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Uncloaking Your Electronic Collections: Promoting Library Online Services Lesley Williams Head, Information Services Evanston Public Library [email protected] 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 l.jpg

Uncloaking Your Electronic Collections: Promoting Library Online Services

Lesley Williams

Head, Information Services

Evanston Public Library

[email protected]

The problem l.jpg
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 l.jpg
Strategy 1: Individual Libraries

  • Use language your patrons understand

  • Make your online services findable

  • Think function, not format

Data what l.jpg
“Data - what”?!

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

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Hennepin County Library

  • Online services integrated throughout the website…

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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 l.jpg
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?

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Where is the Library? online business resources

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Homeschoolers online business resources Online…

  • Need online math and reading prep

  • Need reliable online reference books

  • Need magazines and newspapers

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Will YOU Be There? online business resources

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Strategy 3: Consortia and Systems online business resources

  • 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.

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Inspire.net online business resources

  • 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

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Easier Access online business resources

  • 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

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ICONN Marketing strategies online business resources

  • 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

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Iconn ads in local media online business resources

  • Appeared in non-library publications

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

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Strategy 4: Vendors online business resources

  • Have marketing experience, budget

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

  • Need incentives to target the public.


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How End User Marketing Helps Vendors online business resources

  • Library product promotes the individual subscription product.

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

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Why should this… online business resources

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…compete with this? online business resources

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Who Does Your Vendor Serve? online business resources

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Does Your Vendor Expect You to Do All the Work? online business resources

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

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Vendor Marketing “Support” online business resources

  • Is This REALLY the Best EBSCO Can do?

    From the EBSCO Special Event Toolkit

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Some Real Marketing Support… online business resources

  • Proquest’s Marketing Toolkit

  • Great graphics

  • Can be used for Proquest,or any online product

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Unclear on the Concept? online business resources

  • Great poster…

  • Great ideas


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AccessMyLibrary.com online business resources

  • Free 30 day access to Thomson Gale content

  • Encourages patrons to use libraries

  • Developing “virtual library card” for easier nationwide authentication

  • Advertised on NPR

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The LEAST Vendors Can Do… online business resources

  • Have a website for the public

  • Direct patrons to libraries

  • Leave space for the library url on their materials

  • Re-direct some marketing efforts

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Vendors As Partners online business resources

  • Work with libraries to identify media the community reads

  • Approach community organizations together

  • Collaborative vendor advertising campaign

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Negotiating With Vendors online business resources

  • Set shared goal for usage.

  • Ask about marketing assistance BEFORE signing a contract.

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

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Strategy 5:Libraries Nationwide online business resources

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


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Working the Media… online business resources

  • What sources do your patrons trust?

  • Major papers more likely to do stories on national trends

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Notice Anything Missing? online business resources

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Think Like a Travel Agent online business resources

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

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The Power of Advertising online business resources

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

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Websites used… online business resources

  • 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


  • 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 l.jpg
Thanks!! online business resources

Lesley Williams

Evanston Public Library

Evanston IL 60201

[email protected]