May 28, 2022

Libraries Borrowing Marketing Ideas From Bookstores

From the Columbus Dispatch:

Today’s public libraries have a lot in common with retail bookstores, featuring special displays, coffee kiosks and gift shops.

It’s a way to keep libraries relevant, boost circulation and compete for the public’s dollar at a time when public funding is being cut, experts say.

Soft chairs flank a display of travel books at the Downtown branch of Columbus Metropolitan Library, where it’s OK to browse, dream, relax or even loiter.


“It’s standard operating procedure,” said Pat Losinski, director of the library system. “Our mission and our drive is to make materials relevant to our customers. We’re going out of our way to show customers that we’re aware of their investment.”

Library spokesman Kim Snell noted the library’s removal of large circulation desks a few years ago, which opened up the lobby for more displays.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.