(For the purposes of this exercise, I’m operating as if I have a blog on young adult literature. Not just for me, either, but a blog meant to represent the teen room of a public library. This is most appropriate for me, and suits my reasons for taking this course.)
In order to get patrons reading this blog – and coming back again and again – I’d like to focus on interactivity between readers and the library (i.e., me). But in order to encourage that sort of back-and-forth, I need to make sure everyone is comfortable.
Code of Conduct
I’ve just composed a VERY brief commenting policy, here. It can also be reached at any time from the top left of the page. I kept it short and sweet because readers are going to be primarily teenaged, but I think it does the job. Readers will be encouraged to read the policy before commenting. It basically tells them not to be rude, but to definitely be vocal otherwise, and to remember that comment moderation is nothing personal: it’s about maintaining a certain environment for this particular blog. This should do two things:
- Make the blog a safe place to be expressive.
- Give posters a policy to which to refer when their decisions are questioned.
Taken together, this should make everything run more smoothly.
Now that a safe space has been established, I want to take every opportunity I can to get my readers talking back. The first thought I had was a poll. Instead of the library picking book club books and then waiting for teens to sign up, the librarians could suggest five titles that are all suitable and allow readers to decide by majority vote which one of the five will be read.
I like those colors: good for summer reading!
I Say, You Say
Along the same lines of interactivity, I’d ask readers to review books they loved reading independently, and submit them to the blog. That way – with a little editing on our end, as needed – patrons could share with other teens the books that they found read-worthy and why. This helps to knit the community together AND it makes our blog more authentic: in addition to my reviews (which can only be from a librarian’s perspective, hard as I try to be cool) will be the two cents of actual teens. This sort of peer-to-peer encouragement could even increase book circulation.
Top Ten Tuesday
Remember the Broke and the Bookish blog? I wrote about their meme that invites bloggers to compose their top ten lists on book characters, authors, favorite quotes, and so on. I want to make a habit of participating in TTT on this blog, linking back to the Broke and the Bookish blog and having them link back to my top ten lists. This could increase traffic.
What’s more, I want to encourage readers to do their own top ten lists in the comments. The hope is that they’ll have something to say about my list, and something to say about the choices of others, too.
Finally, I want to develop a rhythm with the collection development being done at the library, so that – at the beginning of each month, say – I can post on the blog about what new books are being ordered for the teen room. I can say a bit about each, give my own preferences, and then ask readers which one they are most excited to read. If there’s a really popular book being purchased, I could say that the first commenter who uses a profile to say they want to read such-and-such book, so that I can tell who it is, will have the book put on hold for them. It’s a good way to guarantee at least one response – there’s something in it for them.