Hot Key Books out in the field (literally)

Back in May, Sara O’Connor posted on here about a project we’re working on, organized by The Reading Agency and the Publishers Association, which brings publishers and library authorities together to share digital skills. It’s an incredibly interesting pilot scheme where publishers are linked up with a library authority to launch a digital campaign of some sort, to drive awareness of libraries. Its a tough time to be a library, so it’s great to see that many of them are keen on thinking a bit differently to get people, particularly young people, through their doors.

Since May, ourselves, Penguin and Notts Libraries, have had brainstorms, conference calls and email exchanges all leading towards yesterday, when we stood in a (luckily sunny) field at a youth festival in Nottingham, to launch our project to the world.

Being the natural cynic that I am, I admit I was worried whether any teenagers would want to come and talk to us about books, or libraries for that matter. We deployed two tactics:

Get Free Books (in exchange for an email address)

Sweets! In exchange for telling us your favourite books.

It worked! Obviously everyone likes free things, and it lured lots of parents and teenagers to our stand to allow us to tell them about what we are doing. The gist of it is: if you are between 13-18 years old, and living in the Nottingham-shire area, you could have chance to win a trip to London to visit Penguin’s media suite plus get a year’s supply of free books! Who wouldn’t want to do that? And the runner up prize is to spend £1000 of Notts Council’s money on books to kit out the new West Bridgford Library when it opens next year. All you have to do is get creative around a book, in the digital space – video, blog, online poster etc and all the winning and runner up entries will also be showcased in the new library when it opens…

I was overwhelmed by the support and excitement for the competition, and also, by how many book-loving teenagers we talked to throughout the day. There’s nothing better than getting out there, in the field (literally) and talking to people who love books. We even met one girl who had already bought the ebook of Insignia – YES! A real life customer!

It was a great day, and we met some inspiring Notts librarians. If you’re interested in finding out more, or staying up to date with the project ‘Like’ where we’ll be uploading the entries and posting regular updates.

Until then, we’re off to investigate a Hot Key camper van…in order to visit fields and festivals near you! Don’t you think that would be fun? All aboard…


2 responses to “Hot Key Books out in the field (literally)

  1. Glad to hear it went so well. Just thought of a new use for our camper van – will have to persuade Luca!

  2. That sounds amazing! Oh so cool of libraries to get in touch with the people using them – I’ve got a stonking great one near me but I never know if anything is happening there. If I do stumble on an event, it’s by accident. Lead the way Notts Libraries and Hot Key!

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