New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Help Kickstart a Movie About US Public Libraries!


Have you heard the news? Some serious filmmakers are working on a movie about public libraries! They have a good start, but now they need our help. They have set up a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign to get money to finish the film. Donations must be in by midnight on Oct. 26.

Details from the Urban Library Council, one of the sponsors:
Filmmakers Dawn Logsdon and Lucie Faulknor, with Executive Producer Stanley Nelson, are asking library lovers across America to help them make "Free for All: Inside the Public Library," the first major documentary project about our nation’s most beloved and most threatened public institution. Producer/Director Logsdon enthuses, “This is a great American story that has not been told before. We feel it’s urgent to get this film done and out there, while so many communities are debating the future of their local libraries.” 
The filmmakers, who are inspired by their own love for libraries, have launched an online funding campaign for "Free for All" and need to raise $75,000 by midnight on Oct. 26, 2014.

Why you should donate: 
  • You can give any amount, $1 or more.
  • The project has been vetted and backed with R&D funding by big organizations (National Endowment for the Humanities, California Humanities, the San Francisco Foundation, the Creative Work Fund, the Eastman Fund, United for Libraries, Urban Library Council, Urban Libraries Unite, EveryLibrary, and more).
  • You can pay by credit card or check.
  • Donations are tax-deductible.
  • You can get cool prizes for helping out! 
  • Kickstarter is "all or nothing." If the filmmakers don't reach the goal of $75,000, no pledges are collected and they get nothing at all.
I like what creators Logsdon and Faulknor say about their project:
Big decisions about the future of the American public library --- decisions that will resonate for generations --- are being made NOW in local communities across the country. How these decisions will be made and who will make them are questions at the heart of our documentary.
We're an experienced team of award-winning filmmakers who are passionate about public libraries and their role in our democracy. Many people think of libraries as quaint book repositories growing obsolete in our digital age. We're on a mission to dispel that myth.
Here are a few more details... I hope they convince you to click over to the Kickstarter page, check it out for yourself, and make a donation! 
Set in public libraries around the country, "Free for All" will be a 90-minute film, intended for PBS broadcast, that explores a “day-in-the-life” of the American public library, from open to closing --- along with compelling chapters of library history. This cinematic library “road trip” will feature a stunning mosaic of stories, architecture and personalities that bring to life the public library experience and the urgent issues libraries face today. From celebrities to schoolteachers to poets and new immigrants, the film and its associated digital project explore why people are using their public libraries in record numbers and the threat to democracy if they were to become extinct. 



Friday, October 10, 2014

Pedal Power.... Delivering the Goods.

Photo from American Libraries Blog

I'm really excited about the bike-based outreach services some libraries have adopted that are extending library services to the streets of their communities.

There's a great post in American Libraries, that details the experiences of several libraries. Essentially  passionate librarians and volunteers are using bikes to travel through the community. The bikes are adapted to carry collections and hotspots so people can either check out, download or reserve items on the spot. 

I love this concept. First off, it is a great way to engage staff that are passionate about biking. Secondly, it is a creative way to get your collections out to your community. Read the article here.

Even if you aren't ready to embark on a new service consider the philosophy behind it for any outreach you are conducting.  


  • Bring your collection with you
  • Encourage people connect to your catalog with a hotspot
  • Be willing to sign people up for library cards
  • Be ready to show them how to download ebooks 
  • Make it fun



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Library Communications Conference, Oct. 6 & 7, 2014






In case you haven't heard, there will be a Library Communications Conference in Mount Laurel, New Jersey (USA) on October 6-7, 2014. According to the organizers, "
This conference will focus exclusively on the best practices of library communications and outreach, and will feature over 20 relevant workshops and keynote addresses by nationally recognized speakers Kathy Dempsey, Dr. Curtis Rogers, and Angela Montefinise."


The event is being organized by the Library Management Institute (LMI), the same group that originally created ALCOP (Association of Library Communications and Outreach Professionals) a few years back. While ALCOP has been disbanded as an official organization, LMI is still running basically the same annual conference. (I've attended all three previous years; see my coverage of two of them here: 2011 & 2013.

This 2014 conference will be held at the Hotel ML in Mount Laurel, New Jersey for the first time. The program covers all sorts of related topics: social media, outreach, market research, graphic design, event management, and more. 

