Marketing FE Library


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A presentation for a JISC webinar on use of technology in promoting library services, 7 March 2012. Notes to each slide are available on the Notes tab.

The North Warwickshire and Hinckley College Library uses a blog for generating marketing and user education content and various other media - for disseminating it.

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  • 12 March 2012I would like totalk about our experience of engaging with media – both traditional andsocial – for marketing a college library.
  • Two years ago my colleagues and I spent some time discussing what kind of image the library projected, how it did it and what related competencies the team had. This diagram shows some of the places and communication tools the library used for connecting with its users and the college community. These where mostly disjoint efforts – sometimes, successful, effective, sometimes not, but certainly what we were doing was not good enough: a lot of replication and missed opportunities.
  • One of the decisions we made was to set up a single repository for all the content the library generated (whatever it is, purely marketing materials or user education stuff) and push it through as many channels as possible. A blog has been conceived as such a repository – it is online, versatile and easy to use.
  • Quite soon, importance of using workflows became apparent: a structured approach saves time and makes all the efforts consistent and more effective. So, how does it work? – For example when we purchase new interesting resources, we publish a blog post about that.
  • Everything is as much hyperlinked as possible, e.g. each e-book title leads to its catalogue record on the web OPAC; the post may also contain a link to other related content, like guides. This blog content is re-used for posters.
  • A link to that news item is posted to the library Facebook page. The link also automatically appears on Moodle: the in-built Remote RSS Feeds block takes care of that. A short post with a link back to the blog is placed on the Extranet dashboard which is the home page for all the college staff logging into the college computers.
  • This is a semi-automated workflow. The main effort goes into generating the original content on the blog. The rest is pretty quick.
  • We aim to re-use content as much as possible. A good example of that is our last annual report. The content generated on the blog was extremely handy when we eventually decided on what kind of report we wanted to produce, so that it would be another marketing opportunity for us. The emphases was placed not on stats and figures, but on stories. Almost all the report content came from the blog – images, re-worded posts…
  • Microsoft Word was used to design the 12-page document, all by ourselves. The report is meaningful, easy to read; it is attractive to look at. It was sent to all the managers and many key-players in the college… Response was very positive.
  • Some of the lessons we learnt along the way: Students and staff don’t read blogs, there is no point in positioning it as the main marketing tool; however, it can be used for preparing the content served where our users are happy to consume it. Almost anything can present a marketing opportunity: new resources, events, just helpful ideas... How we do it is also important. Writing online has its own rules, it’s not the same as writing for the college staff bulletin… Involving the whole team into marketing is crucial. It builds a broader set of skills in the library, empowers everyone. I like the idea that everyone must promote themselves, the jobs we do and our achievements.
  • I am happy to answer questions and help with developing anything which is mentioned here. Links to the some resources and contact details are on the screen.
  • Marketing FE Library

    1. 1. TRADITIONAL AND Ihar Ivanou, NorthEMERGING MEDIA FOR Warwickshire & Hinckley MARKETING LIBRARY College
    2. 2. FRAGMENTED MEDIA College Facebook websiteWeb OPAC VLE E-mails Leaflets
    3. 3. BRINGING SOME ORDER College website Moodle Facebook Blog Annual Email report Extranet
    4. 4. CREATING WORKFLOWS – EXAMPLE Poster Facebook New e- Blog books post Moodle Extranet
    7. 7. CREATING WORKFLOWS Poster FacebookNew e- Blogbooks post Moodle Extranet
    8. 8. RE-USE OF CONTENT Blog Blog storiesimages StatsAnnual Report
    10. 10. BUILDING CONTENTWhat? Content relevant to users, not library staff New resources, e.g. magazines and e -books New events, service developments User education materials, e.g. new guides Anything that may prompt users to interact with the libraryHow? Whole team involved, peer -support offered As short as possible, journalistic style Images – as many as possible Possessive adjectives avoided: not our collection, but library collection; not we, but library staff
    11. 11. MORE – FEW LINKS My blog post on marketing library – Library pages on the college website – Library blog – Annual report – Ihar Ivanou,