The first staff meeting with the student assistants went really well! I had a full agenda of topics to discuss and everyone was engaged and full of ideas (the extra sugar from bringing cookies seemed to help).
One of the challenges that comes with working in the Read MMM is our location within the basement. It is nearly impossible to find your way around and people often accidentally stumble upon us while trying to retrieve laundry or grab a snack from the vending machine. One way to strengthen presence within the building is through social media. The staff and I discussed switching from using a Snapchat account to Instagram. We brainstormed some daily hashtags and one SA even suggested doing a movie battle to engage patrons to vote and interact with the account. One SA mentioned how they gave snack sized candy to patrons if they followed us on social media; I thought this was a great idea to reel people in and have them subscribe to our updates on platforms they already check regularly. It will be interesting to see how that influences check out rates or awareness.
I also suggested encouraging patrons to sign up for Renter’s Rewards; for each item that a patron checks out they add a sticker to a little cut-out with their name on it, which is then pinned to the bulletin board. When a patron gets 5 stickers, they get a full-size candy bar. This month, the little cut-outs are IU’s Trident and we have had a few patrons sign up so far. Our marketing SA and local Read RA, Kyle, has been giving tours of the MMM and letting visitors know about the free candy opportunities could help draw people in.
Next, we discussed ordering and changes to materials. We have had requests for video games and board games to staff as well as the suggestion box. One SA volunteered to generate a list of popular PlayStation 4 games that could be helpful to add to the collection. Another SA has a strong interest in foreign films and suggested that we organize the foreign film collection by country of origin. While I liked the idea, I thought the implementation might be tricky as far as shelf-reading and re-shelving would go. I asked if she would mind creating a list of foreign films by their countries of origin and offered to brainstorm how to incorporate this piece of information into the collection. I am also getting stickers with music notes to add to the musical collection and foreign film stickers to add to the corresponding films; my hope with these stickers is to make shelving these materials easier (currently SAs have to look at a list and then put items where they belong).
Finally, we discussed how the current schedule is working out. Everyone enjoys the consistency of having a set block schedule that changes every other week. Planning the monthly staff meeting on Sunday works great for everyone’s schedules, so I will keep that consistent going forward. Based on the feedback, I will try to keep a standard schedule as much as possible. Of course, life happens and schedules change as the semester goes on, but adjustments can be made to the standard.
Overall, I thought the staff meeting went really well and I heard a lot of suggestions and positive feedback from the student assistants. It is really encouraging that a couple of them have volunteered on side projects that will help make the MMM even better and I’m excited to see what these changes look like!