How Libraries Can Transform Communities: A Practical Guide


Published on

Targeting Patrons, Ways to reach out to International Community Members, Increasing Computer Usage, Creating Value for Families, Reaching Out to the Unemployed and Underemployed, 10 Tips for Navigating Twitter, Word-of-Mouth Advertising

Published in: Education, Business
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

How Libraries Can Transform Communities: A Practical Guide

  1. 1. How Libraries Can Transform Communities: A Practical Guide Created by: TELL ME MORE Language Learning
  2. 2. Importance of Libraries............................................................... 2 Target Patrons.......................................................................... 3-4 Promoting Language Learning Opportunities to your Patrons... 5 Ways to reach out to International Community Members........... 6 Increasing Computer Usage........................................................7 Creating Value for Families......................................................... 8 Reaching Out to the Unemployed and Underemployed............ 9 10 Tips for Navigating Twitter.................................................... 10 Word-of-Mouth Advertising........................................................11 Bye Bye Stuffy, Dusty Ol’ Library! Hello Information Spa!.........12 15 Tips for Promoting Your Language Learning Program....13-14 1 Table of Contents
  3. 3. Libraries provide communities with easily accessible resources to learn, grow and develop into more knowledgeable and productive citizens. They provide patrons with a quiet, relaxing environment to read and explore far away adventures and research the latest information. The environment created by a library fosters a sense of security and clarity: a place of safety where strangers gather for one purpose: to learn. From audio books to e-Books, CD’s to DVD’s, lectures to language learning, storytelling to cultural events, libraries meet the needs of a diverse population. Having free resources available to the community is extremely important. It allows everyone to have equal access to materials, regardless of income or affordability. The use of libraries has dramatically increased in the last few years during the recession, as it often does in down economies. People come to the library to get free assistance when applying for jobs and when they have more free time. Fast Stats: • 20% of public libraries say demand for computers exceeds supply all the time • 60% of public libraries say demand exceeds supply some of the time • 73% of libraries and 83% of rural libraries are their communities’ only source of free access to computers/Internet • More than 30 million Americans speak Spanish as a first language • By 2050, the Hispanic population will have grown to over 100 million in the US and whites will probably be a minority • During 2010, more than 75% of all public libraries had decreased funding • In 2010, only three states received additional funding for libraries • Approximately 10,600 library or library-related blogs exist Number of libraries in the US: • 9,221 Public • 3,827 Academic • 99,180 School • 8,476 Special (Law, Corporate, Religious) • 284 Armed Forces •1,113 Government Importance of Libraries Sources: Library Journal: Article ALA Report: Computer Demand Still Increases ALA Library Fact Sheet 1 2
  4. 4. High School Sr.Trippers Oh the golden days of being a senior in high school… Almost grown up but still under mom and dad’s roof! Every year come June our high schools unleash a pack of Sr. Trippers into the world! Whether backpacking through Europe, enjoying the beaches of Mexico or performing humanitarian work in China—these folks would benefit from some serious language skills! • Live online and will rarely step foot in an actual library • Are tech savvy and look to libraries for quick and easy online resources • Need to know the basics of a language in order to make the leap • Want to impress their friends and look “cool” Retirees Retirees understand the value that a library can bring to the community. As many retires are on a fixed income, being able to take advantage of all that a library can offer provides them with a wealth of savings and life enhancing services and information. The library also provides an op- portunity to get out of the house and socialize as well as learn new skills. • Worked very hard for many years • Finally taking time for themselves • Not too computer savvy • Like to focus on travel, volunteering and family Otherlanders The US has been called a melting pot or a salad bowl. No other institution knows this better than a library! People from other countries rely on libraries to help them acclimate, learn a culture and fit into society and their communities. Libraries are an invaluable resource to this population and serve as a kind of ambassador! • Often very limited English speaking • Need to better understand US/Canadian culture • Very dedicated to learning as their future depends on their ability to become marketable • Looking for a friendly face - these folks are new and probably know few people Other Patrons to Target: Educators: Many schools have been severely hurt by budget cuts, these folks not only need the library it is essential for the future of their students! Homeschoolers: Like traditional educators, homeschool teachers are in need of materials and resources. The library is one of the best sources for providing course content to their students. Foreign language is not a requirement, but would be a great program to have! Readers: These patrons are very cost sensitive. Looking for best-sellers, niche books or just browsing for something entertaining. 3 Target Patrons
