Have you picked up the July/August Public Libraries magazine?
Anyone who still thinks that library marketing is frivolous needs to sit and read. There is a number of significant pieces that point to library marketing as being fundamental to library success.
Lee Price writes about the declining budgets and the OCLC “From Awareness to Funding” report. He writes that to gain critical support from a segment of the community that they need to believe that the library is transformational instead of informational. How to change perceptions? Marketing, especially when some decision makers are not library users. Successfully landing critical messages is fundamental to shoring up financial support.
Why else is library marketing critical?
– It maximizes tax dollars if all seats are filled at a program.
– With schools under financial stress, it seems inevitable that libraries will play a larger educational role. That same issue of Public Libraries has some great info on summer reading program stats.
– Of course, there are tons of societal gains when people use the library.
– Even in a down economy, strenthening the library brand is so important. Click here to read some interesting history about marketing during the Great Depression. How we continue to get our message of value is more important than ever. Charles A. Seavey presented a paper regarding library growth during the Great Depression. He determined that there was continued growth and that the strength of the community commitment is essential. For info on the growth of public libraries during the Great Depression, please click here.