February 17, 2018

Library Marketers Unite!

Ok. I’m a middle child so, in general, I’m a peacemaker and don’t like to call out (in public) the failings of others. But the cover of ALA’s American Libraries has me a little peeved. Have you seen it?

The cover — seen here — is definitely about marketing libraries. That’s what marketing does. Great. Fabulous. Marketing on the cover. Love it. But a 
tin can and string?! That’s like defining libraries with images of an old, dedraggled library card pocket (which peeves me, too, by the way).

Marketing is at the forefront of new technologies, ideas, trends and fashion. To capture the value of this profession through such an old-fashioned image causes me to wonder: do they understand what marketing really is? 

Tell me what you think:

ALA’s Buzz Marketing Cover
What were they thinking? I’m peeved too!
They meant no harm. How else would you show buzz marketing?
Get over yourself and eat a salad.
Can’t we all just get along?
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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.



  1. I am sure you have lots of ideas for more creative and timely cover art – would you mind sharing them? Thanks!

  2. Totally agree, sometimes I feel that the public has a better idea of what we do than our own staff! Goes along with the bun, glasses and shushing… the other part is about the article which is basically just an ad for the new ALA book. Library marketing people are already feeling like they are pushing a big rock uphill. We don’t need the organizations we are looking to pushing us back down.