If you're in library marketing, promotion, or communication, I urge you to join us next month! The event is tightly focused on our specialized type of work, and so it's really great for learning and networking. It's also fairly inexpensive (as conferences go):

  • $249.00 per person registers you for the full event, including admission to both keynote breakfast sessions, all workshops, and lunch on Tuesday.
  • $129.00 per person registers you for 1 day only, including breakfast. 
Registrations must be received by Sept. 29, so don't delay!


I'll be giving three sessions: 
  • Monday's luncheon keynote: It's Not About You! Ensuring a Great User Experience
  • Monday afternoon session: How to Write Really Effective Survey Questions
  • Tuesday morning session: Let's Work on Your Elevator Speech
I hope to meet some of you M Word readers there in a few weeks! 


Sunday, August 17, 2014

North Logan Shows the Power of Public Libraries

Nancy found this short video that shows what great public libraries can be in their communities...

Kudos to the North Logan Library in Cache Valley, Utah on the amazing work it's doing and on the way it's publicizing that to keep growing. 


If you have a video that you're proud of, give us the link in a comment. Share your great work!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Can You Express Your Library's Value?

Everywhere I look, I see librarians complaining that people are saying things like, "Why do we still need libraries?" They lament that stakeholders and elected officials don't understand what libraries are really all about.

OK, well: How will people know unless we tell them? Every single librarian, Friend, Trustee, and supporter needs to have an answer, an elevator speech, or a comeback, for these questions. What would be even better is if you didn't wait for the question, but rather, proactively told people about the value of libraries in the 21st century. You may think the need for libraries is obvious, but believe me, it's not. 

And so I thank the Metropolitan New York Library Council for commissioning me to give a webinar that addresses this topic. I hope you'll join me next Wednesday, July 30, at 4pm Eastern. Here are the details

Articulating Your Value
"We need to cut costs, so we're slashing your budget. People don't use libraries much anymore; it's faster to get answers online."
"Why are we paying you to put books away and fix copiers? Can't students do that?"
"Why do librarians matter in the 21st century?
"I keep reading articles that say libraries are going away." 
Have you ever heard such questions from an administrator, stakeholder, faculty member, dean, or even a friend? Chances are you have, and you've probably replied in one of two ways: You start listing all the little things you do all day (which sounds dull), or you are so taken aback that you can't articulate a satisfactory answer quickly enough (of course, you think of the perfect comeback an hour later). 
Every librarian needs to be able to articulate his or her value at any given moment. Otherwise, you lose a chance to explain your work, to advocate for libraries, and to teach someone why the internet can never replace a library. If you cannot explain what your expertise is and why it's vital in two or three brief sentences--in words that your listener will understand and remember--then you need this webinar. This will be an interactive program with individual attention. Each attendee will start by writing a response that they think will work in their own situations, then we'll dissect and rebuild them to make them stronger and more memorable.
By the end of this program, participants will: 
Know how to explain their work in a few sentences, without jargon
Be able to articulate their value at a moment's notice
Explain why librarians still matter without being defensive
Be more confident talking about their work
Understand how to defend their budgets if they're threatened
Create strong elevator speeches that are ready to use
This webinar has varying fees for those who are and are not affiliated with METRO, a hard-working non-profit that works to develop and maintain essential library services throughout New York City and Westchester County. This session is open to all. I hope some of you M Word readers will join me next week!



Thursday, July 10, 2014

Fun with Governmental Advocacy

Kathy Dempsey (left) with Stephanie Vance
From ALA in Las Vegas: While attending a session run by the very knowledgeable Stephanie Vance, I volunteered to be a mock presidential candidate. My pitch beat the other 2 "candidates" (according to the unscientific "applause-o-meter"), making me president of the room! We were given copies of one of Vance's books for our efforts. I definitely recommend getting Citizens In Action: A Guide to Influencing Government or any of her other books if you want to know how to win support from government representatives.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Thing 1 & Thing 2



City Council meetings can be pretty boring. But this one in Dallas,Texas wasn't.

This meeting is chock full of effective library advocacy. In fact, the council members will probably remember these particular funding pleas for a long time.

If you only watch the first 3 minutes, you'll get the greatest stuff. Two library supporters rewrote Dr. Seuss' story about Thing 1 and Thing 2, who are looking for something to do. If council raised the library budget, they stated, then the public library could be open more hours, and all the local Things would be occupied and happy.

