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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

Uncloaking Your Electronic Collections: Promoting Library Online Services

Lesley Williams

Head, Information Services

Evanston Public Library

lawilliams@cityofevanston.org

the problem
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
Strategy 1: Individual Libraries
  • Use language your patrons understand
  • Make your online services findable
  • Think function, not format
data what
“Data - what”?!
  • People associate “database” with technology they don’t understand.
hennepin county library
Hennepin County Library
  • Online services integrated throughout the website…
let s get radical
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
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?

homeschoolers online
Homeschoolers Online…
  • Need online math and reading prep
  • Need reliable online reference books
  • Need magazines and newspapers
strategy 3 consortia and systems
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
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
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
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
Iconn ads in local media
  • Appeared in non-library publications
  • Targeted; different ads for business publications, schools, travel etc.
strategy 4 vendors
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
How End User Marketing Helps Vendors
  • Library product promotes the individual subscription product.
  • Patrons will encourage libraries to subscribe to a worthwhile tool.
does your vendor expect you to do all the work
Does Your Vendor Expect You to Do All the Work?
  • Some great ideas, but none of them came from EBSCO
vendor marketing support
Vendor Marketing “Support”
  • Is This REALLY the Best EBSCO Can do?

From the EBSCO Special Event Toolkit

some real marketing support
Some Real Marketing Support…
  • Proquest’s Marketing Toolkit
  • Great graphics
  • Can be used for Proquest,or any online product
unclear on the concept
Unclear on the Concept?
  • Great poster…
  • Great ideas
  • NO MENTION OF LIBRARIES!!
accessmylibrary com
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
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
Vendors As Partners
  • Work with libraries to identify media the community reads
  • Approach community organizations together
  • Collaborative vendor advertising campaign
negotiating with vendors
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
Strategy 5:Libraries Nationwide
  • What are ALA, PLA doing to promote library online services ?
  • LET ALA HEAR FROM US!!
working the media
Working the Media…
  • What sources do your patrons trust?
  • Major papers more likely to do stories on national trends
think like a travel agent
Think Like a Travel Agent

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

the power of advertising
The Power of Advertising
  • Can library online services become the bottled water of tomorrow?
websites used
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
Thanks!!

Lesley Williams

Evanston Public Library

Evanston IL 60201

Lawilliams@cityofevanston.org

847-448-8646