Thursday, December 11, 2008

Economic Challenges - ALA Compiles Great Information

The economy - that's the topic of conversation everywhere. I've had several people ask about how to educate their communities on the library's importance during these hard economic times. There have been discussions on using the value calculator, telling the library story and marketing the library staff. All good topics for discussion. ALA has done a wonderful job pulling a lot of this information together in a web site:
Hope this helps. If you've done some work on this at your library, please feel free to share your comments on the blog.

Did you know that 68% of Americans have library cards. That's the greatest amount since ALA started measuring in 1990?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Driving Traffic to Your Web Site

I just read a great article "How to Drive Traffic to Your Website, by Aaron Schmidt and Sarah Houghton-Jan, in Marketing Library Services. The authors start with a great premise, "if you are not offering relevant services or interesting content on your site, there's really nothing to promote." So true! The article stresses two key tips; join the community conversations and list your site where people are searching. Reading the article I had several ah ah moments. The article provides numerous web sites, one was a listing of free wireless network directories. What a great way to drive traffic to your library - make sure folks know you have a free wireless network. So check out the article at

Monday, December 1, 2008

Brochures and More

I was doing some reading over the Thanksgiving holiday and came across an interesting article on designing brochures. Thought with the new year right around the corner, folks might be thinking about creating some new publicity materials. I loved the fact that the article stressed the importance of "gearing the language in the brochure to the customer." I think often we flip to our "library lingo" mode and don't focus on communicating with the customer.
Check it out at

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turning the Page - Gates Advocacy Conference

Recently I was fortunate to attend the Turning the Page Conference sponsored by the Gates Foundation and PLA. The conference provided training, information, and tools to help build participant's skills and confidence in advocating for their libraries. You can find more details at There were many great ideas shared, but one I thought might be useful was what I call the "postcard idea." Libraries talked about how after a library program they handed to participants a postcard, with the phrase, "what I learned at my library today" , these were collected and used to promote other programs. What a wonderful simple tool, but one I could see you might use in various ways. (in your newsletters, on your web, etc.)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Library Provides Site for Journalists

In ALA's Pr talk Marsha Iverson from King County Library in Washington shared information about a page on their website focusing on providing library resources and services for journalists. Thought this was a great idea and that perhaps you might want to incorporate some of this in your own web sites. Web site is: Marsha also said she'd be willing to answer questions, her email is on the page.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Smartest Card at Sheppard Memorial Library

Kids at the library! That was the theme for Sheppard Memorial Library's Smartest Card campaign. Children who signed up for a new card during September had their picture taken. The pictures were posted on a library display, along with comments from the kids about how they used their library card.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library Kicks Off Smartest Card Campaign

The H. Leslie Perry Memorial hosted a wonderful event for their Smartest Card Campaign kick off - Discover Night. You could feel the excitement as you walked into the grand hallway outside the H. Leslie Perry Memorial Library entrance. Posters that featured members of Perry Library’s community of readers were the main attraction. (sample to the left) The colorful display was eye catching and the individual’s quotes demonstrated the importance of the library to the community of readers. Cornell Manning, trustee, sees the library as “the temple of learning.” Teacher David Cooper, shared his thoughts, “a library is a place learn about your history, establish your present status, and prepare for your future aspirations.”
Library Director, Jeanne Fox, and her staff organized the Discover Night @ Perry Library to kick off the smartest card campaign and encourage the public to discover the value of a library card. In addition to viewing the posters participants had the opportunity to learn about library resources, enjoy face painting, view special book displays, fill out the library community survey, register for prizes, enjoy refreshments and entertainment as well as meet Trustees and staff.
Jim and Yancey Hines donated their photography services and the posters will remain on display in the library. Many local businesses provided prizes for those who attended and for drawings at the end of the month for those who got cards during the month of September. Every child who registered for a new card received a book to keep.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Smartest Card Campaign

A fun video promoting North Carolina's Smartest Card Campaign.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Smartest Card. Get it. Use it.

