Tips and Instructions
Read instructions on this page before starting the modules OR use the
Frequently Asked Questions to find the best place to start for specific library marketing
FAQs: What and why?
FAQs: Marketing plans, audits or research?
FAQs: Best promotions and products?
FAQs: Value of public relations, press releases, branding,
FAQs: Web marketing design, usability, accessibility?
More Ohio library training:
Orientation for New Staff and
Ohio Reference Excellence on the Web
from Ohio Library Council.
Ohio Library Council: Educational Opportunities
E-Learning Clearinghouse from WebJunction
Library 2.0, social software, online communities, more library users! New marketing trends and resources:
Consider when planning to market: more than half of Americans visit libraries! Young generations
are most likely to visit to solve problems.
Results of a Pew Internet &
American Life survey "challenge the assumption that libraries are losing relevance in the internet age. Libraries
drew visits by more than half of Americans (53%) in the past year for all kinds of purposes."
"Young adults in tech-loving Generation Y (age 18-30) led the pack. Compared to their elders, Gen Y members were the
most likely to use libraries for problem-solving information and in general patronage for any purpose. Furthermore,
it is young adults who are the most likely to say they will use libraries in the future when they encounter problems:
40% of Gen Y said they would do that, compared with 20% of those above age 30 who say they would go to a library."
(Report of IMLS-funded project with University of Illinois -Urbana-Champaign and the Pew Internet & American Life,
A good market plan will consider where users go for information.
The 2008 Digital Future Project Report shows the average number of hours users spend online has increased to 15.3 hours per week. 16% of Internet users said they go online to find or check a fact at least daily, while 7% of users go online daily or more often to look up the definition of a word. The Internet is perceived by 80% of users age 17 and older to be a more important source of information than television, radio, newspapers, and books.
PEW Reports: Online Activities and Pursuits finds that 62% of all Americans are part of a wireless, mobile population that participates in digital activities away from home or work.
Online communities continue to grow, affecting user expectations and offering new marketing opportunities.
According to The 2008 Digital Future Project Report, membership in online communities has more than doubled in only three years. 54% log into their community at least once a day. 71% of members said their community is very important or extremely important to them. 40% say they use the Internet at least monthly to participate in such communities. 87% of online community members are participating in social causes that are new to them. A PEW Internet report Teens, Privacy and Online Social Networks reports "How teens manage their online identities and personal information in the age of MySpace."
How do libraries use Library 2.0? News, ideas, resources, blogs
"Library 2.0 is all about library users - keeping those we have while actively seeking those who do not currently use our services. It's about embracing those ideas and technologies that can assist libraries in delivering services to these groups, and it's about participation - involving users in service creation and evaluation." Library 2.0 Reading List, created by Jenny Levine and Michael Stephens for the Library 2.0 course for ALA with the Otter Group.
Need ideas? 100 Free Library 2.0 Webinars and Tutorials, "Webinars, presentations, and tutorials designed to help you take your library to the next level." Created by Jessica Merritt.
Comprehensive list of resource links for Library 2.0 and the new technologies: "New Technologies in Libraries", definitions, best practices, presentations for blogs, RSS, wikis, folksonomy, tagging, library catalog 2.0, multimedia, Flickr, Podcasting, You-Tube, social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook), virtual worlds (Second Life), Web 2.0, Library 2.0. [Megan Fox, Simmons, February 2008.]
Track library bloggers for new ideas:
Information Wants To Be Free
The Librarian in Black
The Shifted Librarian
Tame the Web
New Ways to Market
New Ways of Delivering Service: Blogs and
Ian Baaske, North Suburban Library System, March 31, 2006.
Librarymarketing.blogspot.com covers current marketing ideas and issues,
has great resource links and lists relevant blog categories.
What's Marketing Got to Do with It? Marketing trends present librarians with promising opportunities. "Open source" marketing involves customers. Ideas for using blogs, RSS, podcasts, wikis, messaging, etc. for interactive marketing. Jill Stover Oct 25, 2006. At WebJunction.
