The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.


Marketing news, tips, and trends for libraries

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

New Webinar! Communications Audit

I'm giving a new webinar this Thursday, April 2, at 2pm Eastern.

LibraryWorks is hosting this event:
"How (and Why) To Do a Simple External Communications Audit at Your Library."

Here are just a few of the things you'll learn: 
  • What an "external communications audit" is and why it's important
  • Step-by-step instructions for auditing
  • Which print and electronic communications pieces to include 
  • Tips for consistent branding
The full description, and link to register, are both here. Sign up now! Registration fee = $49/person. To ask about group rates for parties of 4 or more, just email jenny@libraryworks.com.

If you want your external communications (rack cards, event calendars, newsletters, invitations, press releases, signage, and more) to be clear and useful, then you need to learn how to do a simple audit. Great for the smallest and the largest libraries, and all those in between!

If you cannot attend live on 2 April, the LibraryWorks team will email you the handout and a link to the recorded webinar. But first, you need to register!  

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Promote Your Library During Quarantine

On March 26, I gave a special, free webinar and I'm sharing the handout with everyone here. 

"Why and How to Promote Your Online Services During the Quarantine"

The webinar was recorded, and is available here for free:  https://www.library20.com/page/crisis

Note that this is free for anyone around the world; you simply have to sign up for Library 2.0 (just your name and email).

There are 4 webinars this afternoon in this "Special Pandemic Mini Conference" -- see them all at the link above.

Deep thanks to PCI Webinars and Library 2.0 managers for quickly putting together this practical, useful, comforting, community-building, safe-to-attend, online mini conference. Go check out their other offerings, some of which are free during this time.

Stay well everyone! Scroll down for my handout...

Library 2.0 and PCI Webinars, March 26, 2020

Special Pandemic Mini Conference

"Why and Howto Promote Your Online Services During the Quarantine"

Kathy Dempsey, Libraries Are Essential


The Perfect Video from New Brunswick (NJ) Free PublicLibrary:

Angela Hursh, Super Library Marketing blog: https://superlibrarymarketing.com/2020/03/16/workfromhome/

Angela Hursh, Super Library Marketingvodcast: Self-Care for Library Social Media Staff in the Midst ofa Crisis like #COVID-19:

"COVID-19 Resources for Medical Librarians & OtherHealth Information Professionals" from the Medical Library Assoc.:

Crisis Communication Plans article:

EveryLibrary articles to share with the public: https://www.everylibrary.org/resourcespubliccovid

Google Ad Grants info:

Google Ad Grants FAQs from a Google Certified Partner,Koios:

"How to Advocate for Closing the Library" by PCSweeney, Library Journal. 3/24/20:

Make your own Keep Calm posters:

News Literacy Project, COVID-19Misinformation:

Online Storytimes: Members of theScreen Actors Guild reading books on YouTube:

WebJunction post:

Publishers Offering Free Electronic Resources

Organizational Statements

IMLS blog post: https://www.imls.gov/blog/2020/03/libraries-are-refuge-times-crisis

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Share Info on COVID-19, Quickly & Easily

I see an opportunity for libraries around the world to spread real, true medical information, quickly and easily. 

As the coronavirus spreads around the world, so does misinformation and panic. Libraries and librarians of all types are already seen as trustworthy sources of information. Let's take advantage of that positive perception and help spread useful news. 

A screen capture from an article in The Economist:

Of course you can do that by sharing info from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other, more local medical authorities. These could take the form of social posts, blog / news posts, fliers, website banners, etc. But I see a faster and easier way.

If and when your library starts to cancel events and programs, explain exactly why that matters and how it will help. 

Explain to your patrons that you're not giving in to panic, but that your cancellations are following the proven concept of "social distancing." The idea is to keep people from spreading a disease in large crowds. Slowing the spread (even if it is inevitable) keeps the number of infected people lower across time. This prevents medical systems from being overwhelmed all at once, and also buys time to obtain and distribute necessary supplies. The chart above illustrates the concept.

When you announce closures, program cancellations, etc., do not just say "due to the coronavirus outbreak." Instead, explain how keeping people from congregating will slow down the spread and make it easier for the medical community to keep up with cases.

