Volume 16, Number 1, March 2006

Page 1: Spotlight: Marketing | Page 2: ILA/ACRL Reports | Page 3: News
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ILA/ACRL Newsletter

Spotlight on Marketing

Last March Iowa academic librarians responded enthusiastically to the call to spotlight library instruction practices in their libraries. Based on the success of that “spotlight,” the Newsletter Committee and the Public Relations and Marketing Subcommittee of the ILA/ACRL Advocacy Committee asked librarians this year to share information on marketing and public relations programs and practices they use to promote their libraries. The committee members thank the respondents and hope that sharing our collective wisdom about library marketing will strengthen our efforts to publicize our individual libraries.

Cornell College Library
Jean Donham

"Cool @ Cole" During New Student Orientation, the library hosts an ice cream social in the library for first-year students. We serve small containers of ice cream, paid for by a local bank. The Student Affairs Office arranges the Orientation schedule so that students come by groups each hour of the afternoon. We place raffle jars around the library at various locations (circulation, reference, writing studio, technology studio, AV, etc.) Each hour we have a raffle drawing at our reference desk and encourage students to gather around to see who wins prizes. Local businesses are happy to contribute gift certificates and prizes to bring students into their stores. Library staff circulate around the library to help students experience how friendly we are.

Borrowing from baseball (and police departments) we have designed trading cards for each librarian. They have a photo of the librarian and contact information, including the departments in which we work on the front.On the back we have provided "stats"--just like real stars. Our stats include the major Dewey ranges for our departments, hobbies, favorite movie librarian, and favorite quote. Students seem to enjoy getting to know a little about us. We distribute these in classes where we teach.

An idea from the Sioux City Public Library, we ordered pens that have our library name and a window through which student see messages each time they click. We distribute these when we are teaching classes and emphasizing the research process. The messages are:

  • Where to start? Ask questions.
  • Curious? Explore and learn more.
  • Ready to focus? Refine topic.
  • What next? Dig deep & research
  • Is it good? Evaluate the info.
  • How'd it go? Reflect and assess.

At the beginning of the year, we offered a program for RAs to encourage them to guide new students on their floors toward the library. Our librarians wrote a skit--featuring Napoleon Dynamite trying to write a research paper. He finds himself making use of a librarian, a quantitative reasoning consultant, a writing consultant, a technology consultant--all in the library. In addition, we offered short break-out sessions, each featuring some resource the library has that RAs may or may not be aware of--e.g., RefWorks, JSTOR, etc. We serve food at this event as well, offered during the dinner hour.

Divine Word College
Daniel Boice

Describe the components of your library’s marketing/public relations program. None to general public.

How do you address niche markets, such as students, faculty, administrative staff, and the general public?

  • Every week, in the college's newsletter, the library has a short news item. This always includes a Trivia Contest, the correct answer to which -- using a reliable resource -- earns a gift certificate to the student coffee shop, as well as recognition in the following newsletter. We also include some item of news, whether an interesting quotation, a note about a particular resource that might be of use, or some other information. We try to construct questions of interest to particular groups of students -- Vietnamese, Caribbean, etc. The rise of Google has made this especially challenging, hence the requirement of a "reliable" resource, which sometimes allows us to discuss the merits of various websites versus the library's print and online tools. This semester, our Research & Rhetoric class is participating by writing their own questions. If we use one, it gets the student five points in the class.
  • Every fall, on the feast of St Jerome (patron saint of libraries), we have a coffee & donut social for our faculty, administrators, & staff. This serves as an opportunity for mentioning new resources of particular interest to individuals.
  • We issue a monthly listing of new books arranged by broad subject categories to faculty, depending on their disciplines. Each title includes a brief summary. Faculty may choose how they like to receive this, whether electronically or on paper or both.

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing/pr program? Nothing formal.

What resources have you found useful in creating and evaluating your program? Nothing.

In what ways does the library participate in your college/university’s marketing/pr program? Only indirectly.

