Marketing in the Library and Beyond


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Presentation given at PNLA 2011 Conference. Presentation covers marketing techniques and tips as done at Sonoma State University Library. Tools covered include: mashups, timelines, QR codes,

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  • My name is Joe Marquez. I am the Web Services Librarian at Sonoma State University Library. My topic is about marketing library services and how we market our services and program at the SSU Library.
  • Marketing definition from the American Marketing Association. Marketing is the process by which library’s can leverage their own strengths to demonstrate to their patrons and surrounding communities their worth and value to the community.
  • Libraries sell the physical and the cultural. We provide a place for patrons to come to and use the “library as place” but also a place with services geared towards the community. Library’s are user-centered.
  • We market our resources to demonstrate our value. The key is that we constantly demonstrate our worth because what we offer is constantly evolving to meet growing patronage and a greater need for community-centered organizations like the library.
  • 4 areas to focus are: “Library as Place” – the physical environment. “Services” – reference, circulation, story time, events. “Collections” – what we have. “Community” – the key to why we do the things we do.
  • Some tools we use to communicate and advertise ourselves includes web 2.0 software, mashups & timelines, Library Homepage, a mobile website, google calendar, and QR codes. All serve a different purpose. They are all tools, but in the end by using them we are getting the word out on what the Library can do and how it can better serve its patrons.
  • Our Facebook and Twitter feeds have 300 followers.
  • By contrast, a free range rooster that used to live on campus has nearly 5 times as many followers! The rooster met with an accident via a raptor. The students had become attached to the bird and actually wanted to rename the mascot in its honor. What this shows me is that our students want to use facebook and twitter with their friends and not the library. This is fine. Not all tools work the same for similar environments.
  • Recently a coworker discovered this little fox living on campus. It is only time before the students find it, begin to feed it and will want to drop the Sea Wolf mascot for Foxes or something similar.
  • Your archives or history desk are very powerful places. Both touch at the heart of what is community. The thing is we know what we have but the public doesn’t unless we show them. Mashups and Timelines touch the community at a very personal level.
  • Mashup created to link topo and geologic maps from the 6 service counties to their physical location using a Google Map. Originally for the geology department, the project is also used by some Cal DOT folks and local community. Mashup was created using a simple blog entry that reviews each step. All references are at the end of the presentation.
  • The Sonoma County History Timeline project was funded by a mini-grant received in Dec of 2010. The grant funded the research of history points by History grad students. He end product combines Sonoma County history on the map where events happened, in a timeline form to understand the sequence of local history as well as combining resources we have in our Archives and Special Collections collection. A tool like this highlights the various resources we have and is good for getting the local community interested in the Library.
  • The Library website, specifically the homepage, is the best place to market Library resources. No brainer, right? But, if you look around at some sites, they are just links. How does a link make a connection with anyone? We need graphics and other visual elements that stimulate patron curiosity. The website is the only part of the library open 24/7. It is as important a front door as the physical one to the building.
  • When I arrived the library’s website lacked uniform branding, no visual end of the page, no real eye-catching graphics, and no real place for marketing elements. The homepage is more than just an entry way to the catalog. It is a marketing tool waiting to happen.
  • With the current site, I reviewed all software packages and determined a strict method for branding the look and feel of the site (see top banner). From there, I focused on making the page dynamic with PHP coding. Adding elements like the slideshow to highlight collections, events, services and anything else new to the library. I also wanted to connect with faculty and staff on campus and added the In Focus section.
  • The purpose of the slideshow was to be able to highlight services, collections, events, gallery exhibits, student help, and anything new. By having a dedicated area for the slideshow to exist, we don’t need to alter the homepage to make an update.
  • Another place we added the slideshow to was the Regional & Special Collections landing page. The size of the graphics are the same so we can reuse slide graphics for either the main homepage or the regional homepage.
  • The In Focus section allows us to personalize our patrons. We focus only on faculty and staff, no students. People love to be asked to be on the library’s homepage. It makes a connection. One staff member said he can’t go anywhere on campus without being recognized as a result.
  • Mobile website. Our numbers are still small on usage but it is getting used. The main purpose is for quick reference like hours and basic services. We do provide mobile links to databases. I also made a website rather than an app based on usage statistics. If we see a big jump in usage, I will consider creating an app. The site works across all smartphones and was relatively easy to code.
  • QR codes are everywhere. This little square is essentially a 2D bar code. Its strength lies in its ability to get information to your phone or QR code reader without typing.
  • This is a screenshot of our catalog for the book The Sea-Wolf by Jack London. Our QR codes in the catalog capture the title, author, call number, location, and availability.
  • We also use the QR codes in the stacks at potential points of reference. The idea came one day when I had two different students ask how to find books in the stacks during the same reference shift. The QR links to a basic how-to instruction page on finding books in the stacks. Eventually, it may link to a video.
  • Other possible ideas on where to place QR codes with simple point of reference information: on floor maps that link to the webpage maps, at the copiers for “how to create a double-sided copy”, or on signage that contains links. Another possibility would be to our new computer availability script we are rolling out this fall semester.
  • Our how to portion of the presentation. We are going to create a QR code and link it to a website.
  • Marketing in the Library and Beyond