Share the chart above (and cite the original in The Economist:   https://www.economist.com/briefing/2020/02/29/covid-19-is-now-in-50-countries-and-things-will-get-worse) or a similar chart from https://www.flattenthecurve.com).

Also share info like this: 

The Washington Post: "Social distancing could buy U.S. valuable time against coronavirus." March 10, 2020.

U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Fact Sheet: "Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health During an Infectious Disease Outbreak: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation." Dec. 2014. Downloadable PDF.

NewsGuard: "Coronavirus Misinformation Tracking Center." A list of websites publishing false coronavirus information, organized by country. Updated often.

And of course, follow these marketing best practices: 

  • Create standard messaging and train every library employee to use it, or to refer questions to an approved spokesperson. 
  • Share the standard message across all your channels.
  • Have a crisis communication plan in place.

Prove that, as always, 
librarians share true, trustworthy info. 

A screenshot from a late-night TV roundup
on www.theguardian.com (US)

    ** After reading all this, you might need a little levity. Enjoy this compilation of late-night comedians commenting on the coronavirus (Thanks to The Guardian). 

Friday, February 07, 2020

Enter the 2020 PR Xchange Competition

logos of ALA and LLAMA

It's that time again -- time to enter the PR Xchange Awards Competition. The deadline is April 1. 

Then choose your best PR materials in any of these 5 categories: 
1. External Communications (newsletters, calendars, patron orientation materials, email marketing)

2. Advocacy / Fundraising / Annual Reports /Strategic Plans

3. Special Events and Exhibits

4. Reading Programs (Summer, or any season)

5. Materials promoting collections, services, resources (booklists, bibliographies, signs, postcards, flyers, swag)

Finally, fill in one of these submission forms, depending on what you're entering: 

Remember, enter by April 1 to win a snazzy certificate and to boost your library's standing. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Learn About Merchandising

Library Journal recently published an article that's chock-full of good info about merchandising. Find it here. 

bundles of children's books tied together and displayed on tiered shelving
"Book bundles" can speed
 transactions and increase circ.

Author Erica Freudenberger pulled together a great deal of information and advice from many people in the field -- including Yours Truly. (My first comment comes just after the subheading, Start at the Welcome Mat, and more of my recommendations are sprinkled throughout the article.)

LJ even used some of my merchandising photos, including the one you see here. 

However, merchandising is about much more than just nice-looking displays. It affects your library's brand. It can increase circulation. It can heighten the user experience. 

The Dec. 30 feature article has lots of good advice, and so do I. I've been giving webinars and conference sessions on merchandising for years, and they're always very popular and well-attended. 

I can help your library take its merchandising to the next level. Contact me to schedule a workshop or webinar!  

Friday, September 13, 2019

A Podcast Interview

screenshot of Dempsey's episode of the Library Leadership Podcast
Recently, I had the honor of being interviewed on the Library Leadership Podcast, which is run by Adriane Herrick Juarez, the Executive Director of the Park City Library in Utah. 

You can find my episode, #38, here

Adriane and I talk about various topics in our 28-minute interview:
  • Why library marketing deserves funding
  • How to get library messages noticed despite people being overwhelmed by all the information that's pushed at them
  • How to do email marketing without invading patron privacy
  • Why I'm so passionate about libraries

So while you're commuting, cooking, or relaxing, please have a listen! 

There are many more interesting guests and topics at the Library Leadership Podcast, discussing marketing and other topics. The podcast is sponsored by Emporia State University's School of Library and Information ManagementTune in! 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Do People Still Need Libraries? YES, and Here's Why

It's an old question, and it's a shame people are still asking it. But they are.
Here's a good reply to share when someone asks you:
Do we still need libraries when everything is on the internet? 

Nice work by the folks at Origin of Everything!

Friday, May 31, 2019

Thoughts From 25 Years in Library Marketing

gold pin that says "25 years of service"
May 3, 2019, marked 25 years since I was hired as editor of Marketing Library Services. That’s a biganniversary! I was going to pen a rushed post a few weeks ago just to get itonline for the actual date, but I decided to reflect for a while first. So hereare my thoughts about being in the library marketing field over a span of 25years.