Does your library participate in consortium, regional or other library marketing/pr programs? No.

Have you found the ACRL “Marketing @ Your Library” web resources to be useful? How have you used them? Not of particular value to our very small institution.

Hawkeye Community College Library
Judy Mitchell

The mission of the Hawkeye Community College Library is to promote, reinforce, and enrich teaching and learning at the College by providing high-quality information resources, services, and instruction. Various methods are used to accomplish these goals.

Communication with students and faculty members includes:

  • Articles in Hawklink, a publication sent to all students at the beginning of each semester, provide an overview of the library’s services and resources available from on and off-campus.
  • Welcome letters from the library director are sent to all new faculty members describing the library services, including bibliographic instruction opportunities.
  • A weekly article in Hawkeye Happenings, the newsletter for staff and faculty, focuses on specific resources or library services.
  • Face-to-face, small group, and whole class instruction whether at the main campus, satellite sites, or area high schools where students attend Hawkeye classes.

Participation on a wide variety of campus committees, including the President’s Council and the Curriculum Coordinating Committee, give the entire library staff opportunities to promote the library. The librarians also do in-service training sessions during staff development days on topics such as using LexisNexis Academic, advanced EBSCO searching, and more.

Library displays feature new print materials while others highlight resources for specific topics or formats. Patrons are encouraged to browse the displays and check out any of materials they find interesting.

Outreach to the community opportunities include:

  • Guided campus tours with stops in library
  • Library participation in the Boy Scouts of America’s Merit Badge College
  • Library participation in Partners in Education activities with Orange School students

Iowa State University
Dave Baldwin

Describe the components of your library’s marketing/public relations program.

  • Iowa State University Library has a library-wide representative committee established in January, 2005.
  • The committee has worked with the Dean on a donors’ newsletter called “Bookmarks”, which is distributed twice annually. Two issues have been distributed.
  • The committee has established a monthly newsletter (10 per year) that is sent electronically to all ISU faculty and staff. (approximately 8,000). Called “YourLibrary Newsletter”, it contains items from all divisions and is coordinated by the committee. As of February, there have been four issues.
  • The committee is discussing additional public relations initiatives.

How do you address niche markets, such as students, faculty, administrative staff, and the general public? Two groups targeted thus far are faculty and staff and donors. Newsletters.

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing/pr program? We do not yet have a formal means for evaluating the program.

What resources have you found useful in creating and evaluating your program? We have utilized the OCLC “Small investment – Big return” ad program to create our own ad to run in the daily student newspaper. In process.

In what ways does the library participate in your college/university’s marketing/pr program? We coordinate our efforts with the university’s Public Relations office.

Does your library participate in consortium, regional or other library marketing/pr programs? No

Have you found the ACRL “Marketing @ Your Library” web resources to be useful? How have you used them? We’ve looked at the website but have not utilized the resources. Yet. The committee members attended an ACRL Marketing Academic and Research Libraries program conducted by Ken Marks, chair of MARL.

Iowa Western Community College
Ellen Van Waart

Describe the components of your library’s marketing/public relations program. We distribute items each fall with the college library log such as pens, pencils, mini-Frisbees.

How do you address niche markets, such as students, faculty, administrative staff, and the general public? We target faculty during bibliographic instruction classes. We put a monthly news item in the college, “IWCC News”, that goes out over email. The news items contain bits about “What’s new at the IWCC library” such as new books, services, or this month a link to an online book. We publish articles in the student newspaper or recruit a student to interview us.

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing/pr program? We usually monitor responses from staff, students, and faculty.

What resources have you found useful in creating and evaluating your program?

In what ways does the library participate in your college/university’s marketing/pr program? We don’t.

Does your library participate in consortium, regional or other library marketing/pr programs? No

Have you found the ACRL “Marketing @ Your Library” web resources to be useful? How have you used them? No, but I will now. This survey makes me realize that we don’t do a very good job marketing the library. This will be a priority for us in the coming year.