September is right around the corner and I hope all of our public libraries are gearing up for the Smartest Card campaign. We are very fortunate to have Branford Marsalis as our state spokesperson this year. Branford will be doing a press conference on Sept. 2 in Durham.
There are some great program ideas in this toolkit. Several libraries are hosting kick-off events that include guest speakers, community partners and entertainment. The Randolph County Library is tying their campaign to their Community Reads. Throughout the month I'll be posting great ideas - so remember pass them along.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Marketing Using Social Media

An interesting post was shared by a colleague and I wanted to pass it on. Chris Brogan wrote a piece titled, "50Ways Marketers Can Use Social Media to Improve Marketing." Some interesting points and some definitely we could incorporate in our libraries. I liked #9 - coupling our newsletter content with web content on a blog. I was also intrigued bysocial media press release he refers to in #12. You can check out the whole list at:

Thursday, July 3, 2008

ALA Insightful Programs

After a busy and educational ALA conference I'm back at work and wanted to share some of the highlights from my conference experience. The best program I attended was "Selling Your Story: How to Use the PLA Service Responses to Market Your Library," presenters Sandra Nelson and June Garcia. The presentation was based on the newly revised PLA service responses - which by the way I found to be very connected to what we do in our libraries. They reflect the current planning environment for public libraries with an emphasis on strategic rather than long-term planning. Nelson and Garcia empahsized the need for proper planning, BEFORE we begin our marketing and promotion efforts. If you are interested in the powerpoint from this presentation it is posted at The service responses are introduced in the new book, Strategic Planning for Results. I will be ordering 2 copies of the book for the State Library collection so if you'd like to take a look at it feel free to request through interlibrary loan. The embedded link provides the ALA website where you can purchase the book for your own collection.
While in Anaheim I also visited the Cerritos Library - probably one of the neatest public libraries I've ever seen. Everything about this library focuses on the importance of the customer experience. The library offers themed spaces to define its different collections. The Old World Reading Room sports rare first editions, new and popular titles, wood paneling and a Gothic fireplace. A World Traditions area recognized the contributions of nonwestern culture and houses multimedia resources. The high tech, modern area features the newest technology and innovative spaces. And the children's area includes multimedia learning centers, centered around inviting reading spaces and various hands on features. Of course the best way for you to get the real picture is to check out the link that includes photos:

Friday, May 30, 2008

BYFB in New Hanover County

A neat idea one that could entice new readers and encourage publicity.

By adding a new twist to the standard book club format, librarian Paige Owens encourages book lovers to gather for discussion of their favorites. BYFB, which stands for Bring Your Favorite Book, or your memory of it, began in November in the Northeast Regional Library in New Hanover County. The meetings focus on various themes - favorite mystery, favorite adult classic. Unlike the typical book club, where the group reads specific titles, BYFB participants talk about their personal preferences, books that have resonated with them.
I could see this also working with childrens and teens.

Monday, May 19, 2008


The International Edible Book Festival (the brainchild of a librarian) took place again this year with a whole catalog full of delicious, delightful fare. Held annually at various locations around the world in early April - primarily at libraries- it's a clever way to highlight libraries, books and good food. In Canada their edible book fair used the theme of The Wizard of Oz. Their promo: Follow the yellow brick road to the St. Mary’s University College Library where delectable creative works will be displayed and consumed. Whip up your own edible literary creation or simply come to marvel at the assortment of tasty and imaginative treats. Stay for a book reading, art book exhibition and a display of handmade fairytale books.

Start thinking now for next April. What a great way to involve local bakeries, chefs, etc.
Check out the website at There are some great photos under the program section.