    1. 1. Marketing in the library and beyonDJoe Marquez, MLISSonoma State University Library<br />
    2. 2. Marketing of the Library<br />mar-ket-ingˈmär-kə-tiŋ n.<br />Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.<br />—American Marketing Association website<br />
    3. 3. What are we selling?<br />Access to information in a friendly environment<br />Books, DVDs, CDs, place, librarians/staff, computing, databases, journals, newspapers, lectures, workshops, galleries, archives, children’s story time<br />A sense of place. A part of the community. Service to the community.<br />
    4. 4. How & why do we market our services?<br />Demonstrate our worth, especially in economic times like these<br />Play on patron interests, key library collections, and focus on the local community<br />The tools focused on in this discussion demonstrate how the library has evolved<br />
    5. 5. Where to Start?<br />Library as Place<br />Services<br />Collections<br />Community<br />
    6. 6. What tools do we use?<br />Web 2.0 (Twitter & Facebook)<br />Mashups & Timeline<br />Library Homepage (slideshow, In Focus)<br />Mobile website<br />Google Calendar<br />QR Codes<br />
    7. 7. Web 2.0: Twitter and Facebook<br />Facebook<br />Twitter<br />
    8. 8. Rodney the Rooster<br />Rodney the Rooster was a stray bird that walked around campus. The students wanted to change the mascot from a Sea Wolf to a Fighting Cock. One day Rodney was eaten by a raptor. <br />
    9. 9. Fox<br />
    10. 10. Mashups & Timelines<br />Your archives/special collections/history desk is marketing’s best friend<br />People love seeing B/W photographs<br />People love seeing what their town used to look like<br />
    11. 11. Mashups & Timelines, cont.<br />Make everyday items more useful by joining like items electronically<br />Showing off the archival or special collections not only demonstrates the library’s value as a repository of physical items but also a holder of community memory<br />
    12. 12. Mashup:Geologic and Topo maps<br /><ul><li>SSU covers 6 services counties (Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Marin, Solano)
    13. 13. Mashup combined all topo maps for 6 counties and placed them in geographic context
    14. 14. Maps are now electronic and can be accessed from off-campus
    15. 15. Serves the geology dept AND the local community</li></ul><br />
    16. 16. Timeline: Sonoma County History<br /><ul><li>Created with funding from grant to show local history timeline
    17. 17. Images are from Archives
    18. 18. Created using MIT’s SIMILE Exhibit
    19. 19. Very little coding
    20. 20. Easy to update
    21. 21. Simple interactive tool to show history</li></ul><br />
    22. 22. The Library Website<br />Best place to market the Library is on its own website – specifically the homepage<br />The only part of the library that is open 24 hrs/day<br />The only way to search the library’s collections<br />The library website is the other front door and probably the one most often used<br />
    23. 23. The Library Website: Homepage<br />Previous Library website<br /><ul><li> no global navigation
    24. 24. no visible “end” to the page
    25. 25. html only
    26. 26. marketing elements below the fold
    27. 27. 7 software packages, lacking uniform branding</li></li></ul><li>The Library Website: Homepage, cont.<br />Current Library website<br /><ul><li> global navigation
    28. 28. page has a border
    29. 29. php
    30. 30. easy to update
    31. 31. visible marketing elements
    32. 32. outreach to campus and community
    33. 33. uniform branding</li></ul><br />
    34. 34. Slideshow: Homepage<br /><ul><li>Slideshow allows for ease of updating
    35. 35. Not necessary to alter homepage when updating
    36. 36. Slides are uniform in size
    37. 37. What do we display:
    38. 38. Events (lectures, workshops, music)
    39. 39. Gallery exhibits
    40. 40. Student help
    41. 41. Technology
    42. 42. Archives/Special Collections collection</li></li></ul><li>Slideshow: Regional & Special Collections<br /><ul><li>Highlights Regional & Special Collections
    43. 43. Same size as homepage slideshow
    44. 44. Focus on various collections
    45. 45. Same widget as Library homepage</li></ul><br />
    46. 46. In Focus<br /><ul><li>In Focus allows us to connect the Library with our patrons
    47. 47. I will send out emails to faculty and staff to participate
    48. 48. People LOVE being on the homepage
    49. 49. Provides an opportunity to show the various faces on campus and learn about what people do (for work or research)</li></li></ul><li>Mobile Website<br />
    50. 50. Google Calendar<br /><ul><li> Google Calendar is free
    51. 51. Easy to update
    52. 52. Students now have google email accts and calendar can be integrated into their school calendars
    53. 53. The calendar works on the mobile site and is easily embedded</li></li></ul><li>QR Codes<br />QR codes are the latest and greatest technology that allows you tocapture data via a 2D code with a handheld device<br />The data can be text, links, even contact information<br />QR codes are appearing everywhere<br />We currently use them in our catalog and in the stacks for point of reference<br />
    54. 54. QR Codes: In The Catalog<br />Our QR codes in the catalog provide the name, author, call number, location, and availability<br /><br />
    55. 55. QR Codes: In the Stacks<br />QR codes in the stacks link to a webpage with basic how-to instructions on finding books in the stacks.<br />
    56. 56. QR Codes: Where Else?<br />
    57. 57. How to Create a QR Code<br />Create your content (webpage, image, contact info)<br />Go to a website like<br />Enter information in space provided<br />Select size of QR code<br />Click “Generate”<br />Copy embed code into your webpage<br />
    58. 58. Things to Keep in Mind<br />Keep committees small and nimble<br />Design with the user in mind – “Cool” can be fun, but always question whether or not it is appropriate for your library<br />Don’t over saturate your library with a single technology<br />
    59. 59. Wrap up<br />Big question to ask in thinking about marketing the library:<br />Can we afford it? And then, can we sustain it?<br />Whenever possible, reuse technology across the website.<br />We reuse slideshow and QR code technology<br />And always assess to see how it worked<br />
    60. 60. Resources<br />How to create a mashup<br /><br />How to create a timeline<br /><br />How to create a 2.0 presence<br /><br />How to create a QR code<br /><br />
    61. 61. Contact<br />Joe Marquez<br />Web Services Librarian<br />Sonoma State University<br /><br />Library:<br />Slides:<br />