Marketing Academic Libraries


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Marketing Academic Libraries was put together by Julia Furay and Andrea Mullen, library science students in Brooklyn, NY, for Brooklyn College.

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  • One idea that came up a lot in the literature was the notion of producing giveways such as bookmarks or pencils. Or even stickers on coffee cup sleeves. (This might be a good way to promote QuestionPoint services)
  • Several schools have offered free snacks and coffee during finals week as a way to promote the library and assist overstressed students
  • Creative finals week edible giveaways include fortune cookies with clever messages about library services  (for example, the Wisconsin-Eau Clare librarians wrote "I cannot help you, for I am just a cookie. But a librarian can")   Cost is about $125 for 750 cookies. No specific data was released on effectivity, but Eau Claire librarians argue the benefits were substantial in terms of fostering goodwill and creating faculty and student relationships
  • Or rolls of Smarties: the Washington State University libraries put "Get Smart @ the WSU Library" stickers on the wrapper
  • Some university libraries are working to promote literacy (i.e. leisure reading) in addition to academic holdings  UC Berkeley publishes an annual reading list for students – compiled by librarians as well as teaching faculty – relating to a certain area of study. The recommended books are usually readable pieces of nonfiction, such as “Proust and the Squid,” “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and “Three Cups of Tea.” According to a University of Idaho librarian, literacy promotion can be as simple as leaving dustjackets on hardcover books.
  • Schools such as Washington University in St. Louis, Regent University, and Northeastern State University applied for and received a matching $5,000 grant from the NEA to participate in the annual Big Read initiative, which features a series of events that discuss, promote and relate to a particular classic every year, such as “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Maltese Falcon.” Promotion initiatives include lectures, film screenings, panel discussions, public readings, essay contests, video contests and launch parties.
  • Residence Hall promotion: Washington State University rolled out a promotion to let students know about the 24/7 library services available from home
  • Then there’s partnership marketing, which for our purposes we’ll define as
  • One trend: Requesting input from marketing/MBA students to promote reference or other library services, possibly as part of a class project Marketing students at Illinois Wesleyan University promoted the library by ordering small key chains with pen lights. Written on the key chains included ways to contact a librarian: e-mail, phone, IM, and desk hours They also distributed whiteboards to the students with the same information
  • Before marketing the reference services at Illinois Wesleyan University in November 2006, the amount of reference interactions were totaled at 115. After marketing in November 2007, the number went up to 187. 65 through their widget software and 122 through reference desk interactions.
  • Several universities including Berkeley, Michigan, Washington and Oregon have created an award for excellence in undergraduate student research   Awards are substantial, with $1,000 as the for 1 st place
  • A more lighthearted contest, held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was an edible book contest.
  • Formal studies show the obvious: Facebook is incredibly popular with Americans of all ages.
  • Twitter is also gaining in popularity… BUT...
  • ... BUT according to a recent Pew/Internet study, few Twitter users are teens.
  • The data brings up several questions to consider as we consider marketing. We don’t necessarily have answers to these questions – no library really does – but
  • To begin with, there’s the idea of what about the Brooklyn College Library is best suited for a marketing campaign. Our suggestions include QuestionPoint ILL Collections like Brooklyniana Collection LOOP Tutorials (beyond calendar listings) EBook Resources Amenities:  Outlets at carrels  Group study rooms Reading rooms  Viewing rooms
  • Sync Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that Facebook members who “like” the Brooklyn College Library will see at least some highlighted tweets from Brooklyn College Librarians.
  • Even to those who question whether or not Facebook and Twitter are appropriate marketing channels, there are clear reasons why this puts Brooklyn College Library at an advantage. To begin with, it’s an easy outlet for Brooklyn College Library to make announcement and further communicate with students as well as faculty and even fellow librarians. It gives a lot of the advantages of a blog without the workload. Secondly, Twitter and blogs are something of an advertisement for how a library functions, and promoting ourselves as a forward-thinking, web-savvy library is And of course students are using it. A search on Twitter for Brooklyn College brings dozens of hits from today alone, and many active students have accounts. Finally, a Twitter feed might require a point person to actually post tweets, but the remainder of the staff requirements would be minimal. Librarians can be encouraged to email their proposed tweets to the point person, or given the password to post tweets themselves.
  • Marketing Academic Libraries

