If your library is in a secondary school or a primary school the summer holidays will be a perfect opportunity for you to stock check, review, deep clean and maybe make some dramatic improvements. If it’s in a university, there will be an element of preparing for the new academic year, and things will be quieter, but a complete shutdown of the library is not on the cards. If you’re a public library, you should see an increase in footfall with reading challenges, vacation borrowing and holiday events.
What improvements can you make?
Whichever sector your library falls in, summer is a good time to review your processes and technology to see if improvements can be made. If you’re going to invest in new technology, it’s important to know that you will get a good ROI and that it has a long life expectancy. Make enquiries about maintenance and support and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Whatever equipment you purchase it needs to meet your needs, now and in the future. Talk to your staff and customers to find out what they want. What are their library pain points? Put out a survey or run a competition, you may be surprised by the responses you receive.
Summer stock check
Whatever the size of your library, stock checks allow you to keep a close eye on losses, borrowing practices, and the efficiency of security equipment. If your stock warrants it RFID tagging and gates can quickly pay for themselves especially if you have any expensive volumes in your collection (we’re not talking first editions, the cost of just a few lost hardbacks a month soon adds up, without factoring the cost of time and money to replace. A powerful RFID wand can make light work of an inventory.
Running out of space?
If your library is starting to outgrow its space or a lack of room is preventing you from doing all that you want to, then it may be time to get rid of those cumbersome desktop computers and put a laptop loaning system in place. By adopting a more fluid use of space with mobile furniture and seating you can change the space available within minutes and start making it work better for everyone. It may be a simple case of updating your shelving for more efficient storage or reviewing what you have on permanent display.