The rewritten rhyme was quite clever. And the councilors gave them a standing ovation.

Then came testimony from a 9-year-old girl—another winner. The next woman shared statistics and linked early literacy numbers to subsequent lower crime and drop-out numbers. I especially liked this strong statement (just before 8 min.): 
"It is the most productive, it is the right thing to do, to build strong children rather than trying to fix broken adults."
Next, an elderly woman stepped up and proclaimed herself a "library junkie." Awesome. And all of that happened in 10 minutes.

Actually, the video of the whole 38-min. meeting is worth watching. Aside from 5 minutes on one unrelated topic, it's all about Library Love. At 18 min., a councilor speaks in favor of the library. Then, in turn, others address and thank the library advocates, talking about things like "educational impact." Clearly, the messages got through to them.

At about 24 minutes, an African-American councilman starts a diatribe on how much he values the library. He speaks passionately, and even urges his fellow council members, on the spot: "Let's move toward restoration [of the previous budget cuts]."

This, my friends, is a perfect example of how to represent libraries at city budget meetings. There were library supporters (or advocates) with a unique, customized, story that was entertaining and memorable. There was a cute kid, a sweet old lady, a nice old man, and more. They made an impact.

Wonder how these folks got so good at speaking out? Well, the Friends of the Dallas Public Library got a grant from United for Libraries and the Neal-Schuman Foundation:
United for Libraries has secured $75,000 from the Neal-Schuman Foundation to support library advocacy at the local level for libraries with troubled budgets. The Citizens-Save-Libraries grants will pay for travel and fees to send expert advocates to 20 locations over the course of two years to help friends of the library groups, library directors and trustees develop individual blueprints for advocacy campaigns to restore, increase or save threatened library budgets.
If your library didn't apply for this training, don't worry—you can still benefit from the free Citizens-Save-Libraries Power Guide. This toolkit is available to anyone, and it "lays out a step-by-step blueprint for libraries to follow in generating their own campaigns." Download it today!



Libraries must be at the budget table.
So don't put it off; start as soon as you're able.
Just get the Power Guide and learn what to do.
It can't be too hard; I'll tell you, that's true.
It's already been done by Thing 1 and Thing 2.
And if they can do it, then so can you. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Projects in Ireland and New Zealand

Today I ran across two examples of libraries really being part of their communities, and I wanted to share. 

The first is in County Carlow, Ireland:
"Carlow Care and Repair currently work with elderly people in the Carlow area, carrying out small repair work and DIY jobs for them and making weekly contact through the Care and Repair admin team." (How great is that? A government service that sends a team to help the elderly with small home repairs!)

But now, an addition: 
"Those who benefit from the programme have expressed an interest in receiving library resources to their homes, and thus the Care and Repair team will visit these participants and bring collections of stock books, film, music and audio which will be provided by Carlow Central Library." So now the library is part of this service! And note: It's the residents who requested it. 



The second is in Christchurch, New Zealand:  
The city has been preparing to build a new central library -- with citizen input. I mean, serious citizen input! 

"The Your Library, Your Voice  campaign runs from Friday 21 March to Friday 2 May 2014. Take the opportunity to have your say about this exciting Council-led anchor project.
There are many different ways you can have your say - take part in a discussion forum, or fill in one of the quick surveys or polls. You can now also upload images(External link) of what you'd like the library to look like - inside or outside."

Click over and look at all the thoughtful questions the planner have been asking: 
How would you use the New Central Library? How would you travel to it? What's most important to you? What would make you feel welcome? What are the must-haves? 

What better way to turn everyone into active stakeholders who really care about the success of the library? What better way to build excitement, and to assure high usage before the place is even open? I'm really impressed. 



Monday, May 12, 2014

Send PR Materials to Share at 2014's PR Xchange

Get ready to participate in the PR Xchange event at ALA Annual! Mailing labels are now available to make it easy to send in your print promotional materials. Details: 

Are you wondering how to put your back inventory of calendars, brochures, flyers, postcards, annual reports, and other print collateral to good use? Share them with colleagues!

Send in your printed promotional materials now to the 2014 PR Xchange program at the ALA Annual conference in Las Vegas, NV. Hundreds of conference attendees drop in to the PR Xchange event each year to take home copies of PR materials from libraries across North America for their idea files.

