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Advancing today's people centric university library through marketing and collaboration

by on Dec 06, 2010

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Building collaborations and creative marketing are two key factors in making and keeping university libraries relevant. Much more than book warehouses, university libraries today must strategically ...

Building collaborations and creative marketing are two key factors in making and keeping university libraries relevant. Much more than book warehouses, university libraries today must strategically and creatively promote their programs and services, their information and collections, and the current and potential uses of their facilities. This is accomplished through developing and implementing targeted marketing and public relations strategies that include building and maintaining collaborations. This presentation will address the evolution of the modern library into innovative and lively spaces, both physical and virtual, and discuss how the Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City has taken on the challenge.

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  • UMKCLibraries UMKC Libraries at UMKC Libraries 1
    ABOUT UMKC Urban university—Kansas City population is about 1 Million 14000 students One of four universities in University of Missouri system 3 Library Branches
    Two other points:
    We have a new robot for storage and retrieval Our school mascot is a kangaroo
    2
    In 2007 we began a strategic planning process. During our environmental scan we discovered that most of our stakeholders saw us as warehouses, insular and outdated.
    •“Everything’s electronic and available online.” •“I can find everything I need using Google.” •“Libraries are stuffy and quiet and boring.”
    3
    The truth is we aren’t all about books –we’re all about people and connecting people with information.
    While we knew there were misconceptions, we did not realize how large the gap was between them and reality until we were going through our planning process.
    The message to us -we needed to clearly articulate the truth about our library.
    4
    Moving from strategy to practice we recognized the need for a Communications Plan –
    And our 6 major Communications Goals –each with different key messages tailored uniquely to the each stakeholder group •Library faculty & staff •Library Users (students, faculty, staff, and community) •Benefactors (donors and advocates)
    •“We are the learning spaces for the leaders of tomorrow…” •“Our resources take you beyond Google and extend far beyond our walls…” •“Our libraries are a campus and community destination for gathering, discovering, and sharing information.” •“We are not your father’s library…” •“Our sound archives house the best Kansas City jazz collection in the world…”
    5
    Over the past couple of years with our plan as a guide, we have identified 3 general categories where our marketing efforts are focused: •Programs and professional services •Information held and collected •Physical space -current and potential uses
    Streamlining the plan further, we try to examine each marketing opportunity using the following strategies: •Identify stakeholdersand key messagesto each •Identify opportunities for partnering and collaboration •Combine traditional and Web 2.0 tools
    For the remainder of the presentation will match examples from each of these focus areas with the marketing strategy that proceeded it.
    6
    TOUCH ON JUST A FEW: Call-email-text services-BETA mobile Web site –building on the philosophy of “Bring the Library with you” Embedded librarians –clinical medical librarian program, one of first in the country & a model for others Resource delivery–“RooBooks” –(Our school Mascot is the Kangaroo) Integrated curriculum resources–working with Faculty using Blackboard and/or LibGuides(software package. Blog-like functionality.)
    8
    Stakeholders & Message •Faculty, Graduate Research Assistants, University Administration •Understanding & following copyright law is your legal and ethical responsibility
    Partnering & collaboration •Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching –facilitates student-centered pedagogies and practices, located within our main library •Information Services –LIVE SIMULCAST and recorded/available for replay •School of Law
    Tools Provost’s & library’s blogs and newsletters Library website & social media (Facebook& Twitter) Library-produced LibGuide
    9
    Stakeholders & Message •Faculty, Graduate Research Assistants •Understanding & following copyright law is your legal and ethical responsibility
    Partnering & collaboration •Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching –facilitates student-centered pedagogies and practices, Unit of the Provost’s office, located within our main library •Information Services –LIVE SIMULCAST and recorded/available for replay •School of Law
    Tools Provost’s blog/newsletter Library website & social media (Facebook& Twitter) Library blog/newsletter Library-produced LibGuide FaCETlistserv & website Fliers distributed and posted around campus
    10
    Much of the material in our collection is probably not terribly different than that found in other University Libraries.
    To market –make our users aware of these holdings we use tools like •maintain an Electronic Resources Blog •update our Web site with New Books / Materials –people can subscribe to receive updates to these through RSS feed
    The parts of our collections that ARE unique and provide us the best opportunities to brag and make relevant connections with the community outside of the university is our Special Collections. By the way, engaging with the community is a part of both the Libraries’ & University’s strategic plans.
    At UMKC we recognize that our Special Collections are public treasures and we take every opportunity to celebrate and showcase and celebrate them.
    11
    A good example is seen at a 2008 event highlighting our acquisition of “The Warren DurrettCollection.”
    Durrettwas very famous local musician and television and radio personality in the 1950s –1970s.
    Partnered w/ our Friends of the Library and Friends of Jazz groups and a historic venue in Kansas City’s Jazz District.
    Students from our Music Conservatory’s Jazz Ensemble conducted by a Conservatory faculty member performed arrangements from the collection. This helps us convey the messages that not only do “our collections house more than books”,but also that “We celebrate, preserve, and provide access to Kansas City’s heritage.”
    Also that evening our Friends presented us with a giant check representing their $30,000 annual gift to the Libraries.
    And even more importantly we had the opportunity to celebrate and honor our donors. That last photograph showed two of our major donors, the widow of Warren Durrettand the widow of Miller Nichols, after whom our general library is named.
    12
    A good example is seen at an event held to highlight our acquisition of “The Warren DurrettCollection” of memorabilia and annotated scores.
    Durrettwas very famous local band leader and television and radio personality in the 1950s –1970s.
    Partnered w/ our Friends of the Library and Friends of Jazz groups and a historic venue in Kansas City’s Jazz District.