In the Beginning …
I still remember my interviews with the president of alibrary-centric publishing company in Medford, NJ, Tom Hogan, Sr. Back in 1994,the publishing company’s name was Learned Information, and my name was KathyMiller. I liked the small-town and small-company atmosphere. Tom liked that Ihad a journalism degree, years of editorial experience, and 5+ years as apara-professional in academic and public libraries. Soon, I was officially onboard. Over the years, the company name changed to Information Today, Inc. andmy name changed to Kathy Dempsey.

I took on two primary jobs at Learned Information: I editedbooks for that growing division, and I became the new editor of Marketing Library Services newsletter. At that time, MLS was in its 7th volume.

During my first years as editor, I oversaw changes in thefrequency and focus of the newsletter, but I won’t detail that here. The fullhistory is in a chapter I wrote for this book: Marketing Library and Information Services: International Perspectives,edited on behalf of IFLA by Dinesh Gupta, Christie Koontz, ?ngles Massísimo,and Réjean Savard. (Munich: KG Saur, 2006) My invited chapter, “MarketingLibrary Services Newsletter: An Overview,” covered MLS’s history from its beginnings through 2004. So that chapteralso discussed my first 10 years in library marketing.

I wrote about the next decade in a post here on The M Wordblog: “20 Years of Work, 20 Reasons to Subscribe To Marketing Library Services Newsletter.” As I said in that May 2014 post:
I started this job on May 3, 1994. Back in the `90s, youdidn't often hear the words "library" and "marketing"together. Most librarians didn't have to do much marketing or promotion becauselibraries were people's main access points for information. But the internetwas a game-changer. Once the public's access to the web became widespread, andreference transactions declined, the concept of marketing libraries slowlybecame more accepted. (Although some still thought of "marketing" asthe dirty "m word.")
3 different MLS issues side by side. very old, 2000s, recent

What’s in a Word?
Now, in 2019, fewer library employees think of “marketing”as a dirty word, but there are still some holdouts. Over the past 5 to 8 years,we’ve started to view the word a little differently, but still not in the wayI’d like.

It’s funny to me how people in our field have embracedconcepts like outreach and advocacy, and how they’ve gotten so wrapped up insocial media promotion. It’s funny because all of those things are parts ofmarketing, but not many people or publications acknowledge that. They embracethe pieces, but ignore the whole.

Some librarians still don’t like to think about “marketing,”and they don’t create marketing plans, and they don’t work strategically. Butboy, they’re eager to design colorful posters, share social media memes, andsign petitions to rally for funding. I wish they’d realize that accepting “marketing,”doing some market research, and crafting strategic plans to organize all theirone-off efforts would make their work more effective.

All About Education
For 25 years now, I’ve been trying to educate all levels oflibrary workers, to move the needle in that direction. I’ve been working innumerous ways: 
  •  I educate professionals via MLS, by publishing case studies of great marketing initiatives,highlighting best practices, and sharing news.
  •  In 2005, I started my own library marketingconsulting company called Libraries Are Essential. Organizations hire me to do marketingconsulting and training, and I’ve been speaking at conferences all over NorthAmerica.
  •  I also started a Facebook page for Libraries AreEssential, intending it as a fun place for marketing info and discussions.However, so many non-librarians followed the page (due to its name) that Ichanged my strategy and made it a public-facing account. Now, every day I posta story, photo, article, or something to showcase the goodness of libraries topeople all over the world. (Today there are nearly 5,800 followers of my LAE Facebook page.)
  •  Since 2008, I’ve been blogging here at The MWord, though not as often as I should. Nancy Dowd had started this blog yearsearlier and invited me to join; now she’s retired and it’s just me.
  •  In 2009, I published my book, The Accidental Library Marketer.That massive undertaking allowed me to organize all the knowledge in my headand share it with others. I hoped it would get the whole industry up to speedon the basics of True Marketing:
    author Kathy Dempsey holding her book, The Accidental Library Marketer
    research and segmentation, writing plans,then working on promotion and assessment. I created my website for LibrariesAre Essential then too, where I posted my Cycle of True Marketing for everyoneto share. (I need to make time to update my site atwww.LibrariesAreEssential.com!) The book sold really well, and it’s being usedas a textbook in a handful of MLIS courses. 

Sadly, that’s still not been enough to help librarianseverywhere to do excellent, strategic marketing and promotion.

