March 18, 2018

Patron Profiles: Great Tool for Library Marketers


Library Journal's Patron ProfilesHave you tuned into Patron Profiles yet? The new product from Library Journal is designed to give libraries deep data to understand the behavior and preferences of our public.

Patron Profiles is the first, nationally trended survey of library users that tracks their experiences using library content and services, and puts this data in the context of broader consumer behavior. Awesome!

It tracks both a core set of questions and develops data on specific topics. All topics are about the use of digital content and services, including e-Books. Approximately 2000 individual respondents who are library users are tracked over time to identify trends.

I’d seen the promotional fliers, but still didn’t have my mind around it, so I called Barbara Genco who is the LJ manager on this publication to get some insights. Here’s some of what she shared with me:

  • Patron Profiles will help tell the library story, particularly around the e-Book revolution. It’s no secret that many libraries are struggling to respond to the avalanche of demand around e-Book content.
  • Libraries are required more and more to use sophisticated data with their boards and local politicians to state their case.  Because Patron Profiles tracks patterns over time – while providing libraries the ability to drill down to their own regional or population density levels – libraries can provide demonstrable evidence of our impact.
  • Libraries doing strategic planning cannot do so without using social media or surveys. It is a best practice. This publication can be instrumental in meeting that need.
  • Patron Profiles is another weapon in your toolkit to make you an effective spokesperson for your library. It gives you hard national data to compare your library with national trends. It takes you beyond just the anecdotal or output numbers.

Check out Patron Profiles today. First edition comes out this October and I can’t wait.

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.