Saturday, October 09, 2004

Colleges Focus on Marketing

I saw a link to this article in The News & Observer on Steven Bell's Kept-Up Academic Librarian some weeks ago, but just now had a chance to get back to it. The article discusses how colleges and universities are focusing on marketing.

I think many of the observations and statements found in this article can also apply to libraries, especially academic libraries. For instance:

The idea that universities should be packaged and sold like a corporate product seems a bit tawdry to some in higher education.

This is certainly a sentiment I've heard expressed. I've also heard concerns that if libraries adopt techniques used by for-profit businesses, like marketing, they'll become associated with many of the same negatives as those same businesses. It doesn't have to be that way at all.

"It's not about standing on top of a mountain with a megaphone shouting to the people down below about how good you are," said Steve Farmer, senior associate director of admissions at UNC-Chapel Hill. "You need to ask them first what kind of school they think you are. It's not always easy to hear what people think of you, but it's how you learn."

Ready for more? Read the article.

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