February 17, 2018

Library Marketers — We're Not Alone!

An email alert about a new publication focused on library management caught my eye — Library Management Today. Immediately I saw a tab for “library marketing and promotion.” Hallelujah! I found words to soothe my soul.

While the subject is academic libraries (Marketing Academic Libraries in the 21st Century: “More than Google!” by Shawn Hartman), I couldn’t have said it better myself:

“As libraries begin their frantic race through the twenty-first century, it becomes apparent that effective marketing strategies are imperative if they want to survive. Libraries across the world are facing rising costs and decreasing budgets due to technological advances in today’s dynamic economic climate and are also facing a constant increase in the costs of staffing a library and of purchasing material to support learning and research.”

I also appreciate this observation:

“We (librarians) have to attract, even compete, for our users; otherwise most of them will never make it to the library. A crucial factor librarians need to realize is that the minute a patron enters the library, his/her impression of the library is made by the greeting he/she receives.”

The idea that  today’s marketplace demands libraries square our shoulders and use business practices and marketing priniciples to retain and gain users, is intimidating to some. But, as I always tell my daughter: do, don’t dread. Putting off the inevitable only  makes it harder. If you don’t know where to start, contact me. I can start you on your path.

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.