REFERENCE AND MARKETINGBy: Rebecca Kilbreath, Michelle Kurczak, and Mary Sosniak
MARKETING 101 FOR LIBRARIANS What is marketing?“Libraries, no matter the type, require that their facilities, services and resources be used (and appreciated) in order to survive.” --Kimberly Bloedel & Kathryn Skhal
INTROVERSION & LIBRARY MARKETING How do librarians feel about it? Early research showed libraries were “introverted and organized”; “submissive, conservative, lack confidence” Later research evolved to include that librarians are “sensitive and insecure”; “social, investigative and enterprising” While some librarians are resistant to change, research found administrators and those who had taken a class or seminar in marketing are very open to the concepts Aharony, Noa. "Librarians Attitudes Towards Marketing Library Services." Journal of Librarianship and Information Science 41 (2009): 39-50.
BRANDING YOUR LIBRARY Branding is the basis of most marketing plans. It’s a huge topic that boils down to consistency. Logo creation and a persistent vision for your marketing materials is key Most of the articles we read noted that their marketing efforts were improved by being part of a branding platform For more tips and resources on branding, see the handout.
OUT THERE OUTREACH Cocktails & Murder: Edgy Promotional Activities Montana State University’s Cocktail Party Christopher Newport University’s Murder in the Library Frankenstein: Monstrous Marketing
FREE LABOR! Collaborating with Marketing Students Ames Library at Illinois Wesleyan University Teaching Opportunity Collaborating with target market Getting the students where they live…
BE VISIBLE: GO WHERE YOUR USERS ARE! More than Library Liaisons Definition of Embedded Librarianship Reference librarians can be in the center of the action, where the users are, ready to teach research and information literacy skills whenever and wherever. Collaboration and Partnerships Build relationships to gain insight into what users are doing and how they use information
ACADEMIC EXAMPLES OF EMBEDDEDLIBRARIANSHIP Penn State University Attend every class meeting of the first-year speech course. Wake Forest University Travel along with a course taking place on a two-week bus trip. University of Montana-Missoula Information literacy integrated into Intro to Public Speaking. Texas A&M University Virtual reference in distance education with electronic and print promotions.
JUST TRY IT! Murray State University case study Moved office into the College of Business and Public Affairs Faculty Become one of them! Increased awareness of work, research, and professional interests Students Email Prime face-to-face location
Brian S. MARKETING AND TECHNOLOGY Why use technology in marketing Mathews writes reference in libraries? in his article, “Do You Facebook? Networking with Students Online,” that- Consider your audience! “With more than 2,000 institutions- Consider the numbers! participating and nearly 9 million- Consider perceptions! registered users, Facebook has become the ubiquitous online social network for higher education” (306). According to a survey done by Lorri Mon and Ebrahim Randeree and talked about in the article, “On the Boundaries of Reference Services: Questioning and Library 2.0,” “some students expressed doubts as to whether it was appropriate to ask a librarian for help with Web 2.0 topics, and questioned whether, if asked, a librarian would be knowledgeable or likely to help them with this topic” (169).
DO YOU FACEBOOK? UVM Libraries Top Models | FacebookHarry Glazer writes in“Clever Outreach orCostly Diversion? AnAcademic LibraryEvaluates ItsFacebookExperience” that,“Group membershipserves as a type ofonline identitybracelet, allowingFacebook membersto identifyorganizations, causesor interests theysupport or to learnabout their friends’interests in non-threatening manner”(11). Franklin D. Schurz Librarys Notes
BLOG YOUR HEART OUT! What are blogs and why should libraries use them? What are important aspects to consider in constructing a blog? Georgia State University Library Blog Ohio University Libraries News and Events
YOU CAN TWEET AND PODCAST TOO! Tweeting Podcasting UNCGs University Libraries Western Kentucky University Libraries PodcastsFood for Thought!Alison Circle writes in “Marketing Trends to Watch” that, “During Ohio’s recentbudget debacle that slashed state funding for libraries, Twitter functioned as theengine driving the public to voice outrage and opposition. Word on the budget hitthe Twitter world even before libraries had a chance to formulate a coordinatedresponse” (26).
CONCLUSION Use what works for you and your brand to serve your target market. Motorola Archivist Sue R. Topp told us that if she could encourage library students to study one thing? It would be marketing.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS What are some successful or unsuccessful marketing efforts youve seen at your local or academic library? Are edgy marketing materials and events more for the staff or the patrons? How would you pitch embedded librarianship or other marketing ideas to management staff? What are some other technological trends that librarians should be watching that might be useful in marketing reference? Any creative marketing ideas you’d like to add?
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