To get some good ideas (and see how wikis and blogs work to allow cooperative building of information
sites), look at a library blogs list on the
Wiki or a list of librarian and library blogs with links to
individual, library, organizational, medical, and other topical library blogs.
Podcasting - Library Success: A Best
31 Flavors - Things to Do With Flickr in Libraries. P. F. Anderson, Aug 1, 2007, on WebJunction
Planning marketing, services, and web sites
PLA offers an online course
New Planning for Results: A Streamlined Approach. Emphasized are 13
library service priorities - the products that libraries market.
Library Use Value Calculator, a calculator worksheet provided by the Maine
State Library which can be used to determine your library's worth to your community.
The State of Rhode Island Office of Library and
Information Services has
Public Library Website
Guidelines with essential and suggested information categories for the home page, about pages, programs and
services, and reference and research pages. Design guidelines and accessibility resources are included.
Web Marketing Information Center commercial site with annotated guide to online articles about web marketing. Search the collection or browse by topic:
Promoting Your Website
Search Engine Techniques
Promotions, advocacy, public relations
Getting on Your Community's Leadership Team (an excerpt from "The Library Board Strategic Guide: Going to the Next Level") explains why a library should be part of its community's leadership and planning team - and how to get started in that direction. Ellen G. Miller and Patricia H. Fisher Jul 10, 2007 on WebJunction.
OhioLINK's Online Swap N' Shop Idea Gallery is an
"inspirational collection of promotional and publicity materials from OhioLINK libraries. Each item in the gallery is
the property of the library that created it; please contact the appropriate library for permission to reproduce
materials." Contents include
-Blogs & News Sites
-Brochures, Guides & Pamphlets
-Flyers, Banners & Signs
-Marketing Plans & Other Planning Docs
-Market Research Tools
-Newsletters & Columns
-Videos & Virtual Tours
Display ideas at Library Success: A Best Practices Wiki.
Market Segments: Generations and Diversity
"What Would Madison Avenue Do? Marketing to Teens", Anastasia Goodstein, School Library Journal, 5/1/2008. Before we consider the best strategies to attract Generation Y, it’s essential to understand how its members use social media. Teens expect content on demand - on their favorite devices. That’s changed the way marketing professionals evaluate (and present) media.
-Teens are multitaskers.
-Teens prefer byte-sized entertainment.
-Teens expect content on demand.
-Teens want to participate.
-Enlist teens to manage your social media.
-Don’t try too hard to be cool.
-Know your audience, different age groups use the web differently.
-Don’t sweat the design, but sites should addresses kids’ fundamental needs.
-Support causes that kids care about.
-Use text messaging and IM, but only if requested.
-The best way to discover teen trends is to ask them!
Getting Ready to Market the Library to Culturally Diverse Communities:
A step-by-step recipe for reaching out to immigrant communities and others,
by Yolanda J. Cuesta and Gail McGovern. In Alki: The Washington Library
Association Journal, Mar 1, 2002.
for Change: Libraries and Productive Aging
The Alternative Teen Services blog offers YA ideas and the
Library Success Wiki maintains the
Library 2.0 Services to Teens - Best Practices, lists of public libraries that use
technologies such as blogs, Flickr, podcasts, vodcasts, and RSS to connect with teens.
Eight key realities of the Millennial generation,
ALA TechSource Blog post of CIL keynote address highlights by Lee Rainie
from Pew Internet and American Life
UI Current LIS Clips:
Digital Native or
Digital Immigrant. March 2006. Compiled and annotated by Marianne
Steadley. Digital native or digital immigrant? Different
generations have different styles of getting and using information. Ease
with technology is one outstanding difference. "Millennials, also known as
Generation Y, the Net Generation, the Digital Generation, the Echo Boom
generation were born during the period of about 1980 – 2001 and are in our
schools, universities, and recently have entered adulthood. And while only
the youngest of this Millennial generation, sometimes known as Generation
Z, have been surrounded by digital technology from infancy, the others
have grown up and have extensive experience with the web and other
technologies. These “digital natives” often pose a challenge to
librarians, many of whom are Boomers or Generation X and are “digital
The Library of Congress'
guide has, "books and other resources that discuss marketing to particular
segments of the population along with other sources that are important in
determining the size and power of a particular market segment." It includes
generational, ethnic, geographic and other segments.
