Think Like a Librarian, Act like a Visual Merchandiser

How do we get students to read more? 

  1. Provide books they want to read: do interests and attitude surveys regularly. Like adults, kids have very broad interests — they may not be interested in reading the trending YA book such as the Hunger Games, nor even be interested in reading fiction.
  2. Book publishers and book retailers spend large sums of money on marketing, cover art and showroom displays — borrow some of those ideas for your classrooms and libraries.
  3. Allow time in class for independent reading of self-selected books/ magazines and time for discussion about books
  4. Less is more, so get rid of old books that no-one wants to read, even if you loved it as a kid! (it doesn’t matter if they are in great condition). Books from the last century picked up at  garage sales or thrift stores need to be tossed in the bin.


IMPORTANT: Conduct regular student attitudes and interests surveys to inform your book purchases, example from CASI


Visual Merchandising – 4 principles

  • Keep it simple and make the right first impression (create interesting book displays that change regularly)
  • Less is more  (weed, weed, weed )
  • If you can’t see it, it won’t sell (book covers should face out)
  • De-clutter and organize (make it easy for kids to take books off the shelf or display)

display2 copy.jpg



You can also get ideas for improving your library displays from books on Visual Merchandising. The Toronto public library has a number of books available: N=&No=10&Ntt=visual+merchandising

Also check out Youtube videos on visual merchandising for book sellers. Here’s an example: BOOKSTORE 


pdf of infographic:2.THINK LIKE A LIBRARIAN

Check out this post: How to Build a Better Library







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