Okay - so maybe I'm way behind - but I was shown this IMLS Engaging Communities document for the first time last week. While it may not specifically relate to your library - I think it's a great read for all of us with an interest in marketing. I think we get caught up worrying about graphic design, stress relief activities and other day-to-day operations that it's easy to lose sight of some of the strategic decision making and true "marketing" behind all of our PR and advertising initiatives. I urge you to take a few minutes and reflect on some of the great work and insightful reflections by our colleagues around the country.
This post was written by Gabrielle Annala, MLIS of Loyola University Chicago. For more information about Gabrielle, please click the "Contact" page.
There's a lot of advice circulating about removing library jargon from a website or promotional materials; most of this is great advice. However, I occasionally find this advice incomplete - especially when it comes to recognizing the needs of international students. These are three interactions I witnessed during the first week back to school:
While librarians are notorious for including too much library jargon in our materials, we also need to consider the cultural differences between us and our students. Age, ethnicity, country of origin, level of education, and comfort with asking for help will vary between all visitors - try to be as accommodating as possible.
At finals time we know our students are stressing out. We see it, we hear it, and we can feel it in the air. Lots of campuses have programs centered on finals time to help students cope with the stress, but what about the Library? How can we help our students see us differently? Sure, we’re an open and friendly place to study; but we can be so much more than that! Our spaces can be anything you want them to be; relaxing, rejuvenating, revitalizing, focused, friendly and helpful.
Here, we’ve been a part of not only the campus run “Finals Focus” which puts on games, food giveaways and prizes during the week of final exams; but we have also added our own “de-stressing zones” to the mix as well. We started a social media campaign called #ClubLibCmich that centers on the students making the CMU Library THEIR library. What is #ClubLibCmich? Whatever YOU want it to be. We knew people already used #ClubLib all over social media when talking about going to study; so we decided to run with that and have some fun. Again, we are trying to change the mindset about what exactly YOUR library is to YOU.
How do you handle finals or other events at your library? Have you got any ideas to share?
Levitt, T. (1960). MARKETING MYOPIA. Harvard Business Review, 38(4), 45-56.
Marketing Myopia is one of my favorite marketing articles of all times. It "gets to the point" of marketing much better than a one thousand page textbook ever could, and I think it is necessary reading for anyone that considers themselves to be a marketer, especially in libraries.
Up until very recently, our organizational systems were improvised checklists, either typed up or even hand-written, and stored locally, on our own computers. We do have a hot ticket system in place for staff to spell out (in words) inter-departmental work requests. However this didn't solve the issue of needing to have an overview, both during the planning stages and in the middle of a season. Computer platforms are different as well so the mechanics of sharing files has proven tricky in some instances. I'm working on a Macintosh island in a sea of PCs.
With Trello I now have a way to clearly distinguish between event-related content, season-long promotions, and evergreen content.
The debate on what to call people that walk into the library and use the space or service is not a new discussion. Recently, a great article summing up the pros and cons of different terminology was published in Public Libraries. Pundsack, K. (2015). Customers or Patrons?. , (1), 41-44.
This discussion is very well-laid out and thoughtful, and it got me thinking about terminology. I think every library will have a different priority for naming their constituents - but the decision should be deliberate and thoughtful.
Where do ideas for book displays come from? Holidays and community events are popular choices. For our book display we turned to the boob tube for inspiration-a hit television show. This post describes how we turned a section of our library into the living room of apartment 4A from The Big Bang Theory.
I recently wrote a post about hosting Mintel on campus for a wonderful presentation on emerging trends in 2015. I want to return now to the content of their presentation, rather than the logistics of the program. They reported on 4 major emerging trends for 2015:
If you subscribe to Mintel, you can see some of this content on their recorded webinars page. I would definitely encourage checking it out. It does seem that some of the content on the webinar is different than the content from the presentation we saw. However, as a British company, it is likely that the webinar is focusing on British and European trends, while we saw a presentation on US trends. On their site, Mintel includes Get Smart, E@sy Street, Fight for Your Rights, and Toxic Avengers as the major 2015 trends.
...that the recent ACRL ULS Academic Outreach Committee virtual round table sessions from last month were recorded and hosted on YouTube?
View them all here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjxSyisSf1WgdclboIzfM7Q
This is a great opportunity to hear from other librarians on their successful (or failed!) attempts at doing something creative, innovative, or resourceful. Check them out, and become a part of the conversation by reaching out to each of the participants, or becoming a participant yourself in the next session.
Details for the next ULS events will be posted in our events page when they become available.
Today I was chatting with one of my all time favorite library marketing professionals, Kathy Dempsey. We were discussing our mutual pet peeves, and the use of marketing terminology came up. Years ago, Kathy wrote a great blog post with a quick summary of some marketing terms. Check it out for a quick reminder of when to use which verb: http://themwordblog.blogspot.com/2008/03/what-marketing-really-means.html
Submit a blog post, or suggest a topic for the future by clicking here!