  5. 5. College Study Abroaders Like the Sr. Trippers, Study Abroaders are getting ready to set foot on another terra firma. Their ability to communicate could mean the difference between eating and starving or ordering the proper beverage…The reality is that speaking another language will not only prepare them for having a wonderful trip, but also give them life skills that could positively impact their careers. • Typically they have had some basic language skills courses • Looking to supplement their current resources • Are tech savvy and look to libraries for quick and easy online resources • Looking for shortcuts—why keep their nose in a book for hours if there is an interactive resource that is much faster Other Patrons to Target: Research/one-time users: This group of people have a specific subject they want research or problem they want to solve, such as a medical, legal or career development problem. School assignments: This group only use the library when working on a school assignment. History reports, such as famous people and events, state and country reports, government reports, etc. Family tree seekers: These folks are looking for information and trying to find their roots. Why not target them with a language learning database? There is nothing like being able to speak the original mother tongue! Vacationers These folks are the best profile! We’ll call them John and Rachel. John and Ra- chel are hard working and have been saving up for this awesome trip and now the trip is within reach! They want to ensure that they have every bit of informa- tion imaginable so they can draft itineraries, figure out where to sleep, eat and play. But most importantly they will need to make sure that they can get around so a language learning database is exactly what they need! • Need a language learning database that has both language and cultural skills • Need to know the basics of a language in order to make the leap • They are spoiling themselves with this trip—but still are being very cost savvy • A great opportunity to share traditional and modern resources Life Enhancers We have all heard about these folks—lifelong learners. In- stead of sitting brainlessly in front of their television watching the 150th rerun of I Love Lucy, these folks are reading, study- ing, taking classes and logging into their computers to enjoy e-Learning resources that enhance their skills! • Tend to be pretty computer savvy • Don’t necessarily look to a brick and mortar library for resources—these are remote access patrons • Will be pleasantly surprised when they discover the wealth of services and resources available to them • One word: Cheerleader (Life enhancers will spread the word fast when they have something to cheer about) 4 Target Patrons
  6. 6. Promoting TELL ME MORE Language Learning to Patrons To get the most out of your database investments it is essential to create awareness of the resource! TELL ME MORE offers as- sistance and help with this. You are bringing the world to your patrons after all! We have created a number of tools to make promotion of your language program easy. In fact, we’ve even created a checklist to ensure that nothing gets missed! Even if you are not using TELL ME MORE, our checklist can help you pro- mote your valuable resources in your community. TELL ME MORE Tools Welcome Packet: New clients receive a welcome packet consisting of the following items: • Posters, pens and bookmarks • 2 Raffle Bags (contents will vary) Use to promote awareness at your library! • CD with resources • Customized emails you can send to patrons • Printable Quick Start Guides (English & Spanish) • Newsletter blurb for either print or electronic use • Pre-scripted press release • Source files for: • Posters • Bookmarks • Flyers • TELL ME MORE website logo (refer to the previous section for usage) • A looping .pps file for use on your welcome screens to help drive awareness of your new program • CD with our guided tour (use like the .pps) includes full audio and an explanation of your new program! Customize the pre-scripted press release and post to the news section of your website and drop to your local news sources. Find free online news sites you can post to and expand your reach! Post throughout your library as well as in your media room where patrons will be using the language learning. Tip: The check-out desk and restrooms are particularly great spots! Pass out