Marketing Libraries

Appealing To the Voters On Behalf of the Library

It's no surprise that voters are turning down government propositions to send their tax money to the library...left and right.

Here's a different approach...remind those homeowning citizens that money for the library will add value to the price of their homes. A Letter to the Editors at the Levittown (NY)Tribune suggests doing just that...

The Wyoming Libraries Campaign

Anonymous Patron writes "Wyoming Libraries: The campaign theme is "Bringing the World to Wyoming." When you see an Eiffel Tower topped with a western windmill or a pickup with a Trojan Horse trailer, you'll know that libraries have brought the world to Wyoming - and the people in this state have been changed by the experience.
Both Billboard Ads and Radio Ads have run."


Boston Public Library: High Budget, Low Circ

teaperson writes "The Boston Globe reported on its front page Saturday that the Boston Public Library is one of the best-funded in the nation, but ranks 59th out of 77 large libraries in circulation. The finding was from a study commissioned by the Mayor and library board, who are apparently waking up to the fact that nearly a third of residents surveyed would never even use the library.

This should make good fodder for next week's PLA conference - in Boston."

Library Naming Rights on eBay

The Womelsdorf Community Library in Pennsylvania is auctioning off its naming rights "in perpetuity" on eBay. A bid has been placed at $325,000, but that has not met the auction's minimum price tag (the "reserve price"). And before you go and tell the gang at Fark about this, note the all-to-vague "inappropriate name requests will not be accepted" disclaimer. Remember those Jesus bricks? Update: 02/08 23:49 GMT by J :Added some links

Frosh and the Library

tangognat writes "The Chronicle of Higher Education features an article, Bridging the Chasm: First-Year Students and the Library about strategies to incorporate libraries into the first-year college experience." Tips include, "make sure that librarians are part of any campuswide discussions of the first year," and trying the "Barnes & Noble approach."

4 more concerts to promote CDs at libraries in Louisville

Here's A Neat Idea: The Louisville Free Public Library plans four more free concerts in its "Words for Music" series, designed to promote its purchase of 40,000 music CDs that can be checked out for free.

The featured singer-songwriters are diverse: folk-country artist Iris DeMent, alternative musician Andrew Bird, urban folk singer Dar Williams and the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo.

'Selling' libraries just the ticket

News On A New Plan in Wales by two companies that have won a contract to research and develop a national marketing strategy for library services throughout Wales.
Conwy-based design agency blah d blah and Bangor-based marketing agency twelfth man are working together to bring a fresh approach to marketing and communications in the library sector in Wales.


ALA Sends "Cease & Desist" Letter to

As a follow-up to the earlier-mentioned Audible's "Don't Read" Campaign, Library Journal reports that the ALA has sent a "cease and desist" letter to about the ads, as featured on (Apparently the legal advice in the previous LISNews story went unheeded!) Is this a case of obligatory trademark protection, or playing in to their publicist's hands while lowering people's image of librarians?

Indianapolis Library Is Direct Marketing to Patrons Via E-Mail

In an effort to encourage additional support for county library measures up for a vote, the Indianapolis-Marion County Library is directly e-mailing their patrons to contact city officials regarding library funding.

Patrons (383,000 cardholders) may choose to be on the IMCPL e-mail list . E-mail recipients are given hot links to two Web pages so they either may join the campaign or ask to no longer get such advocacy e-mail.

"People, three to one, are saying, 'Go for it, that this is a good idea,' " said Linda Mielke, who as library head is juggling the challenging Downtown expansion while reshaping the library staff. Report from the Indianapolis Star .


Audible's "Don't Read" Campaign

infodiva writes: "I just discovered Audible's audio book advertising campaign at You know it's a successful marketing campaign when other people start parodying ALA 'Read' posters!" Before ALA pulls a tizzy like OCLC on this, here's hoping they remember MasterCard's failed lawsuit against Ralph Nader for his ad parody.

The best stuff on Earth, now in the library

Ok, so libraries already have the best stuff on Earth, but now that “other� best stuff, Snapple, has made it to the Brooklyn Public Library, according to their press release. As Blake mentioned back in April, patrons can pay for their beverages with their library/debit cards (very cool!).

According the ALA Public Information Office’s post on the PR Talk listserv, the Wall Street Journal would like to write an article about this and other similar library initiatives. The Office is asking for librarians to send in examples. Take a look at the information request and tell them what you've been doing.

Does this Snapple news mean that the best way to patrons’ hearts is through their stomachs? Possibly. But it has more to do with understanding their needs and addressing them through innovative, convenient services.


Reaching out to seniors

Check out the publicity campaign that a group of Montana libraries put together to reach out to their senior population! The campaign is called "What's Your Story?" and features two new web sites (here's one) and and two commercial spots.


Stump the Librarian

Here's a great idea for a column in any newspaper. In "Stump the Librarian," Highland reference librarian Larry Freeman uses the San Bernardino County Library's reference system to answer tough questions from the public.


