I just came across a marketing blog from Library Journal, Alison Circle’s Bubble Room. As someone new to the profession, but not to marketing, she has some really helpful tips about how to get your message out and how to show the value of the public library.
One of my favorites is turning your Homework Help Center into a Job Help Center during the school day. Advertise (and perhaps partner) with your local private employment agencies, workforce centers and unemployment offices to get the word out and maximize resources (including staffing), then keep statistics on how many people have successfully landed a job with your assistance. If you can garner salary information too you can even show the increased tax money that you’ve helped to bring in. That ought to impress those who hold your purse strings, since they’re probably just as worried as you about declining revenue and decreased spending in the local economy.
She also discusses the Library Value (or ROI) Calculator, which many libraries have already implemented. It lets patrons plug in the number of items they borrow and see how much they’re saving. I’d love to see someone take a more proactive approach on this one by hooking it up to their self check systems so your due dates receipt shows how much you saved that day by using your library card, just like they do at Safeway. Anyone out there willing to write a program for this?
She also highlights the fabulous marketing efforts of the Wyoming Libraries. They are truly inspired, turning iconic slogans and images on their head. I love the reading mud flap girl, and have the “You can have my book when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.” bumper sticker on my car.
And if you’re interested in marketing – which we all need to be right now – we have our very own marketing whizzes at BCR, Meg Blum and Gillian Harrison, who give you great tips on their blog Get Used.
Check these two blogs out, but I think we’d all love to see some comments about some of your successful and inspired marketing efforts too – so let me know, what’s worked for you?