the pens to all of your employees as a way to remind them to dis- cuss language learning with patrons. Also, these are great handouts if you conduct info-sessions on your services, tour groups or to pass out to patrons interested in language learning. At the checkout desk provide to patrons as they check out materials to inform them of this exciting new offering. These are double sided with one side in English and the other in Spanish. Tie these to the computer station where patrons can access TELL ME MORE in order to assist them in easily getting started with their language learning. (note: there is also a tutorial available!) We have a number of flyers you can use to promote your language learning database to patrons • Handouts for informational sessions • Handouts for how to login and access the service • General program information Simply customize with your details and information and send to your email lists to announce the availability of TELL ME MORE language learning. Copy and paste into your electronic or print newsletter file to help promote your language learning resources. Submit articles to local publications on the advantages of language learning and how your library is helping the community. The logo file can be used for a variety of needs: • Place on your website for remote access patrons to access TELL ME MORE • Use in your own materials for promoting TELL ME MORE If you have a welcome screen, or other monitors throughout the library simply load the self-running PowerPoint and let patrons easily see the benefits of the program. A full audio explanation and tour of TELL ME MORE is available as a tool to have available for patrons interested in seeing a presentation of the solution. Pre-scripted Press Release Posters Pens Bookmarks QuickStart Guides Customizable flyers Customizable emails Pre-scripted ar- ticle on language Newsletter Blurb TELL ME MORE Logo .PPS looping file Demo & Guided Tour RESOURCE HOW TO USE IT 5
  7. 7. Examples of ways to meet the needs of internationally community members: • Host seminars on how to look up available community resources, how to use e-government services, including enrolling in Medicare and applying for unemployment. • Twice a week host a one-hour ESL class. Introduce patrons to TELL ME MORE, walk them through activities and help learners with questions. • Have library signage (both in the library and on the website) available in several languages. • Offer a wide variety of books, CD’s, DVD’s, etc. in multiple languages, including urban literature. Ways to Reach Out to International Community Members As the number of immigrants increase, how does your library address a key segment of our population? 6
  8. 8. Increasing Computer Usage Host Webinars or Brown Bag Lunches: • How to create an email account • Microsoft Word (for beginners, experts, etc.) • Microsoft Excel (for beginners, experts, etc.) • Microsoft PowerPoint (for beginners, experts, etc.) • Successfully searching the Internet • ESL class Website Resources and Tools: • Ensure your website is user-friendly - Create a patron focus group to discuss • Create “Homework Help” section on your website • Ensure that all your library classes, seminars, workshops, etc. are on your website! Offer Social Media Seminars: • How to use Twitter • Enhancing the Twitter experience by using other applications • How to use Facebook • Facebook Fundamentals - maximizing the Facebook experience for teachers - Resources and tools available • Facebook Fundamentals - maximizing the Facebook experience for businesses (how to create Pages for businesses, etc.) • Blogging beginner basics • Creating a LinkedIn profile for business success Create a Place for Patrons to Connect with Each other • Facebook discussion groups, etc. 7
  9. 9. Creating Value for Families Generating ways for community members to get involved with your library can be fun! One of the best examples of this has been done by the Chicago Public Library who developed a program called YouMedia. “Teenagers with a city library card have in-house access to more than 100 laptops, as well as video games and a Wii console. There are flat screen monitors on every wall, a small recording studio, performance space, and a geek-out area where they can learn about new media from adult mentors — and it is for teenagers only.” Story hour - introduce kids to the best books Summer book programs - weekly raffles, author visits, performers, presenters, prizes Partner with your local parks for a monthly family night - games, crafts, music and food Fun Fridays - host guest speak- ers for children on topics such as nature, space, animals, etc. Have a play area specifically dedicated for kids Creative Cat - Poetry fest once a month, art zone to display local artwork and photography Teacher Tutor Tuesday or Thurs- day - have a teacher (or several) available for help at the library Career exploration seminars After school programs - Teen zone - games, video games, Wii Creative writing classes, money management classes (budget- ing, retirement, home buying) Free or reduced pricing passes to cultural events and the zoo Recommending reading by genre fessionalresources/libfactsheets/ alalibraryfactsheet23.cfm Challenge your community to read the same book this fall. Create book clubs to discuss. FOR KIDS FOR TEENS FOR EVERYONE Knowledge board for community events Create a mentorship program with local businesses to teach teens skills (game design, etc.) 8
