Donna Beazer is the library director for the Jim and Mary Kearl Library in Cardston in Alberta, Canada, just 14 miles north of the border between the U. S and Canada. Her library services a community of 3,500 people.
Donna's library may be small, but her devotion to promoting her collection is huge. Her success lies in her connection to her patrons. When the InstaPot and Air Fryer became popular household appliances, she showcased her increasing collection of cookbooks with recipes for those two gadgets. She also marketed her physical literacy collection, which includes tents, propane grills, and games. And she consistently recommends new adult fiction and nonfiction, DVDs, and children's books on social media and within her physical library. In fact, Donna promotes her collection at the same rate as her programs!
A robust collection promotion strategy can create a strong bond between a library and its community. But most libraries are still focused solely on program promotion. At one conference I attended in the past year, I asked my audience where their library spends most of its promotional time and energy. Seventy-five percent said promoting programs and events. A mere four percent said they focus on promoting their collection.
These libraries are missing a crucial fact about their community. People want the collection items. That's why people get a card. The Public Library Survey Report's latest data showed that 2.1 billion items circulated in 2020.
Libraries spend most of their budget on personnel. But the second biggest expenditure is almost always the collection. And because your library spends so much on the collection, you must promote it! That's the truth, no matter what size library you work in. But where do you start? And how do you get the most bang for your buck in terms of circulation success?
That's why we created the course Collection Promotion Deep-Dive as a professional development session for libraries. This live, two-hour course is packed with tips that work for any size library, are easy to execute, and are effective in increasing circulation. The live session happens Thursday, September 29. There are two time slots, so you can pick which works best for you. And we have a special deal to offer you. Buy a seat in both Collection Promotion Deep-Dive and the live course Accessibility and EDI in Marketing before September 29, and get a 20 percent discount on both! You'll find all the details about our course offerings on the Learn with NoveList platform.
Finally, spend some time marketing your collection for a few minutes every day. It will increase circulation and help reinforce the image of your library as a place of vast resources in the eyes of your cardholders.