It’s thesis time! By which I mean it is my last semester, and I’m having oodles of fun working on my thesis, which is a study to try and determine the most effective and popular way to shelve graphic novels in public libraries. I’m super-psyched about this project. It would seem my department likes it, too – they gave me an award for the best research proposal of the semester. Woo!
Several months ago, after meeting with the director of my hometown’s public library, I located all of the eighty-plus graphic novels in the building. They were scattered through the Juvenile Fiction and Juvenile Nonfiction, Teen Fiction and Teen Nonfiction, Adult Nonfiction, and even Science Fiction, sections. I took note of all of them and started recording how many times they checked out each month.
After getting three months’ circulation data, I have moved to Phase Two of the project: pulling all of the graphic novels to place in a separate section. They are now marked in the catalog as graphic novels, and green tape on their spines will hopefully get shelvers to return them to their new spot – here.
I will now see whether, and how, the circulation rates change. My hypothesis is that they will go up, as I suspect many patrons who like graphic novels simply didn’t realize the library had these.
The display on top could be a spurious factor, certainly, but I put it there for two reasons:
- It promotes the new section – and graphic novels! – for the library and its patrons, the interests of whom are at least as important as the pristine scientific nature of my study.
- I need it to display, and give IRB-required information on, the survey that I’m asking patrons to fill out about the new section. Hopefully, this will help to support the data I gather on circ rates by showing which shelving system patrons actually prefer.
Also, I worked hard on it.
All those middle-school posterboard projects finally pay off! Huzzah!