Kirkwood Community Library - Iowa City
Kate Hess

Describe the components of your library's marketing/public relations program.

  • Informal marketing: The 2 full-time library employees regularly inform staff and students about library services during meetings, student seminars, and class presentations.
  • Formal marketing program: New faculty orientation presentation on library services; library website that highlights resources and services for students and faculty; bulletin board and display case outside the library which display information on various topics (e.g. voting, first amendment rights, library awareness month, etc.); brochures distributed to all faculty at the beginning of each fall semester including info on library employees, contact numbers and emails, website, database passwords, and special services and resources for faculty; semester-ly faculty newsletter which promotes and highlights a different resource and a different service with each issue; librarian presents library-related info at faculty meetings approximately 2-3 times a year.

How do you address niche markets, such as students, faculty, administrative staff, and the general public? I believe we are less pro-active with marketing to students directly. We hope that by targeting faculty to integrate libraries, research, and information literacy into their classes, that we'll reach the students. The library website is geared toward student needs, with a special page devoted to instructors. The administrative staff and general public are not really part of our marketing, or are at least secondary to students and faculty.

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing/pr program? Not formally. When flyers or newsletters are systematically given to each faculty, we note an increase in calls and emails from faculty during the following week or two, but do not keep statistics.

What resources have you found useful in creating and evaluating your program? Reading about other libraries's programs in trade magazines often gives me ideas. Online classes can be helpful in specific areas, e.g., website design.

In what ways does the library participate in your college/university's marketing/pr program? Representation in the student handbook; participation in new faculty orientation; a stop on the tour for prospective students/parents.

Does your library participate in consortium, regional or other library marketing/pr programs? Not that I know of.

Have you found the ACRL "Marketing @ Your Library" web resources to be useful? How have you used them? I have never looked at these - didn't know they existed, but will look now!

Kirkwood Community Library - Cedar Rapids
Genny Yarne

 Describe the components of your library's marketing/public relations program.

  • Bookmarks, Guidebooks, Orientations for classes.
  • By being members of certain committees the faculty/staff are made aware of the Library and its services. This has been particularly true of being on the Technology Committee.

How do you address niche markets, such as students, faculty, administrative staff, and the general public?

  • Bookmarks with Kirkwood Community College Library information on them.
  • Student Guidebooks to the Library
  • Faculty/Staff Guidebooks to the Library
  • Presentation to faculty on "Integrating the Library into Assignments" in the fall during staff days.
  • Copyright presentations to staff and faculty
  • Sponsored a session of "Put it in Writing @ Your Library," a cooperative effort of Woman's Day and ALA.
  • Bibliographic Instruction specifically designed for the individual class
  • "Ask Steve," which is designed for uninterrupted one-on-one research help. Reservations are made by the student.
  • Prepared extensive list of periodicals, monographs and online resources for the  Kirkwood Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching.
  • Prepare bibliographies for faculty.
  • Help with faculty research for advanced degrees

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing/pr program?

  • By the attendance at the session of "Put it in Writing @ Your Library." People came from all around the area.
  • By the number of requests we had for Bibliographic Instruction after the presentation in the fall, and by the number of new requests and the repeat requests for BI. By the number of questions we receive about copyright and the requests for copyright presentations for faculty/staff and students.

What resources have you found useful in creating and evaluating your program? Presentation resources, copyright information, and the information about how to use our services. References to general library theory on BI.

In what ways does the library participate in your college/university's marketing/pr program? We don't.

Does your library participate in consortium, regional or other library marketing/pr programs? We belong to the Linn County Library Consortium and so have a Consortium List of Magazines and Journals that are made available in each participating library.

Have you found the ACRL "Marketing @ Your Library" web resources to be useful? How have you used them? We haven't used any of them.

