Academic libraries, religious fiction, book displays, religion, fiction, nonfiction, student employees, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints


The religious studies librarians at Brigham Young University (BYU) began a book display research project to examine the circulation rates of religious studies titles placed on display and to specifically evaluate the impact of religious fiction on that display in an academic library. Student employees were tasked with curating the displays over several years and maintaining a spreadsheet with the titles displayed and resulting checkout rates. Religious fiction (from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint tradition) circulated over 80% the first three years, higher than the religious nonfiction on display and the same genre in the stacks. In the final year of study when almost no fiction was displayed and a higher quantity of items were placed on the shelves, the display circulation rates fell sharply. All books on the display circulated better when there was a portion of both nonfiction and fiction and when the shelves held fewer items. The data clearly showed that religious fiction is an important genre to display in an academic library.

Original Publication Citation

Marissa Bischoff & Gerrit van Dyk (2020) The Effect of Fiction on Religious Studies Display Shelves in an Academic Library, Journal of Religious & Theological Information, DOI: 10.1080/10477845.2020.1789331

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Taylor & Francis




Harold B. Lee Library

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor