February 17, 2018

More Bang for the Book

I don’t know about you, but my email inbox is flooded these days with media coverage on libraries and the economy. Local, national and international. The coverage focuses on several key messages — not just availability of books, movies, music, computers for free, but also services for job help and other resources.

So how can we seize this opportunity to position libraries further as a smart investment for communities? A clever marketing campaign to the rescue. Here are a few that caught my eye (and my funny bone.) And the humor is oh-so British.

The libraries in Devon, England are running a campaign that I find inspired: "Buy none, get eight free." I love the simplicity of the message and that it is clear, direct with a twist of sass. One of those things that I wish I had thought of!

Brighton libraries have launched a campaign based on grocery store advertising, pointing out that books in stores cost ten pounds (ah, British wordplay!) but they are free in libraries.

And Norfolk, England, has just launched a "balance the books" campaign, alerting families that they could save more than £50 a month by swapping buying habits for borrowing habits.

These campaigns grab the public by the purse strings in a more aggressive way than perhaps we are used to. But if we remember that libraries are an outstanding benefit to a community and that — in many cases — the public is already paying for through taxes, it makes great sense. 

Now if you’ll excuse me ducky, I’m off for some fish and chips!

Alison Circle About Alison Circle

Alison Circle is director of marketing communications for Columbus Metropolitan Library. Previously she was an Account Director at Jack Morton Worldwide, a global branding agency, and her primary client was Target Stores. Prior to that she was the National Marketing Director for Minnesota Public Radio and "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." She has advanced degrees in English and Fine Arts, and is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.