The poster sessions at Oregon Library Association are an opportunity to create a visual presentation of an innovative concept or idea that will hopefully be of use to library colleagues. Poster session presentations are optimally items that have some evaluation criteria built into them so that colleagues can know they are legitimate ideas worthy of consideration.
Blind Date With a Book is not an original idea from me or from my poster session co-creator and work colleague, Heidi Nowak. However, our take on this idea is one that is visually unique and very well-suited to many types of libraries. The purpose of our poster session was to encourage other libraries to promote well-written titles that have dropped in circulation over the past two years. Our method is to cover the book entirely and to place an enticing description (sans author and title) of its contents on the outside wrapper. Intrigued patrons then take the book home and read it. Each book comes with its own easy to fill out “Rate Your Date” bookmarker so that patrons can give libraries feedback on the titles selected for the promotion. Participating in the poster session gave me, my colleague, and my library positive exposure at a statewide conference. It also took an uncomfortable collection development issue – the low circulation of good but older literature – and made it something positive for patrons and staff. Disseminating this information to colleagues was rewarding. All 150 of our handouts were taken and we generated a sign-up sheet for another 25 colleagues who wanted the information emailed to them at their libraries.