Your library provides value to your community every day. What is the best way to communicate that value to the members of your community all year long?
In a recent webinar hosted by NoveList, featuring a robust panel of librarians and library advocates, including our friends at EveryLibrary, we learned four different approaches full of ideas and action items to promote your library.
Reach patrons with email newsletters. John Andrews, Internet Services Librarian for Washoe County Library System in Reno, Nevada, shared his work with email as an efficient (and cost-effective!) tool to communicate and reach patrons. Why email? “Really the most important reason is to meet patrons where they are. Our users are living online lives, and we have to meet them in that space,” John stated. He also presented the evolution of the newsletter program at WCLS from one single newsletter to a segmented collection of newsletters, personalized to patron interests.
Promote your library’s eResources with instructional brochures. Caleigh Haworth is the Training & Communications Coordinator at Marigold Library System in Strathmore, Alberta. One of the challenges her library faced was keeping up with all the digital resources her library has to offer, especially a system with many single-librarian branches. “By having a physical document that library staff can go through with a patron, and then being able to send it home with them takes a lot of the pressure of the staff. And patrons love having a physical document in their hands,” said Caleigh. The results have been positive, turning patrons into advocates who are happy to share their experiences with digital services.
Create a social media advocacy program: Tommy Hardin is the Online Coordinator for Mid-Continent Public Library in Independence, Missouri. He is also familiar with the process of turning patrons into brand advocates. He’s figured out how to leverage the people who already like and support libraries on social media platforms, amplifying the reach. Tommy took us through his Social Media Advocacy pilot that he completed during Library Week 2019, from first steps to sample content to their impressive results.
Library advocacy through “marketing yesterday”. John Chrastka is the founder and executive director of EveryLibrary. As he is generally focused on the politics and funding of libraries, John looks at marketing in a slightly different way from the other panelist. Instead of focusing on building usage, John shared his ideas on focusing on what has been done. What happened in the library last week? Does your community know about all the good things you do? How can you share these stories?
Interested in learning more about how to stay top of mind in your community all year long? You can watch the replay of the webinar and check out the list of additional resources.