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Uncloaking Your Electronic Collections: Promoting Library Online Services Lesley Williams Head, Information Services Evanston Public Library lawilliams@cityofevanston.org The Problem… People associate libraries with books and children, not with online services.

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Uncloaking Your Electronic Collections: Promoting Library Online Services

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Uncloaking Your Electronic Collections: Promoting Library Online Services

Lesley Williams

Head, Information Services

Evanston Public Library

lawilliams@cityofevanston.org


The Problem…

  • People associate libraries with books and children, not with online services.

  • Librarians are NOT generally thought of as an online information source.

  • Most marketing efforts target our traditional users, in traditional formats and media.


Strategy 1: Individual Libraries

  • Use language your patrons understand

  • Make your online services findable

  • Think function, not format


“Data - what”?!

  • People associate “database” with technology they don’t understand.


  • Not everything online is a “database”…


Hennepin County Library

  • Online services integrated throughout the website…


Online Resources in OPAC


  • Subject guides link to subscription resources


Homework Help


Let’s Get Radical!

  • Most of our potential users are NOT reading library publications or visiting library websites.

  • To sell our online services, we need to reach beyond our core audience.


Strategy 2: Community Partners

  • Chambers of Commerce

  • Hospitals

  • Schools and PTAs

  • City Government

  • Homeschool Associations

  • Realtors and Merchants Associations

    Do they link to your library resources?


  • Local Merchant’s Association page links to the library online business resources


Where is the Library?


Homeschoolers Online…

  • Need online math and reading prep

  • Need reliable online reference books

  • Need magazines and newspapers


Will YOU Be There?


Strategy 3: Consortia and Systems

  • Can get more bang for marketing buck.

  • Easier to build awareness if everyone in state or region has same access.

  • Consistent message, regardless of library’s size or budget.


Inspire.net

  • Has a $200,000 annual marketing budget

  • Cable tv ads hit as many as 300,000 viewers per day

  • Does targeted marketing to businesses, college students


Easier Access

  • IP address range: used in Connecticut and Indiana, and Ohio

  • Login with state ID or driver’s license: used in Michigan, Nebraska

  • Login with personalized password: used in Maine, Massachusetts, Indiana


ICONN Marketing strategies

  • Insight #1: Emphasize offerings with the most widespread appeal.

  • Insight #2: For communications to targeted audiences, identify the offerings that appeal to various subgroups

  • Usage has grown from under 5 million logins in 2001 to over 33 million in 2006


Iconn ads in local media

  • Appeared in non-library publications

  • Targeted; different ads for business publications, schools, travel etc.


Strategy 4: Vendors

  • Have marketing experience, budget

  • Most are uncomfortable targeting end users; may fear conflict of interest

  • Need incentives to target the public.

  • LET VENDORS HEAR FROM US!!


How End User Marketing Helps Vendors

  • Library product promotes the individual subscription product.

  • Patrons will encourage libraries to subscribe to a worthwhile tool.


Why should this…


…compete with this?


Who Does Your Vendor Serve?


Does Your Vendor Expect You to Do All the Work?

  • Some great ideas, but none of them came from EBSCO


Vendor Marketing “Support”

  • Is This REALLY the Best EBSCO Can do?

    From the EBSCO Special Event Toolkit


Some Real Marketing Support…

  • Proquest’s Marketing Toolkit

  • Great graphics

  • Can be used for Proquest,or any online product


Unclear on the Concept?

  • Great poster…

  • Great ideas

  • NO MENTION OF LIBRARIES!!


AccessMyLibrary.com

  • Free 30 day access to Thomson Gale content

  • Encourages patrons to use libraries

  • Developing “virtual library card” for easier nationwide authentication

  • Advertised on NPR


The LEAST Vendors Can Do…

  • Have a website for the public

  • Direct patrons to libraries

  • Leave space for the library url on their materials

  • Re-direct some marketing efforts


Vendors As Partners

  • Work with libraries to identify media the community reads

  • Approach community organizations together

  • Collaborative vendor advertising campaign


Negotiating With Vendors

  • Set shared goal for usage.

  • Ask about marketing assistance BEFORE signing a contract.

  • Be clear: you will cancel if usage remains low.


Strategy 5:Libraries Nationwide

  • What are ALA, PLA doing to promote library online services ?

  • LET ALA HEAR FROM US!!


Working the Media…

  • What sources do your patrons trust?

  • Major papers more likely to do stories on national trends


Notice Anything Missing?


Think Like a Travel Agent

If you want people to visit Fiji, you DON’T advertise in Fiji.


The Power of Advertising

  • Can library online services become the bottled water of tomorrow?


Websites used…

  • John Kupersmith’s “Library terms that users understand” www.jkup.net/terms.html

  • Evanston Public Library, www.epl.org

  • Hennepin County Library, www.hclib.org

  • Portland Public Library, www.portlandlibrary.com/

  • “Marketing the Library” from the Ohio Library Council, www.olc.org/marketing/

  • “Reaching Patrons: Online Outreach for Public Libraries:, Sara Houghton-Jan, librarianinblack.typepad.com/onlineoutreach/index.html

  • Indiana’s Inspire.net

  • Connecticut’s Iconn.org and ICONN Market Survey

    www.iconn.org/iConnMarketingSurveyReport.aspx

  • EBSCO’s Customer Success Center, www.epnet.com/thisTopic.php?marketID=20&topicID=204

  • Proquest Marketing Toolkit, www.proquest.com/division/docs/HowTo.pdf

  • Gale’s accessmylibrary.com


Thanks!!

Lesley Williams

Evanston Public Library

Evanston IL 60201

Lawilliams@cityofevanston.org

847-448-8646


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