April 19, 2018

Why Marketing Matters Now More than Ever

I’m a true believer in libraries as the great democratic equalizer.

Chicago Public Library

But I also understand that the world is a heck of a lot different from the time when I first got a library card, and today there are no sacred cows. That includes libraries.

So we live in a time when the question, “Are Libraries Necessary Or Are They a Waste of Money” can be asked legitimately. And if we don’t have a rock solid answer that is based on good solid marketing, we can endanger the future of libraries.

Here’s a case in point. Illinois, like all states it seems, is suffering from a serious budget crisis. When that happens, everything is on the table. Including libraries. Watch this video (and read the story) to see what I mean.

If we can’t quickly and convincingly articulate the value of libraries — truly the foundation of marketing — we could lose everything.

You’ll appreciate this response from Chicago Public Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey. Except for a couple of variations, much of this could have been the case for my library, for many libraries, perhaps even yours. It is this brand recognition around job help, homework help, equalizing access that is going to win the day for libraries.

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.