New Ideas in Collection Development & Merchandising

Revamp Your Strategy to Engage Readers and Spark Circulation

March 8–29, 2017

Live Sessions on Wednesdays at 1:00 PM ET: March 8, 15, 22 & 29

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New Ideas in Collection Development

Learn real techniques for increasing your library’s circulation and expanding your staff’s capacity for readers advisory in this four week online course. You will attend weekly guest speaker sessions via webcast and build your collection development strategy through weekly assignments. A dedicated advisor will provide you with one-on-one feedback for your plan within an online discussion group, where you will share resources and best practices with a group of peers from across the country.

Participants will complete weekly assignments that help them build a new collection development strategy and staff training plan to expand their reach in readers’ advisory.

Register before Friday, March 3rd to receive 20% off the standard rate of the course!

Participants will learn

  • How to align with the book industry to market and promote books, authors, and creative programs
  • How to build out readers’ advisory capabilities as an organization with a focus on understanding community needs
  • Techniques for deepening staff involvement in readers’ advisory in a way that gets everyone from staff to patrons excited
  • Low-cost ways to transform collections with labeling, signage and displays
  • How to use data to support RA efforts
  • And more!

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

Now available! A separately bookable Week 1 primer.

Sign up for the Week 1 primer and get full access to the first session on March 8th from 1:00–2:30 PM ET. Attend the live session with Q&A and get pro tips on how libraries can best align with the book industry to market and promote books, authors, and reading through creative programs.

In this archived webcast, Jamie L. Watson, head of collection development at Baltimore County Public Library, shares her experience as a group facilitator in a past Library Journal Collection Development & Merchandising online course and answers questions to help you get a better understanding of the course and what you can expect.

Group discounts are available!

Register in groups for a unique team-building experience and get everyone working together. Contact us to learn more.


Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Wednesday, March 8, 2017


1:00-1:30 PM ET

Course advisor Carmen Scheidel, CEO of, will lead you on a guided tour of the online classroom, explain how the assignments and homework groups work, and take any of your questions to help get you set up for our live keynote session.

KEYNOTE: Creating Diversity and Localism in Collections

1:30-2:30 PM ET

In this keynote session, Carl Lennertz, a creative force behind projects including Book Sense Indie Pick, World Book Night, and Children’s Book Week programming, will share ideas on how to build true diversity in your library collections, based on models that have worked in the independent book world. As an expert in marketing and sales, he will also share tips on how to market those diverse collections by tapping into local authors and including them in transformational events.


Carl Lennertz
, Executive Director, The Children’s Book Council

WEEK 2: Wednesday, March 15, 2017

SESSION 1: Increase Circulation by Expanding Your Readers’ Advisory Footprint

1:00-1:45 PM ET

In this session, we will provide concrete ways to build out your readers’ advisory capabilities as an organization. With a focus on understanding community needs, we’ll also explore how to use data in your RA efforts. The session will examine the power of visual displays, providing examples of great visual promotions and tips for new merchandising strategies.


Robin Nesbitt
, Hilliard Branch Manager and Readers’ Advisory Lead, Columbus Metropolitan Library (OH)

SESSION 2: Influencing Your Community Through Collection Development

1:45-2:30 PM ET

In this informative session, you’ll explore resources for finding materials for your library’s collection. You’ll learn what you can do to keep your community both entertained and informed and you’ll discover your influence on your community’s understanding of itself and the larger world through collection development.


Robin Bradford
, Collection Development Librarian at Timberland Regional Library (WA)

WEEK 3: Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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.


Deb Lambert, Director of Collection Management, Indianapolis Public Library (IN)

SESSION 2: Patron-Driven Acquisitions

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.


Michael Hawkins
, Electronic Resource Librarian, Sno-Isle Libraries (WA)

WEEK 4: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SESSION 1: A Look at Crossover Collections

1:00-1:45 PM ET

This session will take a look into non-traditional collections, including Dewey-free collections and other user-centric ways to organize materials. Jessica Moyer, Visiting Reference Librarian and Assistant Professor of University of Illinois, will focus on crossover books, the topic of her new book Libraries Unlimited.  She will discuss the idea of reaching new users with current collections by thinking about different audiences.


Jessica E. Moyer, Ph.D.
, Visiting Reference Librarian and Assistant Professor, University of Illinois, Reference and Information Services, Main Library

SESSION 2: Innovative RA for Innovative Collections

1:45-2:30 PM ET

Now that you’ve learned how to build a fantastic collection for your community, tell them about it and show them what they can do with it. Understand the differences between major social media channels and how to use them best to promote traditional and non-traditional library collections.


Kaite Stover
, Director of Readers’ Services, Kansas City Public Library (MO); Regular guest on “Book Doctors” segment of Up to Date with Steve Kraske, KCUR-FM 89.3