A scene from 2013's PR Xchange at ALA in Chicago
Please use the mailing labels at the link below to send quantities of at least 250 but no more than 1,000 each of your printed pieces to the convention center in advance of the PR Xchange program. They should arrive by June 25. Your materials will be put out for display and distribution at PR Xchange, which takes place on Sunday, June 29, between 11am and 1:30pm in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Exhibit Hall—Special events area.


I'll have a table at the event, where I'll be busy:
Please stop by on Sunday, June 29, 11am - 1:30 pm!

Want to know more? See The M Word's coverage of last year's event in Chicago:

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

20 Years of Work, 20 Reasons to Subscribe To Marketing Library Services Newsletter

MLS across the decades: 1988, 1994, 2009
 I feel like celebrating! It's a big anniversary for me: I've been editor of the Marketing Library Services newsletter for 20 years now!

I started this job on May 3, 1994. Back in the 90s, you didn't often hear the words "library" and "marketing" together. Most librarians didn't have to do much marketing or promotion because libraries were people's main access points for information. But the internet was a game-changer. Once the public's access to the web became widespread, and reference transactions declined, the concept of marketing libraries slowly became more accepted. (Although some still thought of "marketing" as the dirty "m word.")

At first, there were very few M.L.I.S. courses or other opportunities for librarians to learn about marketing. There still aren't as many as there needs to be. But since 1987, there's been the Marketing Library Services newsletter. In honor of my 20 years at the helm ...

Here Are 20 Reasons You Should Subscribe:

1. To avoid budget cuts, it's vital to understand how to convince stakeholders of libraries' value.
2. MLS is packed with case studies that explain successful tactics and strategies.
3. New personal subscription price: $69.95. That's 30% off the regular price!
4. The editor is an expert in library marketing, not just in editing publications.
5. Every "How-To" section walks you through the process of accomplishing something great: launching a brand, promoting an event, making a video, building an email list, etc.
6. MLS is the only serial that concentrates specifically on library marketing, promotion, PR, and advocacy.
7. MLS has content for all types of librarians: corporate, public, K-12, academic, & special.
8. There are no ads; it's all reader-supported.
9. There's subject-specific coverage from many major library conferences, adding value for those who can't attend.
10. MLS has readers and contributors from around the world, so you get a diverse view of library marketing.
11. Why spend hundred$ of thousand$ of $$ on collections, but spend nothing to learn how to promote them and guarantee their usage?
12. MLS concentrates on practical, useful articles, not theory.
13. The "Interviews With Marketing Masters" section lets you learn directly from some of the most successful people in the industry.
14. Articles are short, easy to digest, and useful to both beginners and experts.
15. Great ROI: By learning to do better marketing and promotion, you can save more than enough time and money every year to cover the cost of MLS.
16. MLS isn't indexed in Library Literature or included in any full-text databases, so you've got to subscribe to benefit from its uber-useful articles.
17. MLS can make you better at your job, so you can make your library more successful!
18. MLS enables you to benchmark your own work against what others in the field are doing.
19. MLS news alerts you about grants to apply for, contests to enter, and free webinars to attend.
20. Promoting the library is every employee's responsibility.
  
They're reading MLS in Russia! 

What Real Subscribers Think:

“I love the newsletter. At each library I move to, I always make sure we have a subscription. Thanks for all the great information it contains.”
~ Cindy Weir, BA, M.L.S.
CEO
Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada


"Librarians across the nation should all stand up and thank Kathy Dempsey for her commitment to keeping our field alive. She really understands how important it is for us to toot our own horns and market our services and programs to the fullest. The MLS newsletter combines the best tools and methods from corporate marketing and adapts them to meet our unique needs as community and literary centers."
~ Melissa Chiavaroli
Staff Librarian, Adult Services
Seekonk Public Library
Seekonk, Massachusetts
  
 
The first issue I edited, 1994

MLS Is for YOU If:

+ You've never taken a marketing course.
+ You feel like you're flying by the seat of your pants.
+ You don't have time to dig for how-to info.
+ Your library doesn't have a marketing plan.
You don't know how to respond when people say that libraries don't matter anymore because everything's online now.
+ You want to show your administrators examples of others' success stories, so they'll let you try something new.
 

So, Why Not Try Out MLS?