Loras College
Joyce Meldrem

Describe the components of your library’s marketing/public relations program. For this fiscal year, we had a booth at the Homecoming tailgate where we gave away Library Koozies; we’ve been posting biweekly ads in the restrooms and corresponding table tents; we gave away candy and fruit during finals week and showed movies for a break; and, like I said we’re unveiling READ posters today; we’re going to do something during National Library Week, including a survey; we publish a monthly “Must List” where we give the top 10 things that we think people ought to know about – not just library related, but also campus, community, and world related; and finally, we will do something for finals week this spring.

How do you address niche markets, such as students, faculty, administrative staff, and the general public? We’re not really concentrating on niche markets at this point – we’re just trying to garner some attention for the library. 

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing/pr program? At this point, we’re just trying to garner some attention for the library – we haven’t really tried to evaluate anything yet. Although during finals week, we did hear one comment – “The library has gotten so cool this year!” – that made us happy.

What resources have you found useful in creating and evaluating your program? 3 of us attended a “Library Marketing That Works” Workshop put on by Suzanne Walters – it was very beneficial; 2 of us also attended a workshop entitled “Brochures, Promotions and Web Sites that Work” to help get us started on some ideas.

In what ways does the library participate in your college/university’s marketing/pr program? We haven’t gotten as involved as I’d like to see us – we used the campus marketing department to help create our READ posters. We are also having a PR class come and do a project for the library this spring.

Does your library participate in consortium, regional or other library marketing/pr programs? No

Have you found the ACRL “Marketing @ Your Library” web resources to be useful? How have you used them? We’ve used them for ideas, but haven’t really used them full-blown – we don’t have an @ your library campaign.

St. Ambrose University
Mary Heinzman

Describe the components of your library’s marketing/public relations program. We have a marketing committee comprised of three library staff members that plan activities for the year and then publicize them. We also place an ad in the student newspaper on a regular basis.

How do you address niche markets, such as students, faculty, administrative staff, the general public? We don’t focus on a specific market – all of our programs, events, activities, messages go to the entire student body, faculty and staff. If we have something special that we want to advertise to the general public, we ask our campus PR department to put something in the local newspaper.

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing/pr program? We keep track of attendance at events and try to incorporate suggestions from the students, faculty, and staff in our next round of planning.

What resources have you found useful in creating and evaluating your program? We ask for feedback from attendees, either in the form of a short questionnaire after the program, or anonymous comments.

In what ways does the library participate in your college/university’s marketing/pr program? The library is used a lot as a setting for photographs for campus brochures. We send copies of all our events and programs to the campus PR department. We hand out library brochures and pens/pencils during orientations and recruitment meetings. We pattern our web site after the university’s – using the same colors, fonts, and general layout, so that there is a recognition that we go together.

Does your library participate in consortium, regional or other library marketing/pr programs? We participate in the Prairie Area Library System marketing programs. We use some of their group advertising materials, participate in group programs (like All Quad Cities READS, or other reading programs), and send a representative to the consortium marketing planning meetings.

Have you found the ACRL “Marketing @ Your Library” web resources to be useful? How have you used them? We have used some of them. The booklet they put out on marketing for academic libraries has been useful in helping us get organized and plan events.

Vennard College
Davida M. Sabine

Describe the components of your library’s marketing/public relations program. I’m new, but I don’t think we have one.

How do you address niche markets, such as students, faculty, administrative staff, and the general public? N/A

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing/pr program? We have student, faculty/staff, parent, and alumni surveys that are conducted annually to evaluate the overall library (size of collection, adequacy of collection, hours, staff).

What resources have you found useful in creating and evaluating your program? I’ve never thought about it.

In what ways does the library participate in your college/university’s marketing/pr program? Potential students and their parents are given a tour of the library when they visit campus.

Does your library participate in consortium, regional or other library marketing/pr programs? I’ve been trying to do whatever IPAL and Open Access ask of me. Does that count?

Have you found the ACRL “Marketing @ Your Library” web resources to be useful? How have you used them? I’ve never been to that site. Sorry.

