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Re-Branding the Librarian Profession in the Digital Age


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ALA Emerging Leaders Project 2007. Poster Presented at the ALA Annual Conference 2007.

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Re-Branding the Librarian Profession in the Digital Age

  1. 1. OBJECTIVE: SUGGESTIONS FOR REBRANDING:To analyze current stereotypes of librarians, research options for re-branding ∑ Emphasize expertise in informationthe 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 tobranding 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 traditionalPast Efforts: settings” will grow the fastest. Based on the survey results, we would suggest Bureau of Labor Statistics (n.d.). Librarians. Occu - Ms. Dewey: that the librarian community believes the current pational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition Retrieved May 31, 2007 from oco/ocos068.htm public perception of librarians is "Book Expert," Lipstick Librarian while we think of ourselves as "Research Experts." So, to reposition ourselves in the public eye as the "ultimate human search You Dont Look Like a Librarian: engine" and escape the single-focused stereotype of "book worm," the profession should: Read Posters @ Your Library 1.Design a media marketing campaign for A “ 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 theObstacles 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 eyesMETHODOLOGY: 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 oflistserves, 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 ___.