Monday, 5 September 2011

Getting displays off the stand and into hands

Before the weekend I held an impromptu meeting with my colleagues where we discussed and planned our display ideas for the year.  Last year I recorded issue stats for display items in the main centre to see how well they were borrowed.  Stats were not good - the most successful was our revision display (see image on right) whereby we displayed a total of 156 items across our 3 month revision period.  From that 57 different items were loaned out - around 37%.  I recorded stats for a total of 13 displays last year and none of the others reached a loan percentage of above 25%.  Four of them didn't even have a single, solitary loan.

What is it that makes a display good?  I always make sure that the books I choose are in a good condition with an eye-catching cover and the display stand is placed next to the help desk. Our displays are predominantly theme-based rather than relating directly to course study but are relevant to either College events or national events.  In a College of our size it can be hard to create displays related to courses whilst trying to be fair to all.  National Science and Engineering Week takes place next March and I'm hoping that our display for that will be well used.  It's a shame there isn't a National week for all the different subject areas!  I know we could make one but I know the students whose week takes place at the end of the year will only go: "we needed that earlier!".

Any good tips you have for getting display items off the stand and into hands are very welcome.