    1. 1. Marketing Academic Libraries   Data, Trends and Suggestions Created by Andrea Mullen and Julia Furay for the Brooklyn College Library
    2. 2. <ul><li>How one respondent described the library’s key to success: “Engagement with our audience that includes having a presence at their activities; rather than having them come to us, we come to them.” </li></ul><ul><li>-James-Gilboe, L., 366 </li></ul>
    3. 3. Our Goals <ul><li>To find creative ideas for marketing academic libraries through recent literature </li></ul>
    4. 4. Challenges <ul><li>Library literature tends to be anecdotal: case studies are plentiful, but wide-ranging data on marketing and its effectiveness is difficult to find </li></ul>
    5. 5. Reports from the field: What has been done (And has it been successful?)
    6. 6. 1. Proactive marketing (New ideas for traditional outreach)
    7. 7. Giveaways (a few highlights of our research)
    8. 8. Giveaway ideas   (a few highlights of our research)
    9. 9. Giveaway ideas (a few highlights of our research) &quot;I cannot help you, for I am just a cookie. But a librarian can&quot;
    10. 10. Giveaway ideas (a few highlights of our research) &quot;Get Smart @ the WSU Library&quot;
    11. 11. Promoting Literacy   (a few highlights of our research)
    12. 12. Promoting Literacy   (a few highlights of our research)
    13. 13. Reports from the field   (a few highlights of our research)
    14. 14. 2. Partnership marketing (Calling on students to become part of an outreach effort)
    15. 15. Partnering with Marketing Students <ul><li>  </li></ul>(a few highlights of our research)
    16. 16. Results
    17. 17. Contests <ul><li>  </li></ul>  (a few highlights of our research)
    18. 18. Contests   (a few highlights of our research) To Grill a Mockingbird Frank in Stein Candied Voltaire The Malted Falcon
    19. 19. Social Media Marketing (You knew we were going there)
    20. 20. College students and social media Source: Facebook Users Average 7 Hours a Month (The Nielsen Company)
    21. 21. College students and social media Source: Facebook Users Average 7 Hours a Month (The Nielsen Company)
    22. 22. College Students and Social Media Source: Trends in Teen Communication and Social Media Use: What’s Really Going On Here? (Pew Internet)
    23. 23. What Does this Mean? What other social media marketing channels might BCL consider? Should the Brooklyn College Library use its Facebook page as a marketing channel? Is it worth it to invest the effort and time into a Twitter feed when the teen usage statistics are so low? (questions to consider)
    24. 24. Suggestions for Moving Forward
    25. 25. Specific Services or Areas We May Want to Market
    26. 26. Suggestions for Moving Forward
    27. 27. Why? <ul><ul><ul><li>An easy outlet for Brooklyn College Library to express itself </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promotes image of the Brooklyn College Library as the forward-thinking, inventive library it already is! </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students are using it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal staffing </li></ul></ul></ul>
    28. 28. Suggestions for Moving Forward <ul><ul><li>Use the two outlets to announce:  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in library hours, closures of certain areas at the library (such as the LaGuardia reading room)  </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Availability of chat reference services to BC students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Happenings at the library such as events and tutorials </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Librarian recommendations on Web 2.0 tools such as CaptureFox, Koofers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Publications from library staff </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Answering questions through Facebook chat, Facebook message </li></ul></ul></ul>
    29. 29. Suggestions for Moving Forward <ul><ul><li>Relax @ the Brooklyn College Library: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An area of the library that encourages the students to relax, with some paperback or popular fiction titles, zines, or periodicals out for perusal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>  </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partnerships: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Emailing the heads of each student club, organization, and newspaper by stating that the library is a friend to student organizations, offer them to the opportunity to come to the library and show them the resources they may need </li></ul></ul></ul>
    30. 30. Suggestions for Moving Forward <ul><ul><li>Residence Hall promotion: 24/7 library services available from home </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Focus groups with students, &quot;Is the marketing effective?&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ebrary Books: Availability to download on kindle, mobile devices, and other ereaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask-A-Librarian service as a student is searching the databases </li></ul></ul>
    31. 31. Works Cited <ul><li>Cummings, L.. (2007). Bursting out of the box: Outreach to the millennial generation through student services programs. Reference Services Review, 35 (2), 285-295. </li></ul><ul><li>Duke, L., MacDonald, J., & Trimble, C. (2009). Collaboration between Marketing Students and the Library: An Experiential Learning Project to Promote Reference Services. College & Research Libraries , 70 (2), 109-21. Retrieved from Library Lit & Inf Full Text database </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Elliott, J. (2007). Academic Libraries and Extracurricular Reading Promotion. Reference & User Services Quarterly , 46(3), 34-43. Retrieved from EBSCO host . </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook users average 7 hrs a month in january as digital universe expands [Web log message]. (2010, February 16). Retrieved from  </li></ul><ul><li>Hendrix, D., Chiarella, D., Hasman, L., Murphy, S., & Zafron, M. (2009). Use of Facebook in academic health sciences libraries. Journal of the Medical Library Association , 97 (1), 44-7. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.97.1.008 </li></ul><ul><li>Hillery, L.B., & Henkel, H.L. (2010). Literature, Community and Cooperation: The Big Read at Regent University. Public Services Quarterly , 6 , 331-342. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Works Cited <ul><li>James-Gilboe, L. (2010). Raising the Library Profile to Fight Budget Challenges. The Serials Librarian , 59 (3/4), 360-9. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Jennings, E., & Tvaruzka, K. (2010). Quick and Dirty Library Promotions That Really Work. Journal of Library Innovation , 1 (2), 6-14. Retrieved March 9, 2011, from  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Salmond, K. & Purcell, K. (2011). Trends in Teen Communication and Social Media Use: What’s Really Going On Here? Retreived from   </li></ul><ul><li>Smith, R. & Young, N. (2008). Giving pleasure its due: Collection promotion and readers’ advisory in academic libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 34 (6), 520-526. </li></ul>