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Surprise Me! Bundles

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Surprise Me! Bundles

Vaughan Public Libraries

Customer Experience | 2021 | Top Innovator

Innovation Summary

Surprise Me! Bundles give customers a great selection of carefully chosen library material without the hassle of requesting individual items or filling out a staff recommended form. Bundles are categorized by age range, covering birth to adult, and include both fiction and nonfiction in various formats. Customers can borrow as many as they would like.

Problem Statement

As a result of the COVID-19 closure of our physical branches, shelves and merchandizing displays were unavailable to customers for browsing. Further, some collections, such as board books, are not cataloged for holds deeming them unavailable during that time. With long lines of customers outside for curbside service, we wanted to give our community quality recommendations quickly and conveniently. Surprise Me! Bundles give customers the opportunity to explore materials they might not have otherwise selected for themselves.


Staff create and follow inclusive selection criteria for each bundle to maintain consistent, quality service across our system. Each bundle contains 8-12 items, promotional material for upcoming programs/events and additional Reader’s Advisory services we offer. Bundles allow staff to highlight our collection in another way — promoting diversity, equity and inclusion — while also providing a selection of excellent quality materials to all of our customers, particularly to those who don’t know what they want to borrow.


Although our branches are now open to the public and collections can easily be browsed, Surprise Me! Bundles have been such a success that we continue to offer them as an in-branch service. To date, we have circulated 11,734 bundles systemwide, which is approximately 94,000 items since the initiative began earlier this year in 2021.