Did You See That? ​Applying and Evaluating Visual Merchandising in Libraries

As visual merchandising becomes a larger part of public and academic library practice, evaluation of this practice and its effectiveness is the next step in creating collections and displays appealing to library users. The question of “how can we get more books into our users’ hands and homes?” is persistent in librarianship. This workshop explores the design and implementation of display fixtures in public and academic libraries. Options and ideas for libraries of all sizes will be presented and discussed. The second half investigates the evaluation of new display types and techniques as implemented in a large public urban library in fall 2022.

This workshop explores display types, visual merchandising techniques, and evaluation strategies to determine display performance. How to communicate and coordinate large scale research efforts in multiple branches with public facing staff will be discussed. A brief overview of the differences between libraries and commercial book sellers and the strengths and weaknesses therein will be highlighted to contextualize the creation and execution of visual merchandising implementation and evaluation.

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Oct 21 2023


8:00 am - 10:00 am




  • Kelly L. Brubaker
    Kelly L. Brubaker
    Principal, Shepley Bullfinch

    Kelly is a leading library designer, programmer, and planner at Shepley Bulfinch. She has worked on a wide range of libraries and learning commons, including award-winning projects for the city of Austin, TX (Austin Central Library), the Ringling College of Art and Design (Goldstein Library), and Virginia Commonwealth University (Cabell Library). Kelly’s expertise lies in her grasp of library design that responds to generational shifts among patrons, and she enjoys working with clients on how to forge strategic partnerships between a library and its surrounding campus and community to enhance scholarship and academic success. Kelly is actively involved with the American Library Association (ALA) and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and is a frequent presenter at industry conferences, including the ALA Conference, Designing Libraries, and Re-Think It. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from The Ohio State University and her Master of Architecture from Georgia Institute of Technology.

  • Leslie Jankowski
    Leslie Jankowski
    Collection Program Lead, Columbus Metropolitan Library

    Leslie Jankowski is a Collection Program Lead at Columbus Metropolitan Library with over 18 years of experience in public, academic, and special libraries. Her work focuses on developing and implementing strategies for visual merchandising and collection management across the organization, including mentoring and training staff. She earned her BA and MA from The Ohio State University, and her MLIS from Kent State University.

  • Michaela Herrick
    Michaela Herrick
    Data and Applications Analyst, Columbus Metropolitan Library

    Michaela Herrick is a Data and Applications Analyst for the Columbus Metropolitan Library. Past work in social science research from interviewing to data mining informs the way she thinks about library usership and customer encounters. She has a passion for improving processes, understanding library customers, and providing the best library experience by leveraging new and existing data sources. Her passion for data science and libraries has fueled her goal of helping to bridge the gap between analytics and libraries.

  • Steve Magee
  • Wendy Tressler
    Wendy Tressler
    Core President, Director Capital Planning & Project Management, Columbus Metropolitan Library

    Throughout the past two decades, Wendy Tressler, M.Ed., MLIS has worked in a variety of leadership roles at Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML). Currently serving as the Director of Capital Planning & Project Management, she leads construction, technology, and operational excellence projects for the library’s 24-building system. In this role, Tressler leads the library’s $275M+ aspirational building program that includes the replacement or renovation of 18 buildings to date. As of Fall 2023, 13 buildings have been completed and are open to the public, one is under construction, and four are in the design phase. Her expertise and consultation has been shared widely; presenting and serving on numerous local, state, regional and national panels for the library, architecture and construction industries. Tressler was published in 2020 in the Journal of Library Administration on project management in academic and public libraries after serving on the Core Project Management Project Team. In 2018, Tressler authored a feature story for Library Journal Leading Inside & Out which she later incorporated into a Keynote presentation. In 2023, she was awarded the Ohio Library Council Service Excellence Award. Ms. Tressler is serving as Core President from 2023-2024.