Students, Librarians and Marketing the Library


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This presentation was given by Frank Parry and Becky Laing It describes an interesting project between Information science students and library staff at Loughborough University.

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  • The building was originally intended as a teaching Library, although with the development of the Department of Information Science away from librarianship, that function never really took off. However, the Department and Library have always remained close and it is interesting that this exercise has now drawn both nearer to the original concept. It should also be mentioned that the Marketing and Publications Group now has an academic helping to create Library marketing strategy and that Graham Walton – the Group’s Chair – is a research fellow in the Department.
  • Students were given the task of thoroughly researching the background of academic libraries and marketing libraries. This involved not just the usual literature searching but also reading strategic policy documents of both the Library and the University to see how their marketing proposals would further the aims and objectives of Loughborough University.
  • Students were asked to ‘think outside the box’ and be brave. They had to become consultants and were given the chance to say things and present ideas to librarians which they might not otherwise have said or done. Naturally, the Library as customer has the last say about what to adopt and what not to adopt, but marketing consultants sometimes have to present a concept even if it does not fit in with the preconceived ideas of librarians.
  • This group of students received the best grades ever for group work. They adopted a thoroughly professional ‘marketing mindset’ and developed good presentations skills through such techniques as video practicing.
  • Students, Librarians and Marketing the Library

    1. 1. Students, Librarians and Marketing the Library A collaborative project between postgraduateInformation Science students and Library staff at Loughborough University presented by Becky Laing and Frank Parry (with contributions from Derek Stephens)
    2. 2. Background to the Project: the Library• Share same building• Historic relationship between the Library and Department of Information Science• Work of the Marketing and Publications Group
    3. 3. Background to the Project:Department of Information Science• Postgraduate module “Management of Information Services”• Students given opportunity to put theory into practice by becoming ‘marketing consultants’• Second year of collaboration
    4. 4. Timescale• October – students start course and are introduced to marketing theory• March – students are given briefs• Late May – students give presentations and are awarded grades
    5. 5. The Briefs - i• Students become marketing consultants from a firm called “24/7” and are divided into 5 teams each with a different brief: – Library journals – Academic Librarians – Information Literacy and Study Skills – MetaLib (information portal) – Library space
    6. 6. The Briefs - ii• Librarians become clients and brief the marketing consultants: – Prepare A4 briefing documents – Meet professional teams for discussions – Stay in contact and provide supplementary information as required – via email, further meetings, Wiki
    7. 7. The Presentations• Librarians and Information Science staff watch 10 minute presentations from each of the ‘consultant groups’• Librarians offer views on presentations but do not take part in grading process
    8. 8. The Ideas …• Students were bold, imaginative yet still practical … here are the ideas from the presentations …
    9. 9. What did the Library get out of it?• Fresh ideas and a fresh perspective! – A chance to work with an academic department and systematically examine core areas of Library operations• Adopt and work on some proposals into the Library’s marketing strategy … with proper acknowledgment of the students’ work.
    10. 10. What did the students get out of it? – Potentially, better marks! – A chance to put theory into practice ~ the ‘real world’ – Professional practice • Hone presentation skills • Work in groups • Develop a marketing ‘mindset’
    11. 11. What did the students get out of it? Results from the Questionnaire• “It was awesome!” ~ all but 2 of the 16 respondents agreed or strongly agreed that: – The assignment was very practical and relevant – I received good support and information from the Library – The assignment was good in developing team work skills – I was able to improve my presentation skills through completing the assignment – My understanding of marketing in libraries was considerably enhanced through the assignment – I enjoyed working on the marketing assignment
    12. 12. What did the lecturer get out of it?• Personal satisfaction of seeing students adapt well to ‘real world’ challenges• “Good stuff is so easy to mark!” (Derek Stephens)
    13. 13. ThanksDerek Stephens ~ the Department of Information Science Students/Consultants ~ the Department of Information Science Graham Walton, Jason Cooper, Brant Hickman, Karen McCormick, Jeanette Machin ~ the Library Marketing and Publications Group