The Economics of Summer Reading Programs

So, here’s a crazy idea.  I think that what MLA or the Michigan division of PLA needs to do is set up a deal with large Michigan companies for summer reading goodies.  Can you imagine ALL of Michigan public libraries going up to Kmart, Jiffy Mix, or Vernors or even some of the bigger museums in the state and saying “Hey, can you give us free products or swag or cool stuff from your museum store that we can give as prizes for summer reading?”

What a great way to bolster businesses and provide reminders of the things that are distinctly home-grown brands while also helping libraries boost summer reading.  Public libraries already work closely with community businesses, but large corporations are community businesses too.

Public library patrons are fiercely loyal (usually) and I’m pretty sure that a bit of free stuff would help improve sales in the long run for Michigan companies.

I would like to see MLA help member libraries in that way…let’s see what happens as this year moves towards a fresh batch of summer reading programs!

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