    Students from our Music Conservatory’s Jazz Ensemble conducted by a Conservatory faculty member performed arrangements from the collection. This helps us convey the messages that not only do “our collections house more than books”,but also that “We celebrate, preserve, and provide access to Kansas City’s heritage.”
    Also that evening our Friends presented us with a giant check representing their $30,000 annual gift to the Libraries.
    And even more importantly we had the opportunity to celebrate and honor our donors. That last photograph showed two of our major donors, the widow of Warren Durrettand the widow of Miller Nichols, after whom our general library is named.
    13
    Stakeholders & Message •Library supporters, Conservatory supporters, Kansas City community •“Our collections include more than just books.” •“We honors our donors.” •“We celebrate, preserve, and provide access to Kansas City’s heritage.” Partnering & collaboration •Friends of the Library & Friends of Jazz –constituent 501c3 nonprofit organizations •Conservatory Jazz Ensemble –showcasing faculty & student talent, expanding our audience •Historic venue “18 th & Vine” Tools •Personal invitations from Friends board
    14
    TOUCH ON: Events and receptions Performance area Student group or public meetings Rehearsal rooms equipped with the same technology as found in most of the classrooms across campus
    ALL SPACES ARE VERY FLEXIBLE
    16
    Here’s a video slideshow to illustrate an event highlighting a creative use of our physical space.
    (After video) I might add this video was produced unsolicited by our University Communications department. They attended the event and were so impressed that they asked us if we minded if they made a video.
    17
    Physical Space: The African-American Read-In Stakeholders and message •“The library is a place to come together.” •“We celebrate diversity.”
    Re-interpreted national guidelines featuring works by of poetry and prose to also include music and theatre, embracing our role as the ARTS campus in our University System.
    Partnering and collaboration •Division of Access and Equity •Office of Multicultural Student Affairs •Black Studies, English, Theatre departments
    Tools •Targeted invitations to select UMKC departments, courses, and student groups
    This was very successful and we are doing it again this year in our new performance space
    18
    In the past 3 examples we’ve mentioned several groups whom we’ve teamed up with to promote some of our Services, Collections, and Space.
    “Just for fun” in preparing for this talk we decided to make a list of all the groups, both at UMKC and throughout the community, we had collaborated with over the past couple of years.
    As you can see, we came up with quite a list before running out of room on our slide. 
    I’ll touch on just a few:
    •Academic Units – •specialized discipline and even course-specific LibGuides •co-sponsoring speakers •Book displays •Public Radio –head of sound archives host his own weekly radio show •Public Library and Art and History Museums –co-sponsoring speakers, exhibits, and community forums •Urban Core Group –“behind the books” tours of our construction project and library robot
    19
    Show video then talk about class project. Significance:
    Next examples reach across categories
    So how do you know when your marketing is working?
    One way you know that perception is beginning to meet reality is when other groups begin to seek you out to partner and collaborate rather than you having to always be the one doing the asking.
    As an example, I’m going to show a short video and then talk about how it came to be.
    20
    Video was the product of a class assignment.
    Friends of the Library hired two competing student groups to produce 2 videos each, one aimed toward community members and one aimed toward students. Both videos were to promote the library and Friends of the Library.
    Significant here is that they came to us –a sign that we had raised our visibility to such a level that we were on their radar –our marketing was working.
    A secondary task for the teams was to drum up student-level membership to the Friends of the Library. Collectively the teams signed up over 200 new members in less than 24hours.
    PARTNERSHIPS: Communications Dept. Faculty member is news anchor with local television station. Video’s were shot and edited by professional photo journalists. Personal connections with nearly 300 students.
    RE: Student Scholarship highlighted in Video •David is a recipient •Currently the only student member of our Friends Board of Directors •Annual Scholarship program implemented to benefit students
    22
    Here’s another video of an event that required not only campus-wide collaboration, but involved partners from throughout this community as well.
    This event really took on a life of its own and is a great illustration of our how our stakeholder’s perception about the library is being transformed.
    This is from a local news broadcast.
    23
    The news broadcast really tells the story. But this is just one story—we were covered on all 5 televisions stations, on the radio and in the print media. Tremendous excitement ---and it was all about a library!
    POINT OUT PARTNERS: •Student Government Assc.Took the lead in working with us to organize and sponsor the event. •Dance students choreographed the dance and did “flash mob” performances in the Quad and Student Union to promote the dance •KPRS radio –D.J. volunteered to host and promoted on air throughout the week prior •Mayor’s office –mayor attended to show support and help bring media coverage, later issued an official proclamation celebrating the library’s robot and winning the Guinness World record for the robot dance •YMCA Young Achievers –high school students from the community, to see and participate in a fun part of campus life
    24
    I mentioned before that one of the ways you know your marketing efforts are working is when people start seeking you out to partner.
    A couple of other assessment tools are looking at usage statistics, attendance #’s, and counting the number of mentions you receive in the press.
    Another way you can measure your success is outside recognition. In 2008 we received a Best Friends Award from ALTAFF –the national Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations. In 2009 we received Best Friends Awards in 3 categories, and in 2010 we were recognized by our piers as the 2010 Missouri Library of the Year for distinguished achievement and services.
    25
    So that’s how we’ve advanced our People-centric library through marketing and collaboration. And even though we all know it’s not as easy as 1-2-3, here are 3 basic steps to connecting with your users and making your own reality:
    1-Make the investment to examine your stakeholder groups and determine key messages for each. 2-Be creative in developing partnerships and collaborations. Any level of participation provides dividends to all parties involved. 3-Develop some standard marketing procedures, then re-examine (adding to or taking from) them with each event or program.
    If you do all of these, you too can have people cheering for your library!
    3 years ago
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Advancing today's people centric university library through marketing and collaboration Advancing today's people centric university library through marketing and collaboration Presentation Transcript