Waldorf College
Jim Kapoun

The reality is that in today’s complex information environment, we have a greater responsibility to communicate the resources and expertise our libraries and librarians provide on our campuses and in society. The goal of the LVH marketing plan is to raise awareness of the library and its services and promote the study and classroom space to the academic and local area community. Working on a limited budget the library staff must find creative and simple solutions to achieve these goals. Outlined below are the objectives and projects the LVH Library will conduct in 2005-2006. In May 2006 the library staff will asses all activities and evaluate their use for the coming academic year.

Web Promotion : The LVH Library web site will create an exhibition hall that will outline events (both national and local) for the campus. It will be the conduit for bibliographies and on line resources that students and community visitors can access. This exhibition hall will be linked on the front page and updated weekly. Along with the exhibition hall the web site will have a special section on “about the library.” This section will contain the usual basic information about the library and services along with highlight and information on scheduled events. A counter will highlight the page giving weekly reports on gate count and library visitors. A link to new acquisitions will be provided on almost every page.

Scheduled Events: The LVH Library will host and sponsor 6 events over the 2005-2006 academic year. Providing the space and refreshments for each event.

  • October 10, 2005 : The Library Dedication ceremony
  • November 2005: Faculty Forum: Intelligent Design
  • December 2005: Children’s book Reading from Creative Writing Class
  • February 2006: Faculty Forum: Foundation grants
  • March 2006: Library Lecture Series: The generation gap in education
  • April 2006: Open House Ice Cream Social and Book Sale

Newsletters and E-mail: The LVH Library will publish six times a year a newsletter called Bibliotek for faculty and staff. The format will be electronic and an e-mail reminder with a link will be sent. The newsletter will be posted on the library web site; information for faculty and students. Bibliotek will highlight databases and new acquisitions and provide information on integrating library resources into the classroom.

Students will receive Luise Notes once a month during the academic year through campus e-mail. This e-mail will contain information on resources and up coming events.

Promotional Items: The LVH Library will set aside an amount of money to be determined in the budget review for promotional items. They include:

  • Handouts include: Bookmark, Library Map, information on faculty research center, library instruction program, the coffee club, and Luise V. Hanson biographical information
  • Pens, Pencils, Post-It-Notes with Luise V. Hanson imprint, available at circulation desk
  • Special Luise V. Hanson buttermints available at the circulation desk and for all outside conferences and events.
  • Mouse Pads with Luise V. Hanson logo at all computer terminals, available for sale $1.00
  • Luise V. Hanson Mugs available as gifts to guests and part of the Coffee Club promotion. For $25 , $10 for students each person receives a mug and a gift certificate to the Java City Coffee Shop; helps support book budget.
  • A Luise V. Hanson full size banner with logo and stand will be displayed and used in special campus events.
  • Polo shirts for the staff with logo imprint.
  • Raffle at the ice cream social LVH items which will include an IPOD, book bags, and mugs.

Campus Events: The library will fully in gage in any campus events or promotions. We provide special gift packets for prospective students and potential new hires to the college. We will coordinate through campus planning and events.

Wartburg College
Kim Babcock Mashek

At the being of the 2005-2006 academic year, we started as new marketing/public relations campaign at Wartburg College due to the dramatic change in the look of our library’s web page. We decide that a great marketing tool to add to our web page was a rotating banner of READ posters. During the faculty workshop meeting before fall semester, as a library staff we displayed ALA READ posters and encouraged faculty to pick a favorite book to pose with for a poster. We received a fair amount of interest and have had at least ten faculty and staff members pose for READ posters. We even were able to have Wartburg College president Dr. Jack Ohle and his wife Kris pose for the pictures. Due to this marketing campaign we have had a renewed interest by faculty members in the library. Also students and organizations have posed for the posters because they want one for their dorm room or want to increase the visibility of their campus organization. Some faculty and faculty members have taken multiple pictures for READ posters because they love the poster idea. We feel that the posters have added something fun and different to our web page and have been a great marketing tool to reach out to faculty, staff and students.

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