Re-Branding the Librarian Profession in the Digital Age
OBJECTIVE: SUGGESTIONS FOR REBRANDING:
To analyze current stereotypes of librarians, research options for re-branding ∑ Emphasize expertise in information
the librarian profession, survey library professionals on the perceptions of navigation
∑ Appeal to younger users with technology
T he Bureau of Labor Statistics’
Occupational Outlook Hand -
book reports that though the “emp-
librarians and what a better image may be, and propose solutions for re- loyment of librarians is expected to
branding the librarian profession. ∑ ALA take leadership in sponsoring a wide grow more slowly than the aver
age…over the 2004-2014 period” a
scale marketing campaign high rate of retirement may still
∑ Less emphasis on reading create demand for librarians.
However, jobs “outside traditional
Past Efforts: settings” will grow the fastest.
Based on the survey results, we would suggest Bureau of Labor Statistics (n.d.). Librarians. Occu
Ms. Dewey: http://www.msdewey.com/ that the librarian community believes the current pational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition
Retrieved May 31, 2007 from http://www.bls.gov/
public perception of librarians is "Book Expert,"
while we think of ourselves as "Research Experts."
http://www.lipsticklibrarian.com/ So, to reposition ourselves in the public eye as the "ultimate human search
You Don't Look Like a Librarian: engine" and escape the single-focused stereotype of "book worm," the
http://www.librarian-image.net/ profession should:
@ Your Library 1.Design a media marketing campaign for
labour-intensive service brand
can be only as strong as the
television, radio, online outlets, and print that people performing the service.
shows realistic, modern librarians doing the …the most important marketers
are the employees who perform the
Obstacles to Rebranding: diversity of work within the profession. service.”
Show librarians that are adaptable, cutting Berry, L.L. & Lampo, S.S. (2004). Branding
∑ Diversity of types of libraries and librarians makes it difficult to come up edge, helpful, hip, innovative, professional,
Labour-intensive services. Business Strategy
Review, 15, 18-25.
with a single brand and tech-savvy. This will demystify the
∑ Librarians generally do not have marketing profession and entice others to consider such a career. The librarian as
background an "Info-naut."
∑ Lack of funding for marketing campaigns
2.Rethink the library as a physical location. “…the values enacted by - employ
Bring the services librarians provide "out of ees notably determine the success
of the service encounter in the eyes
METHODOLOGY: the stacks" and into the community. Create a of the consumer.”
"third space" that showcases library services
“…companies’ overtly communi
Created survey of 13 questions distributed through that are integrated into the physical and cated values often do not filter
virtual community. Librarians "taking to the through into the day-to-day live of
listserves, blogs, and AL Direct the organization…”
∑ 4 demographic questions: age, self streets" of communities and cyber-space.
De Chernatony, L. & S. Drury (2004). Identifying
and sustaining services brands’ values. Journal of
description, education, employer Marketing Communications 10, 73-93.
∑ 3 on library usage 3.Network beyond the librarian profession and
∑ 2 Perception questions "infiltrate" other professional associations and publications. Demonstrate
∑ 1 Likert scale with 10 general statements the powerful skill set of librarians and the valuable contributions they can
∑ Asked to describe the “librarian of the digital age” make to the success of all professions. Librarians as keystone
∑ How to communicate the profession to the outside professionals in society like doctors and lawyers.
∑ Asked: Only a librarian can deliver ___ to ___.