You're Making Me Read What?! Podcast
Fairfax County Public Library, Va.
In October 2018, the Fairfax County Public Library launched its newest podcast: You’re Making Me Read What?! (YMMRW). FCPL’s library director and deputy director feature in this monthly podcast, which is all about one specific book for each session. They have divergent reading tastes, which makes for intense discussions and humorous moments.
The main challenge for FCPL was to continue to reach out to its community in support of reader’s advisory. With 23 public service locations and circulation of over 12 million items per year, FCPL remains one of the busiest libraries in the south by circulation. But as with many libraries, FCPL continues to search for new and innovative ways to bring additional readers into our libraries and to share some of our best loved — but maybe not flying off the shelves popular — items more widely.
FCPL uses this podcast as a tool for readers advisory, as well as internal and external marketing. With YMMRW, library administration was looking for a slightly more subversive method of infiltrating people’s lives (and podcast queues). The focus is entirely on getting the public focused on the book being talking about, and less specifically on FCPL or the services/programs offered. At the end of every podcast, one of the speaker’s reminds folks that they can pick up the featured book, or more than 2 million others, at their local library.
FCPL anticipated outcomes were to create buzz around the books being discussed, to bring new users into the library and to generate interest in the podcast as well as other marketing tools by both internal and external customers. All anticipated outcomes have been achieved. When the next book selection is announced at the end of the podcast, there are hold queues on the title growing over the following week. YMMRW is now Fairfax County's most downloaded podcast. The podcast has also driven usage to FCPL's website.