  10. 10. According to a recent Gallup poll, more than 18 percent of U.S. workers say they are either unemployed or underemployed. The U.S. unemploy- ment rate stands at 9.5 percent, according to the latest numbers from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the midst of our current economic and labor crisis libraries have a great opportunity to reach out to both the public and private sector and create a bridge between many worlds. Job seekers, career enhancers and generally brilliant folks all frequent the library. Many local organiza- tions are desperate for an opportunity to recruit talented folks but have a hard time finding and meeting them. Many libraries are now coordinating career fairs, networking events, guest lecture series and other ingenious ways to connect their patrons with career opportunities. We’ve also seen partnerships with other local resources such as the Workforce Office of Employment and Training to expand computer services to help unemployed and underemployed. Also available are a number of grants to help libraries help patrons. We discovered a fabulous source to stay up to date on grant opportunities at: Check out the following grants:  > Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Grants  > American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Funds Reaching Out to the Unemployed & Underemployed As Randy Daytona said in the movie Balls of Fury: “Don’t be so hard on yourself, you got mad skills.” 9 Reduce the number of questions regarding where to find particular items at the library: Create a video tour of your library in several lan- guages! For an example of this, check out the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign Library.
  11. 11. 1. A rule of thumb: 12:1 (12 tweets about others, 1 tweet for your library). 2. Improve retweeting by leaving 20 characters or more space left in each tweet. 3. Build lists to watch people who matter to you more closely. 4. Use Seesmic or Tweetdeck or Hootsuite so you can see more. 5. Retweet the best tweets from others. Sharing is caring. 6. Engage patrons and others by using @replies - it shows humanity. 7. For events at your library, make a hashtag for the speaker and the event and post the hashtag everywhere! 8. Check out applications such as, which helps to make following event chats easy. 9. Tweets that point us to photos and/or video and/or music, etc, are a good way to enhance the experience. 10. Asking questions on Twitter makes for very interesting commentary and opinions for blog posts. 10 Tips for Navigating Twitter Social Media Resource: Ranked by Technorati and AdAge as one of the top 100 busi- ness blogs, Social Media Examiner is a fantastic resource for ideas on how to create interesting blogs, including how to incorporate video blogging, create Facebook pages, how to use Face- book and LinkedIn to find a job, etc.: Subscribe to their blog: http://www.socialmediaexaminer. 10
  12. 12. Word-of-Mouth Advertising Generate word-of-mouth advertising by collecting the best and most creative material that your patrons have de- signed and developed, and make them the stars! Put patrons’ work on display at your library, on your Web site and blog! Examples include: • Videos • Youtubes • Video games • Photography • Artwork calls this group Generation C Slogan ideas: • Your ideas. Your library. • Build ideas at your library. • Try-on-for-size; Realize; Harmonize; Patronize your library. • Your library: Where good ideas grow. • Try something new. Visit your library. • Libraries are built with ideas. Find yours here.* Ideas on this page are thanks to Jill S. Stover, Undergraduate Services Coordinator, Virginia Commonwealth University Great resources • Marketing Genius: Finding the Big Idea that Defines You (Peter Fisk) • Zag (Marty Neumeier) • Checking out the library’s new role in the community – Minnesota Public Radio • The Wisconsin Library User • Designing Better Libraries (blog) • 11
  13. 13. Bye Bye Stuffy, Dusty Ol’ Library... Hello Information Spa! Close your eyes and think about a spa experience. You are reclined wrapped up in a fabulously warm fluffy robe and being pampered. The service is so good that your every whim is addressed almost the minute you think of them! Today’s modern library is not much different! They understand who their patrons are and can proactively reach out to provide exactly what is needed when it is needed. Librarians know that in order to catch those tech savvy college students or online ge- niuses they need to make themselves available when and where their patrons are… online! Blogs, online chats, instant messaging, chat live, call me now and a host of other tools provides the growing tech savvy patron with a five-star “shopping” experi- ence. Create a library website that is easy to use. Make sure you have a search tool that quickly connects patrons to the right resource—whether it’s a book in the stacks downstairs or a document on a server 1,000 miles away. The better the experience the more often they will shop with you and the more they will tell others about your information spa! Now if we could only figure out the aroma- therapy part… Tips for Making the Most Out of Marketing: For one of the best resources available on optimizing websites, creating the most effec- tive email marketing campaigns, social media marketing and online marketing, sign up for a newsletter from Marketing Experiments: 12
