Back to (Offline) Basics: The Supremacy of the Restroom Newsletter


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Learn how to create an inexpensive, fun and effective offline marketing tool -- the bathroom stall newsletter. Presented at GaCOMO12 by Maureen Puffer-Rothenberg.

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Back to (Offline) Basics: The Supremacy of the Restroom Newsletter

  1. 1. We Facebook, we tweet, we blogourselves into a stupor . . . Yet sometimeswe feel our patrons aren’t drawn to ourblogs and tweets. We have so much wewant to tell them, but How, oh How, mightwe capture their attention?
  2. 2. Well. At some point, nearly every library patron, nomatter who he or she may be, will have to pee . . .
  3. 3. So Odum Library began posting a newsletter, theOdum Commodum, in every one of our 65 bathroomstalls, and above every urinal, We post 2 issues abouttwice each month.
  4. 4. Following FSU’s example, we ran a contest to let studentsname the newsletter. We received 375 entries, anunprecedented response! Why did this never occur to usbefore, combining a money prize with scatological humor?
  5. 5. We find it’s better to feature a collection, rather thanindividual titles (which might be immediately checkedout).
  6. 6. tinyurl. com/OdumBugsIt’s a good idea to use custom URLs in the newsletter (they’re to make at That way students can rememberthem, or easily plug them into their cell phones andPDAs, without having to remember or text a long URL.
  7. 7. We had a couple complaints about people using theirphones in the restrooms . . . They were taking pictures ofQR codes. Maybe the QR codes aren’t such a good ideafor the bathroom stalls . . .
  8. 8. If there’s a lot of information about an event, it’s betterto use just the bare bones in the newsletter, so peoplecan read it quickly, and direct them elsewhere for moreextensive information . . .
  9. 9. Like this 
  10. 10. $14.79$22.30
  11. 11. I like to use crrrrrazy typefaces, but I also have to editmyself and think about readability.
  12. 12. We didn’t see an increase in graffiti because of theCommodum (we don’t get a lot of graffiti anyhow), butwe do have a problem in the men’s rooms with guystearing them off the wall.
  13. 13. What is it with the guys in the restroom stalls? Why dothey tear down the Commodum? I’ve never been inthere myself of course, but a colleague tells me theguys are transformed in there into Hulk-like creaturesand they can’t help tearing stuff up.
  14. 14. Maureen Puffer-RothenbergAuthority Control & Description of AVResourcesOdum Library, Valdosta StateUniversityValdosta GA --with the support of theValdosta State University Office of Faculty Scholarship