…think of an innovative way to promote romance, gentle reads or horror at your local library (pick one, just one!). What would be most effective? A catchy display? Some passive programming? In what ways could you incorporate integrated advisory?
At first, I wasn’t sure which genre to pick. Romance is a given for February, of course, (overdone maybe?) and we spend all of October promoting horror, so I was considering Gentle Reads, but I initially wasn’t sure. Then I read the week’s assignments and the relevant chapter in the textbook and the lights went on. Yes! I have also sometimes found myself in the mood for some “warm milk” and at my library we’ve spent the past year and half focusing on books and programs that celebrate the activities that used to bring women together in a community. The references to quilting reminded me of an event we did last spring that fits the description of integrated advisory for Gentle Reads.
We held a Quilt Show and invited all quilters in our county and the immediate surrounding counties to submit and display a quilt. We invited a speaker to present a program on historical quilts, especially Indiana quilt designs, and then created displays with items we thought might appeal to quilters. One key theme was the fact that quilting groups were a traditional way that women bonded and supported each other in times past, so we displayed books, magazines, movies, and audiobooks that featured Gentle Reads authors, stories, and inspired crafts. In addition, quilts were used as a method of secret communication on the Underground Railroad, and many of the women in Gentle Reads books are just as clever at using feminine activities to solve problems/mysteries/etc.
The monthly book club book was a quilting novel; I think it was one of Jennifer Chiaverini’s but I don’t remember for sure. There are other similar books such as the Amish Quilt Shop mysteries which are popular in my library among those who like all the Amish romances. We also featured children’s books including The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco, and Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson. We put up a whole display of them.
Our book displays included many of the books and authors mentioned in our textbook: Debbie Macomber, the Big Stone Gap series, Richard Paul Evans, and Jan Karon. We also included the full set of the Foxfire books, The Laundry Book by Cheryl Mendelson, and She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel. Movies included in the displays ranged from The Help, to Fried Green Tomatoes, and Gilmore Girls seasons.
Audiobooks were promoted as a great way to listen to your favorite heartwarming stories while still doing your sewing, gardening, cooking, and chores. Playaways are especially growing in popularity among our patrons who like to garden.
Pinterest crafts each month always reflect what the ladies of the library are currently reading, which is usually a Gentle Read. These are crafts that are practical, beautiful, and feminine. This month they’re making car air fresheners: clay medallions with essential oil. During the Quilt Show month, the Pinterest Club made a needle-felting craft.
Now that we’ve talked about Gentle Reads, I’m SO totally in the mood for Lake Wobegon! My husband says I’m burly and strong, while he’s good-lookin’!