I’m a bit of a sucker for lists particularly those random blog posts about the top five films featuring squirrels or the best places to live if you like cheese.
Luckily life in a Library consists of all kinds of lists – readings lists, journal lists, databases lists, order lists but perhaps the most important is the ‘to-do list’. Written on the nearest piece of scrap paper for me this is scribbled list of things I would like to get done during the day (or week) outside of the general day-to-day tasks.
A lot of times it’s more aspirational rather than attainable but it’s useful to have something to refer back to during those rare quiet moments when the phone isn’t ringing and the inbox(es) are clear.
The A-Z list and the Library
I also like A to Z lists in fact one of the first things I did when I got this job was to change the default sorting order on the Library catalogue so results would appear alphabetically by title. It bothered me more than it probably should have when they previously sorted by ‘Author’.
So this love of lists and ordered results made me think that actually an A-Z list might be a nice way to promote some of our key library resources. The tricky bit was choosing what to leave out but a list quickly came together in my mind and I was then able to create a simple image and an accompanying blog post: The A-Z of UCS Ipswich Library. Since November 2013 it’s had nearly 900 views and is actually the 3rd most popular post on our blog ever.
Some weeks later I found I wasn’t alone in my thinking when I came across the following post on the Voices for the library’ blog: http://www.voicesforthelibrary.org.uk/2013/12/a-library-a-to-z/ which focused on a session held at Library Camp East where participants were asked to create an A to Z list of words that reflected the positive activities and values of libraries. Check out #LibraryAtoZ to see what a couple of other libraries were able to put together.
So in closing I would suggest that anyone looking for a simple and effective way to promote the range of resources, services and facilities they have should indulge in their own love of lists and see what you can create. It’s a lot of fun and you may even surprise yourself by just how much you have to offer your customers.