Check out Tables of Contents at the homepage:

Get subscription details and prices:

Take advantage of the new Personal Subscription Rate:
($69.95 for U.S. customers, must be mailed to home address)
Call Customer Service at (609) 654-6266 or email them at custserv@infotoday.com

Place organizational orders online:
(pricing varies by region outside the U.S.)

 
So, Happy Anniversary to Me! I've dedicated my career to helping libraries stay funded and open. I really love what I do, and I'm looking forward to another 10 or 20 years with Marketing Library Services

Thursday, April 24, 2014

2014 John Cotton Dana Winners Announced

Some of the materials from Texas A&M's winning entry, which celebrated George R. R. Martin
Some of the year's biggest library-marketing news just came out: The 2014 winners of the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards were announced today! 

Here are this year's 8 winners:

Birmingham Public Library for “Letter from Birmingham Jail: A Worldwide Celebration”
Champaign Public Library for “Show Some Library Love”
Kitsap Regional Library for their Traveling Book Campaign
North Carolina State, James B. Hunt Jr. Library, for “The Library of the Future”
Sacramento Public Library for “The Poe Project”
Texas A & M for “Deeper Than Swords: A 2-day celebration of George RR Martin” 
University of Texas, San Antonio, for “Ask Us Anything”
Wells County, Indiana for “Your Go-To Spot”

Each library wins $10,000! 

There's more info on LLAMA's blog.  And you can see all the details of each entry here on EBSCO's JCD page. 

As always, big thanks go to the H.W. Wilson Foundation for the prize money, EBSCO for its sponsorship, and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA, a division of ALA) for running the contest. Together, this team enables this prestigious contest, which judges entries on all the planning and work necessary for true marketing greatness. 

We "M Word" women will be at the award ceremony during the ALA conference this June in Las Vegas. Stay tuned for our report and photos.

CONGRATULATIONS to all the winners! 



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Shout It Out: Libraries Are Essential!

The black-on-white bumper sticker, shown with a pen to gauge size.
Libraries Are Essential!

Is that a message you believe? One you want to shout from the mountaintops? I'd like to help you do that. 

Check out my Libraries Are Essential store on Cafe Press, where every product proudly proclaims, "Libraries Are Essential."

New for National Library Week: Inexpensive bumper stickers. They're available with black type on white OR with black type on a clear background. Buy a single one, a pack of 10, or a pack of 50. There's also a 20"W x 12"H decal to use on walls, bookmobiles, exhibit booths, and more. (The vinyl decal, just $12.50, can be placed on a wall, taken down w/o damage, then put up again repeatedly, according to Cafe Press.)

Cafe Press ships very quickly, and usually has a sale going on. These products give you a simple way to shout out about libraries' importance. Give them to staff, Friends, or Trustees, use them as prizes or giveaways, or buy in bulk to sell them as a fundraiser. 

These and the other products at this site were created by me, Kathy Dempsey, founder of the Libraries Are Essential marketing consultancy (using the logo font of my website). Feel free to ask questions, suggest new items, or contact me at Kathy@LibrariesAreEssential.com. Start by seeing what's available today.  

Don't forget: National Library Week is April 13-19 in the US! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Peek at Irish Libraries


It's going to take a little time for me to process and share the great things I just saw at the Public Library Association's 2014 conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. Meanwhile, if you're feeling a wee bit Irish today, take a look back at this post from 2010 that includes video and photo from Irish libraries.

And the photos posted here are from a visit to another library, in Killarney, Ireland, a few years back. They show me outside with the colorful signage (top), and the meeting room (with a quilt display), and children's room (both below). 



Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Great Posters, for Free






Do you sometimes see images online and wish you could print them out for your own library? It's often hard to tell who created the images or what the copyright status is. 

Well, here are 2 great posters that promote librarians (note: not "libraries," but the humans who make them work!). I've gotten permission from the source to share them with you.

The publisher Springer has some wonderful images, and its marketing department will send you the high-resolution PDFs, for free, so you can print as many posters as you like. If you want either of these, simply send an email to libraryrelations@springer.com to request them. Put "2600 BC" or "Keep Calm" in the subject line of your email to request your PDFs. (And the low-res versions I used above make for great social media posts.)

Thanks to the marketing-savvy staff at Springer for helping librarians show their value! I hope that many of you will take advantage of this generous offer.