October 25, 2014

Oakland Librarian Documents Notes Found in Library Books

found object latke

Librarian Sharon McKellar and other staff at the Oakland Public Library, CA, have been collecting notes and other items found in between pages of books or left on the floors and tables of the library for years. McKellar got the idea to document the library staff’s collection of these objects when she stumbled on the website for Found Magazine. When she was put in charge of developing the library’s website and blog, she decided to ask fellow librarians, library assistants and aides, and other staff if she could scan their found items.

What Does Word of Mouth Marketing REALLY Mean?

Ned Potter headshot

There’s no better way to market your library than to have your users do it for you. Think about what it takes you personally to make a decision on trying out a new product or service—you’re bombarded with advertising messages 24/7, most of which you’ve probably learned to tune out and ignore, so when someone you trust and respect says to you ‘have you tried this specific example?’ you instantly value their recommendation above the white noise of traditional marketing. They are independent of any brand, they are speaking from their own experience—they are like you.

Are Press Releases A Thing of the Past?

Nancy Dowd

With all the excitement over social media and reports of newspapers closing or shifting focus to keep ad revenues rolling in, libraries have taken a hit with ever decreasing coverage. You might even be thinking whether it’s worth the effort to create media releases. The quick answer is yes. If well written and interesting they can amplify your message reaching reporters, bloggers and the general public through your web and social media channels. But if you want to have larger value-driven articles published, you’ll need to step up your game and pitch those story ideas to reporters.

Library Pairs Farm Shares with Readers Advisory

Wilmington Memorial Library Community Supported Agriculture program

The Wilmington Memorial Library in Massachusetts created a community supported agriculture pick-up point in June for Wilmington residents who have CSA shares with Farmer Dave’s of Dracut.

10 Golden Rules To Take Your Library’s Twitter Account to the Next Level

Ned Potter headshot

If you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re already aware how important Twitter is to libraries. 32 percent of Internet users are on the platform, but more importantly, they’re OUR type of Internet users! There is a strong overlap in the kinds of people who use libraries (or would do if they knew what we offered) and the kinds of people who tweet. And unlike some other social media, Twitter users are receptive to interacting with libraries on this platform.

If You Don’t Have Time for Partnerships, Chances are Your Community Won’t Have Time for You

Nancy Dowd

I recently attended three award ceremonies for Library Journal’s LibraryAware Community Award at the Canton, OH, Skokie, IL, and Hartford, CT public libraries. For all three, the community has stood up to say they value all the services the library provides to the community. The competition was tough: more than 100 libraries applied for the award. With so many communities supporting the library, you would think we are in the golden age of libraries. And yet just this past January the Pew Institute report, Library Services in the Digital Age, stated that only 22 percent of those surveyed say that they know all or most of the services their libraries offer now. Ouch. Okay, so there’s still work to be done. But perhaps the work isn’t what you might expect.

Libraries Partner with Local Airports


At first glance, a partnership between libraries and airports may seem a case of strange bedfellows. Libraries offer space for concentration and relaxation, while airports are notoriously stressful and full of distractions. But the venues do have one thing in common: in both, users are looking for something to read.

Engaging the Elusive Non-User | ALA 2013

Offering commonsensical, yet often overlooked, advice, this session proposed that non-users cannot effectively be reached by focus groups, surveys on the library website, or other such mechanisms that may be useful for capturing the opinions of active library patrons. To reach this other group, libraries must go where they already are: malls, daycare centers, coffee shops, commuter rail stations, houses of worship, farmer’s markets, senior programs, etc.

LibraryReads Book Discovery Program To Launch | ALA Annual 2013

Library Reads Logo-Color

This fall a new national “library staff picks list” will debut under the name LibraryReads. All public library staff will be welcome to nominate new adult titles that they have read, loved, and are eager to share with patrons via the website libraryreads.org, which will go live today at noon. The ten most frequently recommended titles will be calculated monthly, and beginning this autumn, the resulting list will be publicized and promoted by librarians in branches as well as in patron newsletters, websites, etc.

Social Media: Libraries Are Posting, but Is Anyone Listening?

Lawrence library's Caterday Facebook post

If there are over 1 billion people on Facebook and the Twitterverse can help topple governments, then it only makes sense that libraries would also be using these two social media channels to connect with their communities, right? Well yes and no. Libraries are using social media, that’s clear. According to Library Journal’s Survey on Public Library Marketing Methods and Best Practices, 86 percent of libraries said they were using social media. The top two social media platforms used by libraries were Facebook (99 percent) and Twitter (56 percent). Pinterest is making some gains, with 30 percent of libraries reporting that they are pinning. The problem is that 48 percent of libraries surveyed said they weren’t measuring their efforts at all. While the survey didn’t ask if libraries are getting fans to interact with them, most libraries I have spoken with lately have said they were still struggling with that.