We’d like to talk to you today about how we promote our library services here at Birmingham City University. We’ll give you some background information about the university, our approach to promoting our service and show you some of our promotional activities from the last 12 months. If you have any questions we’ll be happy to answer them at the end of our presentation.
The University has a student population of 25,000 students with about a third of these studying part-time which makes off campus access to our resources especially important. There are 6 academic faculties offering over 350 courses.
We currently have eight specialist libraries (work though libraries mentioned on slide). We have a mixture of service wide & local promotions/ events tailored to our libraries subject specialisms.Faculties include: BIAD; Birmingham Business School; Faculty of Education, Law & Social Sciences; Faculty of Health; Faculty of Performance, Media & English and Faculty of Technology, Engineering & the Environment.
A marketing group was established in 2008 & this was our original strategy. It soon became clear that most marketing activities were campus library driven & we now have campus based marketing groups. A marketing steering group is in place to oversee service wide activities. “we’ve evolved”
We don’t have a current overall marketing strategy. We have the flexibility to run a mixture of local & service wide promotions throughout the year, although obviously working within the constraints of the universities marketing strategy. Student fees & the limited library budget mean that we need to heavily promote what we already provide.
When promoting our library service we have a diverse library user base.
We aim to (see slide)
These are the core products that we provide. Off campus access to some of these products is popular particularly with part time students. Summon is our library search engine or our answer to Google – It has a single search facility for all of our resources.
EBooks, High Demand Collection (Kenrick Library), Summon
Services we provide to support library users. 1. Help Desk is the hub of the library for all enquiries. 2. Self service is available at most campus libraries with Mary Seacole and some of our art libraries now providing self service using RFID technology. 3. Touchscreen Information points have recently been introduced to allow users to access information like opening hours, locations and contact details – particularly useful for out of staffed hours. 4. My Assignment Planner – is our online assignment planning tool which has a function to calculate a schedule for each stage of the assignment process.5. Recently launched an online chat service to compliment our email enquiry service. This is available Monday to Friday 11am- 3pm and is operated by both librarians and library assistants.
In the last year we’ve heavily promoted self service facilities like online and phone renewals through our 3 steps to help you use the library campaign. A recent article in the Birmingham Mail revealed that we’d had a £21000 reduction in library fines due to this type of publicity campaign – we've also been promoting email and text library notifications like Due today and overdue notices.Good for library promotion – not so good for library revenue.
The people working within the library service are our major asset. The old adage “first impressions count” which is why we rely heavily on our frontline service staff to be positive advocates of our service.Liaison librarians are now extending their service beyond the physical library with the use of mobile devices and providing tutorials, and on the spot enquiry support at the points of need.Centre for Academic Success offer help with academic study skills, English language skills, numeracy e.t.c..And even our security staff are often called upon to help with self service and enquiries.
Outreach programme at City North to promote ebooks.Freshers, International Students Fair, Meet the Library at City South and Gosta Green.All raise the profile of Library and Learning Resources.
We recently held an I Love Library event to gain feedback from users – here are some of the positive comments we had about library staff – they love us!
Promoting the library itself as a conducive environment for study. Acting on user feedback and processes like customer journey mapping we’ve worked quite hard to adapt the library environments to allow for different user needs. Promoting through good signage, Student Survival guide, iCity notices when areas have been changed. Also making the library inviting and comfortable. Emphasis on library image – all staff ensuring that tables are cleared, litter picked up, shelves are tidy e.t.cStudent Union pub – “Free wi-fi – because you can’t get a pint in the library” – but we can offer this – potential marketing campaign in the making as a comeback??
Library screens and Faculty screens.
Feed into BCU Facebook and Twitter accounts. Have dedicated LLR Twitter account. At the early stages of using Youtube – Summon video. E-Resources blog.
Ebooks display at Gosta Green Library. The Hobbit Breakfast at the Conservatoire Library. Spooky Halloween Display at Mary Seacole Library.Journal of the Month display at Kenrick Library.
1. Looking at focus groups and I love Library. 2. Evaluation – looking at uptake statistics, exit surveys and anecdotal evidence. 3. University activities – recently ran a promotion to tie in with the University’s employability agenda and Green week. 4. Outside the library – like Meet the Library, outreach and Freshers. 5. Looking outside the library world – e.g. Kindle’s promotion of ebooks.
Give us your feedback or ask questions.
Give us your feedback or ask questions.
Ann Stairmand-Jackson and Annmarie Lee - Promoting library and learning resources at bcu
PromotingLibrary and Learning Resources at Birmingham City University
Birmingham City University A student population of 25,000 About a third of our students study part-time Six academic faculties offering over 350 courses
Eight specialist libraries Education, Law & Social Sciences HealthPerformance, Media & English Millennium Point Technology, Engineering & the EnvironmentBirmingham Institute of Art & BIADDesign (BIAD) BIAD BIAD
Library and Learning ResourcesMarketing Strategy 2008-2011AimTo meet service aims and objectives by promoting awareness anduse of the services and activities of Library and Learning Resourcesto the widest possible base of staff and students and ensuring thatthe excellence and achievements of the service are recognized bothwithin the Institution and externally.
Where we are now Currently no marketing plan Limited marketing budget Diverse library user population Constraints of corporate branding Mixture of local & universal promotions Competition – students union, cafes, social learning zones Student fees = raised expectations
Reflection• More feedback from library users about our promotions• Evaluate our promotions• Tie in more closely with university activities• Have more promotional events outside of the library• Look outside library world for promotional ideas
So what do you think?http://wallwisher.com/wall/LLRBCU
Library and Learning Resourcesmarketing activities 2012/ 2013http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/library-and-learning-resources-marketing-actvities-2012-2013