26, 2016

SESSION 1: How to Merchandise Like a Bookstore

1:00-2:00 pm ET

In this exciting keynote session, Gary D. Robson, author and General Manager/CEO at This House of Books in Red Lodge, Montana, will highlight proven methods for showcasing library materials; give examples on how to work with themes across ordering, displays, events, and promotion; and demonstrate how the power of a single RA interaction can transform a casual visitor into a lifelong library user.

Gary D. Robson, Author and Bookseller

Homework: Strategic Planning: Assessment and Goal Setting

WEEK 2: Wednesday, November 2, 2016

SESSION 1: Data-Driven Collection Development

1:00-1:45 pm ET

What do your circ stats, holds lists, and turnover rates say about your collection and community? Debra Lambert will offer advice on leveraging useful data to make smart collection development decisions that will pay off in high usage and happy patrons.


Debra Lambert, Indianapolis Public Library

SESSION 2: Patron-Driven Acquisition

1:45-2:30 pm ET

Libraries looking to flip the traditional acquisitions process or experiment with specific collection models will learn how the Sno-Isle Library in Washington is working with their ebook vendor on Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA), an innovative strategy that allows patrons to discover and instantly access digital materials—whether the library has purchased them yet or not.


Mike Hawkins, Electronic Services Librarian, Sno-Isle Library (WA)

Homework: Internal Outreach and Patron Focus Groups

 WEEK 3: Wednesday, November 9, 2016

SESSION 1: Innovations in Print Collection Development

1:00-1:45 pm ET

Wendy Bartlett, the buyer for the renowned Cuyahoga County Public Library, reveals her tips and tricks for successful collection development in this deep dive into print acquisitions.


Wendy Bartlett
Wendy Bartlett, Collection Development and Acquisitions Manager, Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH)

SESSION 2: Digital Collection Development

1:45-2:30 pm ET

How do the tried and true skills for discovering, evaluating, selecting, and promoting print materials transfer to the building of digital collections? Andrew Medlar offers keen insights into how Chicago Public Library has expanded their rich collection of digital materials and offers guidance on best practices for making sure those “hidden digital gems” are discoverable and well-used.


Andrew Medlar
, Assistant Chief, Technology, Content and Innovation, Chicago Public Library (IL)

Homework: Staff Assessment and Fine-Tuning Your Project Plan

WEEK 4: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

SESSION 1: Marketing & Merchandising RA Content with Susan Brown, Director, Chapel Hill Public Library

1:00-1:45 pm ET

Susan Brown of Chapel Hill Public Library shares her winning strategies for leveraging RA both inside the library and via social media.


Susan Brown, Director, Chapel Hill Public Library (NC)

SESSION 2: RA as an Essential Service; How to build and strengthen RA skills in every staff member

1:45-2:30 pm ET

Some librarians are born readers’ advisors. But many staffers require training, guidance, and support. Darien Library’s Stephanie Anderson discusses the concept of RA as an essential staff skill and demonstrates how staff-wide initiatives and skill-building sessions can transform any staffer into an RA superstar.


Stephanie Anderson, Assistant Director, Readers Advisory, Darien Library (CT)

Homework: Reflect, Refine, and Finalize Your Project Plan