Tag Archives: library marketing

Instagram folks…what are you waiting for?

Hey library land!  I get that you love Pinterest, I really do.  It’s a cool site.  But check out Instagram!  The statistics for Instagram are pretty impressive – it is growing exponentially and I believe it may have already surpassed FourSquare in membership!  (If not, it will soon.)

I recently hosted a webinar for work with over 100 participants – when I took a poll of social media usage, not one said their library was using Instagram.

What’s impressive is that it’s only available on iPhone right now and it’s reached surpassed FourSquare. It’s in beta for Android now, so I can only imagine what participation will be like when that rolls out.

Mobile social networks are where the world is headed and Instagram is quickly becoming the new leader.


Milwaukee Public Library Goes Social

I love the new Milwaukee Public Library campaign.  It’s takes social media logos and puts a library spin on them.

Check out articles on it here:




Nice job Milwaukee! 

100+ Authors Who Use Twitter

Check out this great list of authors – both teen and adult – using Twitter:


Definitely worth checking out!

How much $$ do I save by using the library?

Saw this on Web4Lib Listserv this morning…while people are using those mortgage calculators, years until retirement, and real age online calculators, they might as well use this one too!  Thanks to Glenn Peterson for sharing.


Free Library Savings Calculator
(posting on behalf of Glenn Peterson)

EngagedPatrons.org now offers a Library Savings Calculator free to all public libraries. The simple web-based Calculator allows your patrons to discover how much money they save each month by using their library’s services.

 Start here:


 Library staff can customize the Calculator with the services their ibrary offers — books, DVDs, meeting rooms, etc. Patrons note how many times they use each service during a typical month and the Calculator shows them how much they would have paid out-of-pocket to purchase those services. Libraries can choose to allow patrons to report back their totals to the library and include a comment (a great way to gather praise from your users!)

Developed originally in spreadsheet form by the Massachusetts Library Association, EngagedPatrons.org enables any library to add the Calculator to their existing website by simply copying and pasting a web link into their website — no programming required.

Glenn Peterson

Tweet Your Research Guides?

I’m wondering if any university or public librarians are creating topic specific twitter feeds for their library users?  So those interested in biology who want to get interesting articles or know when their research guide gets an update receive a Tweet?

Essentially, topic specific Twitter feeds versus Library News Twitter feeds.

If anyone out there is doing that, I’d be interested in knowing.

Naughty Librarian

NaughtyI once was talking to a librarian friend of mine about putting a librarian bumper sticker on our cars.  She snubbed the idea and said “I don’t self-identify as a librarian”.  And I’m kinda like, why not?

Hey, if you don’t want to tell the world what you do for a living, that’s cool.  But I like to think that it helps the profession and libraries when we pop up in seemingly unlikely places and announce ourselves.

I took The Dude to seeing Flogging Molly as a late Christmas present.  When I was trying to figure out what to wear, he said “Why don’t you wear your Naughty Librarian shirt?  It’s hilarious”.  So on went the shirt.  A couple people came up to me at the concert, people were constantly reading it and I heard a couple mutters of “That’s awesome”.

You, too, can but aside the shushy bunhead stereotypes and show people that librarians aren’t just sitting behind their desks knitting!  C’mon…make a punk kid smile today!

NYPL excels at “buyer segmentation”

newrulesofmarketingI was just flipping through The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to use news releases, blogs, podcasting, viral marketing and online media to reach buyers directly by David Meerman Scott  and he features New York Public Library’s website as a sample of a website that excels at reaching multiple buyer segments through their website.  It’s unique in that on the homepage alone, a wide breadth and depth of answers can be found for many types of patrons. 

You know the profession is doing something right when a business book features a library as a great business/marketing model!

“This is the librarian call-in hour…”

Here in metro Detroit, everyone is on the very edge of their seat waiting to hear what will happen if the government does not grant a bailout to the Big Three.  It’s not just Detroit that is affected, but everywhere, I know.  However, to give you an idea of how car-centric Michigan is: In the summer people set up lawn chairs on the sides of big roads (Woodward Avenue) and car watch for vintage cars.  By the hundreds.  On any given day.  It’s a car crazy state.

Okay, on with my point…so radio stations are going nuts here.  I mean nuts.  Every morning it’s all you hear about…discussion of the bailout, discussion of how people will manage financially if they lose their jobs, lots and lots of fear and stress on the radio.

Librarians – WE NEED A RADIO SPOT.  Now, I know a lot of libraries have a radio show or a cable show.  But that’s not what I’m talking about.  If you are listening to your local radio over the next week or so and they are talking about economic slowdown and what solutions should be, CALL IN.  And don’t just call into public radio because that’s comfortable.  Calling public radio is like preaching to the choir…still a good idea, but they already know the message.  Call your area’s morning disc jockey show with a quick message.

– your name
– your library’s name
– name three resources your library offers (we offer free classes, resume writing books, and computer classes)
– and then as a “bonus” mention a cool resource (oh DJ Sammy Sam, I want to let listeners know that the Census is hiring this month, and you can visit their website at census.gov for more info)
– then close by saying something along the lines of “the librarians in our state are happy to help people out…we won’t even shush you, we promise” (this reinforces the state-wide element of libraries and humor is memorable…)

Don’t feel comfortable calling?  Then email your local DJs.  I just sent an email to a DJ this morning with a link to my article: http://www.ilovelibraries.org/news/topstories/toughtimes.cfm  and am going to listen in to a different show tomorrow morning to see if they are still on the topic.

C’mon guys and gals…let’s do it!

P.S. – Try to call the morning shows and the afternoon/drive home shows…those have the largest listenership and the audience is most captive…stuck in their cars, usually.

Three cheers for Steven M. Cohen

If you don’t get American Libraries direct, then you may have missed this article by Steven M. Cohen, about how Google marketed their way into the library world, then promptly left us in the cold when they got what they wanted from us. Nice.

I will be the first to tell you that I like a lot of Google’s tools. I make good use of them and I tell others. But Google Books is an utter shame and no I’m not going to provide a link to it. The books that Google scans can only be found via the Google or the Google Books search page. That is called limiting access, folks, and it more than whispers the beginnings of turning everything scanned into proprietary information in some way.

Just go to OCA, please, where the Open Library is more in line with our profession.

Cheerleader Librarian

I have been known to be Gidget-esque in my qualities.  I am sure that the serious PhD-types that I work with must be sitting in faculty meetings and thinking “Oh my God, it’s like a member of the Mousketeers has escaped and somehow gotten assistant professor status”!  I am jovial, I don’t use huge words (uh, like jovial), I laugh a lot, and I like to give sales pitches for upcoming programs and new purchases.  Gosh darn it, I’m down right chipper.  So, why is this an issue?  Well, I know it takes all types to make the library world go ’round, but I look forward to a day when librarians see themselves as sales people and cheerleaders as much as they do as information seeking machines.  I think it will help us a lot, and we will have fewer meetings that start with the phrase “How can we get more people in our building???”.

We are good at what we do and goodness only knows that librarians wear a lot of hats, but we need to really do a push towards reinventing the librarian image…and what we’re doing now simply is not enough.