Not every Street Library is blessed with abundant foot traffic. Your neighbours might feel a little shy about reaching into your Street Library and taking a book. Or maybe your library’s book turnover is a little slow.
With the help of our Street Librarian community we’ve compiled a handful of tips to help you activate your library and keep it humming.
Rotate And Display Your Catalogue
People are more likely to visit your library if they get the sense that it’s regularly refreshed with stock. If some books aren’t shifting, swap them out with other books for a couple of weeks. Highlight prized titles by displaying them front-cover out and draw your community in. And if a book is really not budging, swap some titles with another Street Library. Check our map to see what libraries are in your area and connect with your fellow Street Librarians.
Register Your Street Library
By registering your Street Library with us your library will appear on the Street Library Australia map. This map is frequently updated and widely-consulted by members of the community; having your library included will let Street Library supporters know your library is open for business.
Launch And Promote Your Street Library
The Street Library Australia website hosts resources for announcing and promoting your Street LIbrary. Keep your children busy by enlisting them to distribute flyers up and down your street. Create some footpath artworks using chalk directing people to your library. Have a party to celebrate its launch and create a spectacle to pique curiosity within your neighbourhood.
You can create a fuss any time that suits you by celebrating special days, weeks and themes. This is 100% up to you and needs only happen when your time and resources allow! Holidays and culturally significant occasions, Book Week, author birthdays – you can dip in and out as it suits you and in accordance with your interests.
Let Your Local Schools Know
If your Street Library is particularly child-friendly or reasonably close to your local childcare, pre-school or school, let them know about your library and ask them if they have a community noticeboard (virtual or physical) or newsletter where they could share information about your Street Library. Similarly, you could pop a flyer up at your local cafe or community hall.
Take It Online
Some Street Librarians create social media profiles for their libraries and regularly post about additions to their catalogue or events they might be hosting. Promote your library’s social media page by placing a sign on your library letting people know its profile handle.
Even if you don’t have a profile for your library you can still promote it via various online community groups – parent groups, suburban and regional groups – if there’s no profit involved most groups are open to sporadic posts about freely accessible books!
Cater to Dependents aka Bribes
Folks with children and/or dogs are not always able to stop and admire your catalogue without having something to offer their dependents. We’ve heard reports from our community of small offerings designed to entertain any non-compliant beings you might be travelling with… dog treats and a hook for leads, stickers, a visitors book that your child can draw or write in while you browse, or some preloved kid’s toys… whatever you can offer will go a long way to ensuring return visitors.
Maybe you have further advice to offer on how to entice people to your Street Library? Email us!
*Thank you to the seasoned pros of the Street Library: Librarian’s Corner group for their tips and advice!*