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Promoting Your Library


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Presentation given to the University of North Texas (UNT) all day conference for Houston students in the librarianship program.

Published in: Business, Education

Promoting Your Library

  1. 1. Promoting Your Library Sandra Fernandez Manager of Public Relations Houston Public Library
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ In the era of Google, why do we need librarians?” </li></ul>
  3. 3. If Google and a librarian had an informational smackdown, who would win? Many people champion Google, with its impressive number of results. But research librarians say their powers have been unfairly dismissed in the online age. Not only can they outsmart Google's dead ends and weaknesses, librarians say, but they can help people surf faster and smarter by showing them hidden databases and tricks. [SNIP] Librarians have become teachers of digital literacy , Kadir said. They show beginners how to hold a mouse and sign up for e-mail, and they show more advanced users how to blog or navigate databases. Houston Public Library members gain free access to dozens of electronic resources that normally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. [SNIP, ] Information isn't reserved for books It's online, and today's librarians are experts at finding it Saima Kadir, a reference librarian with the Houston Public Library, answers questions on a 24-hour chat service.
  4. 4. Libraries: perception
  5. 5. Libraries: reality
  6. 6. Promoting Your Library Increasing Advocacy
  7. 7. Advocacy actions: what we hope our customers will do <ul><li>Passive </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use it, baby! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Numbers rule, especially during appropriations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Say it, baby! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Word of Mouth: tell others about it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Active </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Donate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Funding in little and big ways </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speak up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>voice their opinions to decision-makers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>choose libraries when hard decisions come around </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. How to communicate with your customers <ul><li>Things to remember </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell me what you do, and tell me why I should care </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>I am the center of my universe </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“If you build it, they will come” is a myth </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Make it real </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t assume they know what they need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Most people don’t know what they don’t know </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Funding, referrals, usage, support </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. How to communicate with your customers <ul><li>Methods to use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outreach activities: civic organizations, PTO meetings, faculty orientation, new staff trainings </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Print </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flyers, newsletters, brochures, posters </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Web site, email newsletters, MySpace, FAcebook, online calendars </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Newspapers, radio, television, blogs </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Tips & Tricks <ul><li>Know your brand </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Everything you are telling your customers in promotional activities needs to align with your brand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Your library has a brand, you may just not know it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you’re trying to promote a service or event that doesn’t align with your brand, that may be a promotional opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If your library hasn’t created a written branding statement, create one </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Tips & Tricks <ul><li>Know your brand </li></ul><ul><li>Know your goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can be all things to all people, but you cannot promote everything to everyone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotional activities should have specific goals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The goals will help you target promotional activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The goals will help you identify which activities work best </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Tips & Tricks <ul><li>Know your brand </li></ul><ul><li>Know your goals </li></ul><ul><li>Know your message </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create an editorial calendar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t reinvent the wheel, reuse your content </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create “evergreen” content </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Tips & Tricks <ul><li>Know your brand </li></ul><ul><li>Know your goals </li></ul><ul><li>Know your message </li></ul><ul><li>Identify your “promotional gurus” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If your library doesn’t have a Public Relations or Marketing professional, someone has to be the designated PR or Marketing staff member </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If your library does has PR or marketing staff, then your library will need subject matter experts, people to talk to the press on specific topics, staff to do outreach </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Tips & Tricks <ul><li>Know your brand </li></ul><ul><li>Know your goals </li></ul><ul><li>Know your message </li></ul><ul><li>Identify your “promotional gurus” </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a relationship with your media </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is something your designated “promotional gurus” will be doing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find out who covers libraries, government, education, business, and local calendars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find out how to contact them, how they want information sent to them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find out when to contact them, when their deadlines are, how soon they want information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Track your press coverage to identify where your successes are and what may be influencing additional support & usage </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Tips & Tricks <ul><li>Know your brand </li></ul><ul><li>Know your goals </li></ul><ul><li>Know your message </li></ul><ul><li>Identify your “promotional gurus” </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a relationship with your media </li></ul><ul><li>Remember that each and every person who works for a library can impact the support that it receives. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sandra Fernandez 832-393-1381 [email_address]