Thursday, January 20, 2005

OCLC's Library Advocacy Campaign

OCLC is in the midst of an advertising campaign on behalf of libraries. The campaign is "aimed at library budget decision-makers. The 12-18 month campaign consists of a series of national print ads and customizable, local posters."

The ads will run in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Educase Review, and Governing magazine.

There is also a poster that public libraries can customize for local use. There's nothing equivalent for academic libraries.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Marketing Is Key to Success of Virtual Reference

The article "Virtual Reference: Alive & Well" by Brenda Bailey-Hainer (Library Journal, 1/15/05) points to examples of statewide virtual reference collaborations that are thriving.

One of the examples she cites is Ohio's own KnowItNow, a coperative 24 x 7 reference service which serves the entire state.

The key to a successful service, these statewide-cooperatives agree, is marketing.

Even natural users like teens need to know virtual reference service exists. All collaborative services agree that effective marketing is essential. Targeted marketing, implemented in a planned, consistent, and creative manner through a single coordinated effort, can pump up the volume of questions. Collaboratives that focus on marketing and brand a single service with a single logo statewide have the opportunity for far more exposure than a service provided and marketed by a single institution [for more on branding, see "Target Your Brand," Library Journal 8/04, p. 32]. The placement of a service's logo on every library's web site, with coverage in the local media and newspapers, has a huge impact on the volume of usage.

Other ways successful cooperatives mentioned in the article have marketed their service include: holding a media conference to promote the service, getting coverage in local press, adding a link to the front page of the state government web site, and distributing promotional materials (e.g. temporary tattoos and refrigerator magnets) in local schools.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Interesting Article: Delivering the News with Blogs

Library Link of the Day pointed to an interesting article yesterday, entitled "Delivering the News with Blogs: The Georgia State University Library Experience." The article is a preprint. The actual article will be published in Internet Reference Services Quarterly, Volume 10, issue 1 with expected publication in March 2005.

From the abstract:
To deliver information about library news, services and resources to the science faculty and students at Georgia State University, several librarians developed a blog, Science News. Despite the increasing popularity of blogs (or weblogs), few libraries have taken advantage of what they offer. Blogs can be updated easily, frequently and continuously, making them an appealing alternative to static newsletters.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Monitoring Online Communications: Find Out What's Being Written About Your Library

I'll admit it, I'm a latecomer to using automatic, online monitoring tools. I read about PubSub, Google Alerts and other online communications monitoring tools some time ago, but I didn't try any of them out.

If you haven't used any of these, they help you monitor news stories, stories about your library (or blog, business, yourself, etc.), stories about your competition, etc and inform you when something new is posted. Some tools will e-mail you when new hits are found for your search, others offer RSS feeds of new results. I recently set up some PubSub feeds, which resulted in finding some stories that mention OhioLINK that I would never have found otherwise.

If you want a more in-depth look an online monitoring tools, see Robin Good's post on online tracking tools. Or just give one of these tools a try and you'll quickly understand their value.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

It's a Bird! It's a Plane! No, It's Super Librarian!

Super Librarian just appeared on my radar. Apparently the New Jersey State Library launched a statewide marketing campaign using the Super Librarian theme last September. Nice artwork.

From the press release:
The campaign was created by Parker and Partners Marketing Resources of Absecon, NJ. It is centered around a television commercial airing on cable networks throughout the state. Launching the campaign in September coincides with the American Library Association’s National Library Card Sign-Up Month. Other campaign elements include posters featuring the “Super Librarian” character, a new web page ( for the public to connect to their local library’s website, signage and promotional items.
[Link via Library Hotline 12/13/04]

ALA's National Library Week 2005 Materials

I stumbled upon ALA's materials for National Library Week 2005. NLW will be held April 10-16 and it's never too early to start planning. Go to ALA's site for a sample proclamation, resolution, press release, public service announcements, a letter to the editor and an op-ed piece.