  14. 14. 1. If you produce your own electronic newsletter, or e-Zine, electronic magazine, or printed newsletter, add a blurb on your new language learning program. 2. Look at other community groups that use your facility and have them add a blurb in their newsletter as well! Senior groups and English as a second language groups are great targets. 3. Place notices all over your website -- especially your main page -- about the program. 4. Add a promotional sentence about the new language learning program to all your outgoing emails, called signature in Outlook. Choose HTML design in your software and add the TELL ME MORE logo with a link to where someone can find out additional information (on your website). 5. Write a press release for your new program. Find free online news sites you can post to and expand your reach! 6. Accumulate a list of all the local newspapers that offer free community event announcements. Note: TELL ME MORE includes a pre-scripted article you can use! Inquire into their deadline and submission requirements. You will also want to ask how can I confirm receipt of your information? They don’t intentionally leave information out, however, they move at a fast pace and things do get lost in the shuffle. 7. Add your announcement to your telephone answering script. Give instructions as to how to register. Don’t forget some marketing tidbits of “what’s in it for them (WIIFM)” to register and begin learning immediately. 8. Schedule meet and greet speaking engagements to inform patrons about this exciting new offering. 15 Tips for Promoting Your Language Learning Program 13 Library iPod Applications Have you considered creating an ipod ap- plication for your library? Make it easy for patrons to access your catalog, put a hold on a book, and view your hours of operation. Click here for a free open source version of an application: ian/2010/top-30-library-iphone-ap- ps-%E2%80%93-part-1/
  15. 15. 9. If you have other events, seminars, workshops, or groups using your facility give out flyers on your language learning program. Works well in networking groups too. 10. Take the flyers to senior and civic centers to help promote your service. 11. Social media outreach. It is likely that there are a bunch of folks in your community that love to blog and Facebook about what is happening in their backyard. Establish relationships with these bloggers and give them access to information they can use to feed the content devouring beast that is their website. 12. Language clubs: Are there foreign language clubs in your community? Letting them know that language learning is available can build some exciting word-of-mouth awareness and marketing for your program! 13. Travel agents are another great resource for promoting your program with! When Ethel and Bob sign up for the retirement world cruise you bet they would like to know how to order dinner in France Spain and Germany! 14. Find limited English speakers in your community. Many communities support immigrants from other countries that need to improve their English language skills—find where they may work or where they may congregate to drive awareness of this valuable program to assist them in improving their skills. 15. Online video. Create a fun video promoting your program that you can post on YouTube and direct people from your website to. On YouTube you can see how many times your video has been viewed, what inbound links to it have been clicked and how many views your main channel page has had. You can also measure the level of interest in related videos by looking at those same statistics. This is an excellent way to show how fun and cool libraries really are! 15 Tips for Promoting Your Language Learning Program, Continued 14 Word-of-mouth / Viral marketing Promote the use of your library by creating a video and posting it on YouTube! Two great examples of this are: Roving Librarians; the M.A.P.H.A.T. Song and Video feature=player_embedded#! Librarians Do Gaga uzUh1VT98&feature=player_embedded
  16. 16. We wish you great success as you increase the value of your library and grow your patron base! For more information regarding TELL ME MORE language learning software program, email us to request a free demo: or visit our website: http://www.tellme- Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Read our blog 15