How to Fill Libraries With as Many People as Books

February is often associated with romantic love, what with Valentine’s Day being celebrated every 14th day of the month. But did you know that it’s also the Library Lovers’ Month and 14 February is Library Lovers’ Day? It seems fitting especially because there are different kinds of love you can find in literature. Now, if only more people were visiting their local libraries.
According to the National & State Libraries Australia’s Australian Public Library Statistical Report in 2017, registered library members fell to 9.34 million people from 9.88 million a decade ago. When taken into context from the total population, only 38 per cent are members today compared to almost half of the population in 2007.

Books are often published in digital formats today and information is a few taps on your smartphone away, so fewer and fewer people are utilising their local libraries. However, these things do not change the fact that libraries are still a treasure trove of information. So, it’s up to librarians and library managers to revitalise people’s love for the library. Here are a few ways you can do this:

1. Give New Users Welcome Packets

What better way to show appreciation for new library users than with a welcome packet? Giving them one is a great way to introduce the library and its services to them. You can include bookmarks, notebooks and lanyards that can hold their library card. There are different types and designs available so look for more info on lanyards, bookmarks and other items.

2. Create New Spaces

Great libraries do not only offer endless resources through books but also experiences for the community. For libraries to become a place for meetings and interactions, creating new, interactive spaces is the way to go.
For example, adding a cafe where visitors can take their borrowed books and have coffee at the same time would attract more people. There can also be meeting rooms where you can invite authors and professionals to talk about their specialties, like starting a clothing business or creating a website. It’s a great way to reintroduce the uses of the library to people who are interested in these talks.

3. Use the Power of Social Media

Some libraries offer a myriad of services, like having free Wi-Fi and after-school care for children, and host tons of events, like author signings and live storytelling. Unfortunately, these often go unnoticed by people in the community because they simply don’t see the announcements and invitations when they’re released.
One way to address this is to use the power of social media. A library using a Twitter or Facebook account to promote the events they’re hosting will quickly realize that such methods are more effective than simply posting a flyer or a small newspaper ad. With the right hashtags and online ads, the people who are meant to see an announcement for a library event will see it and are more likely to go.
Libraries are places that can anchor a community and bring people together, which is why their usefulness should not be forgotten. With a little work, librarians and the people in charge of running libraries can keep these book-filled treasure troves alive and thriving with people.

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