Selling library services

9 Jun

This morning I enjoyed a blogpost from PC Sweeney called “Death to Grass Roots Library marketing! Start a Library Franchise”.

I have been slowly developing my own interests in library marketing, along with great insights from @haikugirlOz I was lucky enough to get through my workplace a semester on Introduction to Marketing, and also to be sent on a CAVAL course introducing library marketing. Neither was aimed at high level library marketing, but combined they gave me the information needed to step out of the small scale marketing attempts we had tried, and be more open to outsourcing at a more professional level.

Last year my workplace actually hired a part time marketing staff member, just for the library! She is a fantastic resource for the new products we are branding eg Discovery Also she is great at student friendly language for new policies eg changing our library fine rules. Best of all, she taps into the existing University marketing environment, and keeps me up to date with communication options. Next semester we are sending student casuals out to chalk messages about the library on the footpaths around campus.

So I got to buy this toy : Crayola Sidewalk Paint Sprayer!

As librarians we are often very confident about expressing our preferences as if just because the product is in a library we know how to deliver it. I have heard librarians with no design training “advising” on layout or content for websites, posters, brochures to experienced professionals in publishing and design. I think that actually librarians’ tendency towards information sharing is often counter to what is required to communicate a message clearly. So I’m looking forward to learning more about marketing theory and practice, and welcome any information anyone wants to send me.


7 Responses to “Selling library services”

  1. Steph June 9, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Having a dedicated marketing person for library is a great way to convey the library’s message to its users and to connect with the University marketing machine. Librarians have well-developed skills in information and knowledge management, but can be over eager in wanting to tell their users everything :). Having said that, there are advantages for librarians in developing design skills, and marketing skills in order help our users more.

    • Ruth Baxter June 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

      Awareness of broader issues always helps librarians 🙂

  2. Penny June 9, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    We have (just this past 12 months) managed to acquire a marketing person from the institutional marketing team as an account manager. This has been great for us. We also have established a marketing committee that looks at the campaigns we’ll run and how to do it. Hopefully we’ll have some budget soon.

    • Ruth Baxter June 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

      Sounds great. Budget does help though 🙂

  3. Gemma June 15, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    Great post. Adding Marketing to my to-do-pile once I get back to work from Maternity Leave!

    • Ruth Baxter June 16, 2011 at 2:03 am #

      Thanks Gemma. Hope you don’t make that list too long though 🙂


  1. Days 8-9: #blogjune Double Feature | Libraries Interact - June 10, 2011

    […] Ruth Baxter on marketing the library. […]

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