Marketing Library Services through Interdepartmental Programs
MarketingLibrary ServicesthroughInterdepartmentalPrograms Laura Loveday Southwest Florida College
Assess your situation Know what needs to be fixed before you attempt to fix it, and do so by asking important questions. Write down the answers honestly. Ask others what they think about the school or the library before you progress any further.
What are the preconceived ideas your students may have of the library? How much use is the library getting? Does this use correlate with the activity you see around the campus? What relationship does the library have with other departments? Are you or one of your staff meeting with classes? Why or why not? If you walked around campus, would most students know who you are?
Finding Solutions to campus and library problems Problem #1: New students were hesitant to use the library Problem #2: The retention of students Problem #3: Marketing the library to student interests Problem #4: Marketing the school (while still performing library duties)
Problem #1: New students were hesitant touse the librarySolution: Work with the admissions department Began attending every new student orientation and handing out my contact information and a brochure of services Sat at the entrance with admission representatives as students got their schedule for the first day Met with the Director of Admissions to discuss what we have (we have a lot of eBooks and that’s a good sell. Know your collection’s strengths!) Attended new faculty orientations and offered a “Classroom instruction menu”
Large staff libraries Library liaisons – Appoint staff members holding a related degree to serve as a liaison to an academic department. Students will recognize a face when they walk into the library after working with the librarian in the classroom. Create a virtual introduction by putting staff biographies on your library’s website.
Problem #2: The retention of studentsSolution: Work with student services and academic support Talked to instructors to encourage them to send students to the library. One instructor now requires her students to schedule a one-on-one session with me to review papers. I sign off on the draft as proof we met. Suggestion box “Graduates in Progress” program
Graduate in Progress“Recognizes students who have at least 48credit hours, or are halfway through theirprogram.”
Problem #3: Marketing the library to studentinterestsSolution: Work with student services andgraduate placement Found that students were most interested in books on resumes, cover letters, and interview tips Asked student services when there was an availability in events and if I could jump in, which led to the presentation: “Career Building with the Learning Resource Center”
Provided an overview of in- house resources and handouts with recommendations for each academic program Went through online resources and how they could help in job searching Demonstrated my own “online portfolio” and LinkedIn profile Asked a representative from graduate placement to stop by and introduce herself Left copies with the graduate placement department for them to give to students Only mentioned books available in our collection
“Festival of Reading” The picture above was taken with Instragram (another free marketing tool) Outcome: Organized a field trip for an English class, promoted our name, and added value to our collection.
Problem #4: Marketing the school (while stillperforming library duties)Solution: Work with academics Began meeting with the Director of Education and several instructors (who I had gotten to know from these other events) to form a weekly “marketing brainstorm” session “The Tampa / Brandon Book Club”
A few things to keep in mind… Lesson #1: Write down solutions that will help the students and know how it will benefit any other departments involved. Lesson #2: Become an advocate and promote what the library is doing.
Lesson #3: Brainstorm free ways to market resources and events. I update this blog weekly and asked our IT department to make it the homepage to every computer in the library. On the right under “Pages” are links to our hours, email, OPAC, etc. Make information easy to find.
Lesson#4: Join and help out with events organized by other departments Pictures from “Constitution Day”
Finally, lesson #5: Keep talking with studentsand faculty to know what they think. Alwaysreexamine what the library is doing so youcan make it accessible and welcoming foreveryone.