"Love Your Library" Now A License Plate in New York

You've gotta love the DMV now that they've issued a sentimental "Love Your Library" license plate. The plate, which features a design consisting of various library resources to the left of the plate number and includes the words "READ - LEARN - EXPLORE," is available to anyone who has a passenger or commercial vehicle registered in New York State (and who can afford an additional $43 over the cost of a regular plate). Here's the press release from Empire Information Services.

The new license plate gives New Yorkers the chance to show their support for libraries by helping to subsidize summer reading programs.


Rare books good for publicity

Grumpy Librarian writes "Interesting Special Effects Column, by Scott Carlson, over on the Chronicle Of Higher Ed. Though you'll need a subscription to read the article, it's work tracking down.
Carlson says growing number of librarians who are trying to turn their library's rare holdings into promotional and marketing tools for their institutions, and for traditional research methods. Special collections, librarians say, can help charm tech-obsessed undergraduates into a love affair with old-fashioned books, and with the library as a whole.

Because more and more mainstream library materials -- books and journals -- are becoming available to everyone online through mass-digitization projects, many librarians say special collections will be increasingly important in distinguishing even small college libraries.
"From my perspective, special collections are what make the reputation of a library," says Nicholas C. Burckel, dean of libraries at Marquette University, which has built celebrity through owning the papers of J.R.R. Tolkien, among other items. "The issue will be not how many volumes you have in the library," he says, "but what you have that contributes to a national documentation strategy."

As evidence of their growing importance, special collections are moving from library basements and back rooms to main floors and entrance areas."


New & Improved...Or In Trouble? Marion County Library

Ruth Holladay of the Indianapolis Star begins her column "The headline should be: "More libraries open on Sunday!" said Linda Mielke, the 58-year old CEO of the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library. She was emphatic, enthusiastic and pitching hard.

Holladay goes on to say

"Sorry, Linda, but columnists don't write the headlines. If we did, I'd offer this: "Libraries perishing, pandering to pop culture, forgoing historic mission."

Or maybe just this: "Library, Googled to near-death, struggles to survive in future. Books, what books?"

The Indianapolis Marion County Public Library system, one of the nation's largest, is going through changes. Holladay refers to cuts in both staff and materials budgets, but is less than sympathetic regarding Marion County's "Change Management Plan".


OCLC and Advocacy for Libraries

Sherry Altman writes "See:

Community Advocacy and Awareness

Part of OCLC’s responsibility as a cooperative is to give back to the library community. Our advocacy efforts are meant to raise the visibility and highlight the viability of libraries to their funding bodies. The current campaign appears outside the traditional library industry, on behalf of all libraries everywhere. See the ads in print, customize one of the posters and use the sample copy for your own e-newsletter.

Making the case for libraries

OCLC has developed an advertising campaign on behalf of libraries, aimed at library budget decision-makers.

The 12 to 18 month campaign consists of a series of national print ads and similar posters that can be downloaded and customized by libraries. Click the image below to see a full-size PDF of each ad.


There’s a link at the bottom for “Community Feedbackâ€? [email protected]

Discussion on NYLINE’s listserv reports that OCLC was very responsive to an inquiry about advocacy for school libraries and community colleges, and they’re planning to expand into those areas. Seems like they’re WANTING community input on this, so…librarians should go to it!"


ALA - Begins 2G "@" Awards to Libraries sends " this press release from ALA

Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and Baker & Taylor have once again partnered with the American Library Association (ALA) to honor the Friends group with the most creative use of ALA’s @ your library® brand. Now in its third year, the $2,000 award is open to Friends groups of all sizes and types who are current FOLUSA members.



DVDs Replacing Books in 21st Century LIBs = Blockbuster Libraries writes "from the "blockbuster-Libraries" Dept

More and more people are treating public libraries as their own Blockbuster stores, the latest Hillsborough County data shows.

Library spending on DVDs of Hollywood hits such as ``The Lord of the Rings'' trilogy and ``Terminator'' is up.

The budget for serious books such as Bill Clinton's autobiography ``My Life'' or the novels of John Steinbeck is down.
from the "Blockbuster Libraries" Dept

Borrowers are still flipping pages, but watching and listening are rapidly gaining ground.

``Well, they're free,'' said Tina Ellis, as she browsed for movies at the Jimmie B. Keel Regional Library in Carrollwood. She finally chose ``Big Night,'' a 1996 film about a 1950s Italian restaurant in New Jersey


Librarians become Pin-Ups to Fundraise for LIBs - IOWA spotted a Piece on some daring librarians in Iowa. Twelve librarians in Dallas County and 12 months in a year - after Paula James saw the movie "Calendar Girls," it seemed like the perfect coincidence.

James, Adel's library director, was looking for creative ways to raise money for the town's $2.2 million facility, which is due to open in the fall.

She enlisted fellow members of the county's library association each to pose - clothed and with books in hand - on a motorcycle, in a hot tub and in other uncharacteristic positions for a 2005 calendar.



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