Keyll Darree Bistro

This year Keyll Darree was lucky enough to be selected as World Book Night givers. We wrote an impassioned essay about our willingness to throw copies of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy at people from all sectors of society while yelling at them about how great it was, and the kind people at World Book Night actually believed in us.
Then Coronavirus happened.
We had some lovely plans about how to give the books away, but sadly it involved a restaurant and we didn’t have Eat Out to Help Out on the Isle of Man.
Thankfully, we have no community transmission of the virus on island any more, and have been out of lockdown since late June. This meant that for Libraries Week we were able to throw open the doors to Keyll Darree Bistro!

Make Plans with a Book Tonight

We themed our book giving event around an initial idea of producing a tasting menu, made by taking our book and boiling it down to a short (and hopefully tantalising) description. “That’s a blurb” I hear you say, well, yes, but we added more! We decided to highlight the significance of the book, as well as indicating what it can teach you more about.

We had fun writing the menu cards and working out what the key topics were

Once we had a menu, we needed a restaurant. We did debate creating one at the end of the universe, but decided to settle on a nice French Bistro in the hospital foyer instead. We used the slogan “Make Plans with a Book Tonight”, liberated a few plates, glasses, and some cutlery from our kitchen, donned our aprons, drew on our moustaches, and were ready to give our books away!

How could this not persuade you to spend some time reading?

To avoid bias we asked everyone who passed by if they would like a copy and elevator pitched the book if anyone wasn’t immediately tantalised. We gave away 80 books in 17 minutes and had lots of conversations about World Book Night, reading, and the book itself. In fact, after worrying that we wouldn’t be able to shift all of the books we were a bit disappointed that it was over so quickly!

Reading for Wellbeing

We decided that it was too good a concept to waste, and that we could also use the bistro idea to promote our own fiction section in the library. Reading for wellbeing is important to us, and therefore we pulled some of our favourites from the fiction section or main stock, and used the same concept to promote them too. We also moved our fiction section to the front of the library, next to our self-issue machine, and wrapped some fairy lights round it.

We were proud of how many people stopped to admire our display

The display has drawn lots of compliments, and we regularly have to move the menu cards back to their original positions as they are being read so often (hurrah!). This display has led to an increase in fiction issues, which is currently twice the amount issued in October last year.
Thanks Douglas Adams!

Stacey Astill and Jessica Webb
Keyll Darree Library
Health and Social Care Higher Education Centre