How Do You/Your Idea/
Library Stand Out?
• What is your style?
• What are your
• What are your skills
What “value add” do we
Come up with a cool catch phrase, acronym, or other way to describe
Give your project a concise and easy to say name
Promote your brand across Social Media
We will get to that later!
Everyone loves give-a-ways.
Buttons and Stickers are inexpensive
T-Shirts/Posters are a bit more costly, but a walking billboard
Get people wondering
What is Project X? Give people [patrons, companies, etc] small snippets of what is
• Passion for what you are
• Be ready to get asked hard
questions, and provide
good positive answers
• Be excited!
• Don’t be afraid to approach
people and talk.
CHATTANOOGA 4TH FLOOR
The 4th floor is a public laboratory and educational facility
with a focus on information, design, technology, and the
The 14,000 sq foot space hosts equipment, expertise, programs,
events, and meetings that work within this scope.
While traditional library spaces support the consumption of
knowledge by offering access to media, the 4th floor is unique
because it supports the production, connection, and sharing of
knowledge by offering access to tools and instruction.
STEP 2: DEVELOP A PITCH
Short (15 seconds-30 seconds)
Provide Teasers (ROIs)
We have over 20,000 users and I want to bring in your
technology to our library to encourage
learning/engagement/collaboration. I have a few
questions, if you can call me back at ###-###-####.
If they do answer, schedule a time to conference call.
Be honest to who you are speaking with. Disclose
budget for a project.
PITCHING YOUR IDEAS
You have the power
Keep in mind, you are choosing that
product/service. Let those vendors know
that YOU picked THEM to be part of the
Explain how it’s a free marketing tool for them,
they are getting exposure in the community
As a library, we invest in things that provide a benefit
to our community that outweighs the cost of us
Benefits > Cost
Companies do the same thing, but their model is very
Revenue > Cost
Formula for dealing with companies or vendors,
explain to them this model:
Our Benefits + Your Revenue > Your Cost
Benefits are hard to put a price tag on …
BENEFITS FOR WORKING WITH
We have more control over purchasing power with books than Barnes and
Nobles plus Borders combined.
Explain the amount of patrons your library sees weekly/daily.
Companies spend a lot of money (from paying an employee) to deliver their
content (product or service) to their prospective buyers.
Libraries can deliver content, as it is our job to our community.
We also support all of our delivered content
Community Support / Charity
Companies are often required to “give-back” to communities
Offer press releases, naming of chairs/rooms, etc.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO WORK UP
THE ORGANIZATIONAL CHART
STEP 3: BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
Meet vendors/companies for
breakfast/lunch/dinner. Talk to them about
your Brand and Pitch them your ideas
Share ideas and visions
Brainstorm and collaborate
Become friends with your vendors/companies.
Do set clear boundaries
Have an additional meeting scheduled to talk about what they
are working on, upcoming technology, etc
WHAT CAN YOU ASK OF PEOPLE?
Donations of Physical Products
Donations of Money
Perhaps the most valuable of all.
COMMUNICATE YOUR NEEDS
Who to Ask
How to Ask
Global or Large Companies
Face to Face Conversations
Friends of the Library
Local Colleges and Schools
Reaching out through other
Internet (Social Media)
People across the world group together to fund new projects and
People are encouraged to donate by either the attractive name or
“awards” based off the amount they donate.
Market your “Brand” through social media
Also use Blogging tools
Solid companies pro-actively manage their social media
They watch what people are saying because everyone else can see what
They want only positive remarks about their company on the web, they will
work to only have positive comments.
If a company does provide assistance, always show your support through
(you may need more support later on down the road).
Social Media is a way to develop relationships
TIPS - TWITTER
Try to remain positive when communicating on twitter
140 Characters, make them count!
Wow! @COMPANYX has some really great stuff. I need to get my hands on it
Who would like to see @PRODUCT in our library space?
Once you build a good relationship ask the hard questions
Can you help me on the cost @COMPANYZ
TIPS - FACEBOOK
Go to the Company’s Pages, be sure to “Like” their page before
Again, be only positive. Tell your story, pitch your idea.
You will hear “no”
But that just means phrased the question wrong or asked the
Who else can I talk to about discounted pricing/donations
Does anyone make a similar product that would be more inline with our
budget (ask them about their competitors).
What other things would you recommend?
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions of “why”
Everyone has a bottom line.
Long Term Goals
• Focus Less on
• Do your
who you are
PLACES TO SAVE MONEY
Refurbishment is the distribution of products (usually electronics) that have
been previously returned to a manufacturer or vendor for various reasons.
Refurbished products are normally tested for functionality and defects before
they are sold, and thus are the approximate equivalent of certified pre-owned
cars. - Wikipedia
Refurbs are OK!!!
ASK FOR GIVEWAYS
Companies love to provide “give-a-
Clothes (T-Shirts, Hats, etc)
Toys (Frisbies, Balls)
Give-a-ways are marketing materials for
The cost to develop custom software is hard to put a price tag on.
Ask Local Colleges/Universities for help
Their students are often required to seek project work (where they don’t get
Pitch the experience to do something for library-land, great exposure, great
Build development groups in your library.
Hire programmers/technology enthusiasts on your staff
FURNITURE FOR YOUR LIBRARY
People pay a membership to be part of a
“MakerSpace” where the tools are
provided for them to build
Community Out Reach
Ask your community for help
Ask local businesses to make
monetary donations towards new
furniture/rooms and let them
advertise on it
If Fifty People Donate Fifty Dollars =
2,500 = Very Nice New Couch.
BONUSES FOR YOUR PATRONS
Comcast Internet Access $10 a month (Internet
For the folks in school, using your @edu address get:
Free Microsoft Products at www.dreamspark.com
Free AutoDesk Products at http://students.autodesk.com
If you have to filter internet / protect from web based
1st Super PAC for libraries. Builds voter
You Will Also Need:
Equally Motivated People
Have motivated and positive staff
Staff members who want to do more than just “check in and
Staff Development Days
Get them involved with programs / decision making
Staff members all have unique skills / hobbies
Create badges / shirts that help identify the staff members with
those specific skills
Don’t give them “busy work”
Ex. Cleaning Books
Give them a tangible product, that they
can be excited about
Start a new program
Help setting up for an event
Ask them for INPUT
You probably know the needs of your patrons
But do you know the skills of your patrons?
Identify which regular patrons have which skills
You will be very surprised how willing they are to help start a
new program at your library!
They may be willing to donate too
Or cater a program
Or buy equipment
Or donate old equipment
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