Public Perception
The national situation has improved somewhat in terms ofwhat peers understand about marketing and what they’ve accomplished. But evenas that improves, new challenges arise.

The main challenges, the ones that keep me up at night, havebeen the internet and anti-tax sentiments. The ubiquity of the internet hasgiven much of the public the wrong impression—that “everything” is online forfree, so nobody needs libraries anymore. In more recent years, the fiscallyconservative, anti-tax crusaders, who also believe public libraries areunnecessary, have become proactive about voting against the levies that fundthem.

Both of these problems highlight the fact that the generalpublic still does not understand whatlibraries are in the 21st century, and they don’t grasp the myriad benefits ofusing them (and supporting them with usage and funding). OCLC’s original Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resourcesreport—the one that warned us that people around the globe still think oflibraries as being about books, first and foremost—came out in 2005 (pg. 3-1 / pg. 83 of the PDF).

cover of the 2010 OCLC report, Perceptions of Libraries
Yet, we still haven’t succeeded in changing thoseperceptions. OCLC’s follow-up report, Perceptions of Libraries, 2010: Context and Community, revealed that the library brandwas still “books” (pg. 38 / pg. 23 of the PDF). Unfortunately, the situation was even worse: 

In 2005, most Americans (69%) said “books” is the firstthing that comes to mind when thinking about the library. In 2010, even more,75%, believe that the library brand is books.
Things like this made me feel as if my 2 decades of work inmarketing had barely scratched the surface of what needed to be done. I thinkit’s necessary to train more library staffers about what marketing really meansand how doing it the right way can benefit their institutions by bringing usersin, quieting the naysayers, and ensuring better funding.

The Past 5 Years
So over the past 5 years, I’ve kept working toward that, innew and bigger ways. The most significant thing I did to change the landscapewas to take over a faltering conference and reboot it to become a nationallyrecognized and valued event. In this blog, I wrote about how I led a group of volunteers that created the first Library Marketing and Communications Conferencein 2015.

logo and wordmark of the Library Marketing and Communications ConferenceI continued to chair LMCC in 2016 and 2017, as the eventgrew in recognition and popularity. After 3 years of hard work, I stepped downand left LMCC in the capable hands of a new nonprofit, the Library Marketingand Communications Group. The LMC Group continues to work with Amigos LibraryServices, which played a vital role in getting LMCC started. I covered ouraccomplishments in this M Word post.

The board and new chair held yet another sold-out event inNovember 2018 (more than 400 attendees!). As I traveled home from that lastfall, I felt certain that LMCC was well-established, and that it will continuefor the foreseeable future. While I certainly didn’t do the work alone, I’mincredibly proud of LMCC, and view it as my most important achievement to date—alegacy I’m leaving for the library world.

Yet, in the midst of that success, another OCLC reportemerged. From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018, showed us thatpeople’s knowledge of libraries is still sorely lacking. One of the keyfindings, which appears right in the Summary Report,says, “there continues to be a disconnect between the services libraries offerand public awareness and support for those services.”

Again, I felt like the field hadn’t made much progress atall. But I know it has. Colleagues consistently say that more libraries nowhave people in marketing positions, even if they’re only part-time. And itseems that libraries have been starting to hire experienced marketers for thosejobs. That’s still a debate in our field: Is it better to hire marketers / PRpeople and teach them about libraries, or is it better to hire librarians andteach them about marketing / PR? I know the learning curve can be steep eitherway. But given the fact that we’re not making much headway in terms ofeducating potential end users about what libraries can do for them, Ipersonally vote to go with marketing pros for marketing jobs. We need all thehelp we can get.

So what else have I done in the most recent 5 years? With moretime on my hands after leaving LMCC, I’ve renewed my focus in two areas—writingand speaking.

