Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Beep! Beep! Make way for library traffic!

Ever wonder what libraries could learn from grocery stores? Marketing Library Services newsletter had a great January article called "Retail Interior Layout for Libraries". The article deals with how to improve traffic through the library to maximize service use based on retail principles. The author pointed to Emporia State University Libraries as a good example of a retail-like interior.


Dan Ream said...

This reminds me of the old question, "do libraries stock their milk in the back?" like grocery stores do.
If VCU Library had put its cafe in the back, perhaps people heading there would be exposed to other library services on their way.
"Hey look, somebody's answering a question over there!"

For an interesting analysis of why stores stock their milk in the back of the store, see Vince Staten's book "Can You Trust a Tomato in January?" He has a nice explanation of why cans of soup are arranged as they are on the shelf too!

Dan Ream said...

I read this entire article and was surprised it didn't use the "milk in the back' argument at all. That being, ....stores put their milk in the back so customers will walk past all the displays in order to get the known wanted item (milk) and in so doing may pick up other things they hadn't planned to buy. Libraries could use this by placing their cafe, tax forms, or other "destination items" at the rear and highlighting other services along the path back to that destination.

Ms. OPL said...

You might want to check out John Stanley's library marketing newsletter, Just About Library Retail, which is chock full of ideas. You can sign up at http://www.johnstanley.cc/news_and_articles/e_newsletter.phtml
John has also written a book, Just about Everything a Retail Manager Needs to Know, with a lot for librarians.