Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Originally uploaded by J Semenza
While visiting libraries I found myself dithering about taking handouts. As I analyzed this inhibiting feeling I discovered a few things. First that proximity to authority made a great deal of difference. If the handouts were located ON the desk, I was less likely to take one. If they were located (as the ones are in this picture-Provo City Public Library) away from the close supervision of librarians, I would take one of everything. (Ask me about my binders of handouts sometime).

Another factor was number of handouts available. If there were only a few, say 5 or so, I was less likely to take a handout for fear of shorting someone who really needed one. On the other hand, if it was a spectacular handout such as the "Squeaky Clean and No Caffeine" I'd take it anyway. So style/substance did make a difference. If it was more generic/informative I would leave it if there were only a few.

Lastly, and building on the above if the handouts were branded with the library logo/info in an attractive way I definitely wanted it. I was also fascinated by the different donor type brochures, though few libraries included these items in their general handout racks in the public areas.

In summary:
1. Make your handouts/brochures attractive and give them appealing or catchy names/titles.
2. Locate them in visible areas away from the official service desks.
3. Include the types for making donations/gifts to the library.

My two cents.

Who never changed her behavior about taking handouts as she went along. Too worried that someone else might really NEED that last handout/brochure.

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