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Shopping in Edwardian Times Giclee Print

Shopping in Edwardian Times by Peter Jackson

This past Sunday was the finale of the television show, Selfridge. A rather peculiar concept; a biographical and somewhat fictitious portrayal of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the American rag to riches story who took London by storm during the Edwardian times by creating the Department Store Shopping experience as we know it today. As previous mentioned, I have been taking mental notes of his practices and trying to adapt them to modern day library services. Of course, I could just read the book for this information, but it is not available at my library just yet. Still waiting on it. So Mr. Selfridge personal life aside and those of his employees, here is a run down of my observations. Do you suppose I read too much into the show?

  • Advertise, advertise, advertise! The Press is your friend! (But be careful not to over promise!)
    • Word of mouth, newspapers, radio, website, facebook, twitter, etc.
  • Appearance is everything.
    • Dress the part, tidy up library collections
  • Be gracious and kind
    • Thank you notes
    • Notices
    • Mediate, appease, but stand firm
  • Create once in a lifetime opportunities
    • Celebrity/author visits
    • Original art
    • Original programs
    • Book Festivals? Book clubs? Adult Literacy?
  • Embrace technology
    • Learn! Darnit! LEARN!
    • Have a gadget guru friend keep you up to date; work for you
  • Keep employees happy
    • Be gracious
    • Let them advertise for you, so keep them in the loop!
    • Reward, single out
  • Logo
    • City Logo
    • Have logo contest as well—use on everything
  • Mascot/Spirit of Selfridges
    • Myself?
    • Other?
    • How to behave/speak
    • Mission/Goal
  • Get people talking about the library!!! We’re awesome.
  • Public be aware of services and products
  • Motto
    • Go Big or Go Home
    • Where every day extraordinary is mandatory
    • There is no fun like work
  • New items in front room
    • A la book store, if we could rearrange the library. . .
    • Delegate certain sections for certain advertising
  • Options for patrons/transparent displays
    • Classes
    • Genres
  • Partnerships with other businesses, artists, cross-advertise
    • High School students
    • Community College students
    • Find local adult hubs of artists
  • Patrons are our guests
    • Be welcoming
    • Patron is always right
    • If you wouldn’t accept the behavior from a guest, don’t put up with it
  • Pick the best people/employees
    • Encourage the good doings of the ones you have now
    • Create your Board of Trustees
    • Make them “experts” or at least appear as such
    • Find others, friends, networking get in touch with them/meetings/lunch once every so often, ROUTINELY
  • Quality over quantity
    • Book selection
    • Experiences, choose wisely what we can offer
  • Seize the moment! Carpe Diem!
  • Stay abreast of the news (Local and National)
  • How to turn a situation into good press
  • Respond to news; stay relevant
  • Support
    • Cross advertise
    • Attend their events as well-be a part of the community
    • Get to know the community; could you recommend an honest mechanic, a great hairdresser, a teen who is looking to babysit or a dog walker?
  • Surprises
    • Book club extravaganzas
    • Patron Appreciation month
    • Staff appreciation
  • What would they like? Anticipate need.
    • Programming
    • Book selections, if they like this they might like that
    • Follow trends and try them out but know not all of them are right for your community, but some may surprise you
  • Window displays.
    • Create vignettes they can see themselves in.—services as well as products.
    • Local artist
    • Not all windows need to be visible at once, keep the mystery alive and rotating
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