First, I’ve published more in the last few years than I havein quite some time. The history of library marketing has been on my mind, asI’ve been looking back to help me look ahead. I’ve been fortunate and honoredto have been invited to contribute these substantial pieces to the libraryliterature: 
  • Documentationet Bibliothèques (a French-language journal produced in Montreal forlibrarians in Canada and France). April–June 2017, v.63, #2. Issue theme: “Marketing libraries and other information services: thestate of the art in the digital era.” My 19-page paper, “The evolution ofmarketing in American libraries,” was translated to French: “L’évolution dumarketing dans les bibliothèques américaines.” Print only.
an open magazine spread showing a paper by Kathy Dempsey

  • Library and Book Trade Almanac (formerly TheBowker Annual).2018 edition. Based on my French paper, I penned a 14-page Special Reporttitled “The State of Marketing in Libraries.” Print only.
  • InformationOutlook (SLA’s magazine, full issue for members only). Sept./Oct. 2018. Issuetheme: “Communicating Your Library’s Mission.” My 3-page article is “FiveTactics to Help You Communicate Your Mission.” Single article available here.
  • MarketingLibraries Journal (open-access, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal).v. 3, #1, Winter 2019. Using my pieces from Det B and LBTA as a foundation, I didmore research, rewrote in academic style, and passed double-blind peer review.My year of work resulted in a 10,000-word paper with 50+ citations: “An Historical Overview of Marketing in U.S. Libraries: From Dana to Digital.” Onlineonly, free.

photo of Kathy Dempsey speaking at a conferenceThe second activity I’ve been focusing on is speaking atconferences and training events. This has been a staple for me for decades, butthe frequency has increased in the last few years.

One big change I’ve seen in library continuing education isthe shift from face-to-face events to online ones. While few things can beatthe energy and excitement of being in a room with 50 library peers, or in abuilding with hundreds or thousands, I’ve got to say that I’ve learned to lovethe simplicity of webinars. Not having to make travel plans or get on airplanesis a big plus. Webinars make continuing education easier all around, fororganizers, speakers, and attendees, and they’re even archived for later usage.

During 2018, I think I presented 15 webinars. This year,which isn’t even halfway over yet, I’ve already given 14, with more planned forthe fall. There are a few groups I speak for regularly, and there are alwaysone-time clients. This has become an efficient way to deliver training, but Iwish I could address all librarians at once. Sometimes I get tired of teachingthe same basic information.

What’s Next?
I’m still impatient about getting everyone up to speed onmarketing, promotion, PR, communication, media relations, and related topics.Libraries’ respect and funding is still at risk across America, and in othercountries as well. So I’ll keep working.

What’s next? I’m not entirely sure yet. I do, however, havesome ideas for rebooting MarketingLibrary Services to increase its usefulness and readership. I’d also liketo advocate to have marketing classes become core pieces of library-schoolcurricula.

Since a mere handful of MLIS-granting universities evenoffer marketing as an elective, getting it taught everywhere—and making it a requiredclass—would be an uphill battle. But with so many people discussing “outreach,”“branding,” “advocacy,” and those other terms under the “marketing” umbrella, Ihope The Powers That Be realize that it’s all marketing already. If theytreated it as such, and taught it consistently, all types of libraries would bebetter prepared to face communication challenges, to change public perception,and to fight for funding.

logo of Koios
There is one thing I started doing very recently that couldhave a more-immediate impact. I’ve been helping a search engine marketingvendor called Koios spread the word about an amazingopportunity. Google has a program that gives nonprofits $10,000/month inadvertising credit, enabling them to run campaigns that place their ads at thetop of search results. This allows librarians to advertise anything (services,e-resources, events) for free and appear where everyone is looking. Koios helpslibrarians get these Google Ad Grants and set them up with a free trial.Afterward, a library can administer the perpetual grant on its own, or hireKoios experts to run the campaigns. This altruistic endeavor is already helpingput libraries on equal footing with for-profit businesses, reaching the public attheir point of need.

While I and others who fight for libraries have made majorstrides in the last quarter century, we still have a long way to go. Helpinglibrarians communicate their value to stakeholders and to potential users, andhelping libraries stay open and funded, is vital for having an educated populaceand a true democracy.
headshot of Kathy Dempsey holding a copy of Marketing Library Services newsletter

As I often say, “I’ve devoted my career to helping librariesmaintain their respect and funding.” Please join my quest!

Look for my next major update in 5 or 10 years. I intend tohave more progress to report by then.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Estevez Movie, 'The Public', Comes Out This Spring!

A scene from the official trailer:
I was so excited to read this news today: Emilio Estevez's movie about working in a public library has been picked up and will be out this spring! I got the good news from Deadline Hollywood.

