Saturday, July 30, 2005

Writer Says Library Databases Are Useful, But Hard to Find

Check out the positive article on using the library's online databases, "Google Isn't Everything" by Stephen Manes on

Manes warns of the most common complaint with library databases:

"None of these databases is perfect, since most were initially designed for trained librarians rather than mere flailing mortals, so the user interfaces can be daunting until you get the hang of them."

Manes also calls for libraries to do a better job of promoting their online resources:

My biggest complaint is that some libraries' Web sites don't detail the amazing range of services they offer online until you cough up a card number. Memo to those insular institutions: Put the info in the shop windows out front and I bet you'll see a lot more card-carrying customers walking through the electronic doors.

This isn't the first time we've heard this (see advice from Gary Price in this article) and it won't be the last. Even if you have a link on your home page about your library's electronic resources, you still need to repeat your promotional messages seven times for users to start noticing. [Thanks to ResourceShelf for the tip]

ALA Announces 2006 National Library Week Grant

ALA recently announced the 2006 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant. The $5,000 grant will be awarded to the single library with the best public awareness campaign incorporating the official campaign theme 'Change Your World @ your library' during NLW 2006 (April 2-8, 2006).

All types of libraries and library organizations are welcome to apply. See ALA's press release for complete details.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Merchandising the Library In NJ

Interested about incorporating merchandising tactics in the library? Learn from the experiences of Mount Laurel Library, New Jersey. (Thanks to ALA's PRTALK list for the tip).

Also see the article "Retail Interior Layout for Libraries" by Christie Koontz in Marketing Library Services (January/February 2005).

Speaking the Same Language

Podcasting, RSS, and phishing. What do these terms have in common? According to a July 2005 Pew Internet & American Life Project report, most people have no idea what any of these terms mean. The fact that podcasting and RSS are not understood doesn't come as a surprise, but with all the media attention the topic of identity theft is getting, I was surprised that only 29% of American Internet users "have a good idea" of the meaning of phishing.

How do you think library jargon would fare in a similar study?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Need ideas? Check out the gallery!

Need ideas for fall promotions? Want to see marketing tactics from other academic libraries? Then the OhioLINK Idea Gallery is the place for you. Now the Gallery has even more ideas and inspiration. We (meaning the OhioLINK Marketing Task Force) recently added a ton of new pieces including bookmarks, flyers, posters, brochures, promotional products and more.

I'm especially fond of the large array of Research posters that many OhioLINK libraries have created and produced themselves. You can see some of them here. If only ALA Graphics would offer posters that feature celebrities and a message thats relevant for academic libraries, like research. Wouldn't that interest academic libraries nationwide more than the current Read posters? Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking the Read posters, they're well done. But academic libraries need a different message than "Read."