Friday, May 2, 2008

ALA Materials Always Helpful

Just a reminder about all the rich resources at the ALA website. You'll find some very helpful information on media communications. I especially like the section on developing a message. It gives some great pointers. You can check out the whole section on media communications at:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Learning from Bookstores

I have been working on organizing my materials from PLA and once I finish I'll share any information that might be useful. In the meantime I recently revisited an article that I find most interesting and wanted to share. The article, "What Libraries Can Learn from Bookstores", written by Chris Rippel, invites librarians to apply bookstore techniques to communicate with library customers. It's a great article and has tons of links - you could spend all day browsing. I especially like the section on "library smells". Check out the link

Thursday, April 10, 2008

OCLC on Advocacy

OCLC has done a great job developing an advertising campaign on behalf of libraries, aimed at library budget decision-makers. The campaign consists of a series of national print ads and similar posters that can be downloaded and customised by libraries of all types. The goal of the campaign is to raise the visibility of libraries. Some very useful information.
Here's the link.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Marketing in the Academic Library

Kathy Dempsey editor of Marketing Library Services reviewed in the March/April 08 issue the book Real-Life Marketing and Promotion Strategies in College Libraries: Connecting with Campus and Community. Dempsey shares, "the book isn't full of theories, but rather real actions that have worked for real librarians. Overall this is a wonderfully practical, useful book. It delivers proven practices that will help other academics."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Latinos and Library Service

Many of you have probably seen the information about out Spanish Language Outreach Workshops being offered in April and May. I am excited to report that we are offering 7 workshops in various locations throughout North Carolina. The registration deadlines are fast approaching so check it out, there's still time to register.

Also I came across another Pew Research study that you might find interesting in regards to Latinos online. You can view the study at :

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

National Library Week

I'm sure libraries are planning special events for National Library Week, April 13 - 19. This year's theme offers endless possibilities - Join the circle of knowledge @your library. Also April 15 has been designated as National Library Worker Day. ALA has put together a nice web site with some suggestions - you might want to check it out. This would be a great time to highlight some of your staff's contributions.
Anyone doing anything really interesting for National Library Week. Let me know and I'll share it on a post.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Teen Services Booming At Randolph

We talk about it often - the many teens who are visiting our libraries - what to do with them. The Randolph County Public Library "Teen Corner" project addressed that need. The Teen Corner is the area of the Asheboro Public Library that houses the library's collection of books, magazines, and other materials for teens. Over the past year, the library embarked on a multifaceted strategy to draw teens into libraries countywide. Not only did they receive the Excellence in Library Service to Young Adult Award from YALSA, but they have seen a 61% increase in teens using the library. Check out their teen web site

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Telling Your Story

On WebJunction there is a nice collection of articles by Walt Crawford on how to develop, communication and celebrate your library story. Check it out.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

PLA Virtual Conference

Librarians who can't make the trip to Minneapolis can still participate virtually in the PLA National Conference. The PLA 2008 Virtual Conferene will feature panel discussions, poster sessions, interactive workshops, and chats with colleagues, all from the comfort of your computer.
The PLA 2008 Virtual Conference will be held on Thursday, March 27 and Friday, March 28. For more information check out

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Paint the Town

I attended a Youth Services Advisory Council meeting yesterday and had the oppportunity to talk with Tony Tallent from the Public Library of Charlotte. He graciously agreed to share their new reading promotion called "Paint the Town Read". Instead of explaining I'll just refer you to the web site.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Helpful Marketing Tips

I have been on vacation so haven't had the opportunity to post. Today I was working on some materials for our upcoming Advocacy Training and came across some "helpful marketing tips" developed by the Metropolitan Group. Check out the link - you might find some useful ideas.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Yes We Are Essential

I know it's that time of year that many libraries are vying for those all important dollars - pulling together budgets, justifying needs, etc. 33 Reasons Why Libraries & Librarians are Extremely Important, by Will Sherman, provides some great talking points. Of course we know this, but often times can't find the right words to articulate it. Thought this might be useful.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Welcome to our Marketing Toolkit Blog. I know many of your are doing some great marketing at your libraries. I hope you'll use this blog to share those ideas.