The Public is a unique film that Estevez wrote, directed, and co-starred in. Here's part of the description: 
The story revolves around the library patrons, many of whom are homeless, mentally ill and marginalized, as well as an exhausted and overwhelmed staff of librarians who often build emotional connections and a sense of obligation to care for those regular patrons. At odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event, the patrons turn the building into a homeless shelter for the night by staging an "Occupy" sit in. 
I was lucky enough to see a preview of this film last summer at the American Library Association's Annual Conference. Read my review in Marketing Library Services. (It contains links to background info on the movie and interviews with Estevez.) The Public made me laugh, and cry.

I took this shot of Estevez (center) with library colleagues
when The Public was first previewed at ALA in June 2018.
If you like and value libraries; if you have ever worked in a library (or just wanted to); you'll want to see this well-researched, well-made film. Watch for it to come to your area! 

I really appreciate that Emilio Estevez made this film to highlight the plight of public libraries and marginalized citizens. Bravo! 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Enter IFLA's International Marketing Contest by 18 January

Last-minute reminder: 
Enter by 18 January to win the annual IFLA PressReader International Library Marketing Award!

This is the richest international award for library marketing. The top 3 winners get prize money to use for travel, accommodations, and registration to attend IFLA's World Library and Information Congress! The prize money for travel is:

First place – 3000 euros
Second place – 2000 euros
Third place – 1500 euros

The Award is also recognizes marketing efforts by a developing country with fewer resources with a special commendation.

The award application closes 18th of January 2019, so apply now!

This annual award is handled by the IFLA Section on Management and Marketing. This year, M and M welcomes a new sponsor, PressReader, an app that lets subscribers "Read your favorite newspapers and magazines anywhere at any time." PressReader offers access to newspapers and magazines from thousands of publishers in more than 100 countries. Thank you, PressReader, for your generous support!

Find all entry details here. Good luck, Bonne chance, Viel glück, Buena suerte, удачи, 祝好运, ??? ????? ! 

Friday, November 09, 2018

New Marketing Award -- the LIMMYs

I'm delighted to tell you about a new award in the library marketing space! 

The Library Marketing Technology Innovation Awards, or LIMMYs for short, is a contest that U.S. public libraries of all sizes and shapes can enter. The deadline is a week away -- November 16, 2018.

Details are on the award website, which also links to the application page.

Libraries can enter more than once, and there are four  categories, which are detailed on the website:

These awards were recently conceived and set up by the vendor behind Patron Point, a marketing automation technology tool. It's a different sort of award -- it's not for a project you've already done, but for an idea you have. The winner will get support from Patron Point to implement the idea. As the website explains: 
This is your opportunity to come up with great ideas on how marketing automation technology can assist your library.
We will take the best proposals, work with you to implement them in a real-world environment, and test their potential.
The winning ideas will be recognized and presented at the national level and you could win a great prize for your library.
The Grand Prize is a free 1-year subscription to Patron Point and a $1,500 stipend for travel and registration to the 2019 ALA Annual Conference being held in Washington, D.C. in June. Runners-up will get a 50% discount on a 1-year subscription to Patron Point. 

There's also a blog post that discusses the new contest. The shortlist is scheduled to be announced Dec. 12, and the top winner will be named May 8, 2019.

There's no time to waste -- check out this opportunity and enter by November 16! 

Friday, September 28, 2018

Join Me for a Webinar on Merchadising

If you're not sure what "merchandising" is all about, please join me for a webinar I'm presenting on Thursday, October 4.

Merchandising is a tactic borrowed from retail shops. It's more than just making displays -- it's purposeful and strategic. During this hour-long event, you'll learn the difference between tired old displays and effective merchandising. You'll see lots of colorful photos from libraries around the world, and will get a useful handout that lists important guidelines and shares links to further information.

This activity can help the inside and outside of your library look more inviting. It can help differentiate various sections of your building. And it can increase circulation and usage at all types of libraries! It's also creative and fun to do.

Sign up here, at LibraryWorks. The live webinar will be at 2pm Eastern US time on October 4. If you cannot attend live, still register, and you'll be sent a recording of the event. Anyone around the world is welcome to attend. The individual fee is $49, and there are group rates as well.

This webinar is fun as well as educational, and it's one of my favorites to present. I hope you'll join me next week!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Public Libraries as 'Social Infrastructure'

Important thoughts from the National Public Radio show Marketplace:
Eric Klinenberg calls libraries and parks "social infrastructure." They're spaces and organizations that shape the way people interact. His new book Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life tells us how public institutions can not only enrich our day-to-day lives, but can save lives. He talked to Sabri Ben-Achour on Marketplace Morning Report.
Listen to the 3-minute interview: 

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Five Reports to Inform U.S. Marketing Efforts

A handful of reportsreleased this year offer useful data for marketing and PR planning in the U.S. Knowingyour audience is vital, and while you always need goodlocal information, it also helps to see the big picture. These fivepublications reveal data from across the U.S. for public and academiclibrarians.

If my overseas readers know of similar reports from their own countries, please share the title and link in the Comment section so others can benefit too. Thank you! 

OCLC Reports onMarketing Communications Field
OCLCconducted a survey of U.S. public librarians and asked about their marketingconcerns and barriers, communication channels, how they use email marketing,and more. The company is now sharing the resulting data in a new report, “US Public Libraries: Marketing andCommunications Landscape.”
cover of reportThesurvey’s results confirm that libraries do a lot with limited resources, thatthere’s a focus on social media, and that libraries’ work does increasecommunity awareness about their offerings.
Findingsshow that 96% of those surveyed use social media, and 84% post photos, videos, or libraryinformation on social media. In addition, 70% send email messages. And while71% say they don’t have the necessary staff resources, it's good to see that 25% do havemarketing professionals on staff.
Thereport is full of infographics, and is available for free downloading

ACRL Reveals Academic Trends and Stats
cover of report
The Association of College & Research Libraries has released “2017 Academic Library Trends & Statistics,”the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections,staffing, expenditures, and service activities of academic libraries. Itincludes data from 1,719 institutions.
The2017 data can be used for budgeting, strategic planning, annual reports, grantapplications, and benchmarking. The report costs $599 (or $539 for ALAmembers). Learn more here. 
Those who buy the print editionwill receive a complimentary 1-year subscription to the 2017 survey data that’savailable through ACRL Metrics, an online subscription service that providesaccess to the ACRL survey data from 1999–2017.

IMLS ReleasesAnnual Public Library Data from Fiscal 2015
cover of report
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has released “Public Libraries in the United States: Fiscal Year 2015.” Referredto as the “Public Libraries Survey” (PLS), it examines key indicators of library use, financial health, staffing, and resources.
Itsummarizes the reported data provided by 98% of public libraries and outlets inthe U.S., which means approximately 9,000 public library systems, comprisingmore than 17,000 individual main libraries, branches, and bookmobiles in the 50states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.
Downloadthe PDF for free from this site

NoveList Offers Free White Paper on Email Marketing
NoveList,a division of EBSCO and maker of the LibraryAware promotional platform, hasgathered research to create a free white paper titled “I Didn’t Know My LibraryHad That!” The colorful, easy-to-skim paper is full of tips and tactics.
cover of report
Aweb page headlined “Connecting with Readers through Email” features informationon how librarians can achieve more-effective marketing by sending email that iscustomized for and targeted to specific market segments. The page also features two different webinars in which NoveListclients discuss how these strategies worked for them, as well as links tosample outreach materials and tips.
Thewhite paper and accompanying resources are meant to help solve the problem ofpatrons saying, “I didn’t know the library had that!” NoveList wants to helpenable simple, targeted email blasts to let community members know aboutseldom-used resources.

Landmark Report--‘From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries’--Updated in 2018
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OCLCjoined PLA and ALA’s Office for Library Advocacy to publish an updated versionof a landmark report from 2008. Now marketers can use the fresh data in “From Awareness toFunding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018.” Theresearch covers voters’ perceptions of, usage of, and attitudes about publiclibraries, as well as their thoughts about librarians and funding.
Aswith the previous report, the new one relies on survey data from Leo BurnettWorldwide. The firm used the same questions and segmentation analysis to enablecomparison with 2008 results.
Themain findings include both good and bad news. On the good side, a majority ofU.S. voters believe public libraries are essential to their communities.However, there is still low public awareness of many library services, pointingto the need for better marketing and promotional work.
Thefull report, a summary, an infographic, and more resources are available here

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