Technologies and trends for marketing and market research
"Surveying the Digital Future: Digital Future Report," surveys Internet usage, including broadband at home, the wireless Internet, on-line media, user-generated content, and social networking. Center for the Digital Future at the USC Annenberg School.
PEW Internet & American Life Project explores the impact of the internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life.
Nielsen/NetRatings, Internet media and market research.
Technology topics of interest for library marketing in Library Technology Reports:
"Gaming and Libraries: Broadening the Intersections" in Library Technology Reports, April 2008 (44:3), by Jenny Levine.
"Drupal in Libraries" in Library Technology Reports, May/June 2008 (44:4), by Andy Austin and Christopher Harris.
"Libraries and the Mobile Web" in Library Technology Reports, July 2008 (44:5), by Ellyssa Kroski.
"Open-Source Software for Libraries" in Library Technology Reports, May/Jun 2007 (43:3), by Casey Bisson.
"Next-Gen Catalogs" in Library Technology Reports, Jul/Aug 2007 (43:4), by Marshall Breeding.
"Web 2.0 & Libraries, Part 2: Trends and Technologies" in Library Technology Reports, Sep/Oct 2007 (43:5), by Michael Stephens.
"Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Software" in Library Technology Reports, Jul/Aug 2006 (42:4), by Michael Stephens.
Resources - bibliographies
Good places to start for resource links about library
marketing. Also see list of new links and trends, on this page.
The OhioLink Marketing Toolkit for academic libraries
contains customizable promotional materials, a collection of best practices, a communication plan workbook, and a
list of additional resources, many suitable for public libraries as well!
Start with a good checklist! Maine
Library Association Public Library Standard for marketing and advocacy has an outstanding series of checklists for library marketing assessment.
Comprehensive marketing and planning tutorials from the Free Management Library, "a complete integrated online library for nonprofits." Includes perspectives on strategic planning processes, developing the mission and vision, environmental scanning, marketing and advertising, etc. Search their broad categories.
Knowthis.com has complete marketing tutorials, trends, terms, with RSS feeds.
Two industry standard sources: Advertising Age - established industry publication with useful links, special reports, and breaking news (Crain Communications) and Advertising World - Univ. of Texas advertising department provides a collection of links to advertising and marketing information in 81+ categories.
Library User Surveys on the Web and resource links for Research Methods: Tutorials, Textbooks, Surveys, Focus Groups, from Library Research Service.
American Library Association. Advocacy and Issues resources.
Library System: New Pathways to Planning has materials for writing a library plan.
North Suburban Library System's Marketing Section with a wide variety of tips and
Library Media &
PR offers many marketing tools for the library.
Resources - Glossaries
Suggested for definitions of marketing terms
Glossary of Marketing
Definitions from IFLA, Section on Management and Marketing, 1998, Work in Progress.
Definitions extracted and revised into library related terminology from Dictionary of
Marketing Terms, second ed., edited by Peter D. Bennett, published in conjunction with
American Marketing Association, Chicago, IL, USA; and NTC Publishing Group: Lincolnwood,
IL, USA, 1995. Definitions from other sources are referenced.
KnowThis.com's Marketing Terms & Definitions defines terms and links the term to more information within their Principles of Marketing Tutorials.
Internet Marketing Dictionary from marketingterms.com, includes these categories: advertising metrics; advertising
specifications; affiliate marketing; business and ebusiness; content and community;
controversial marketing; domain names; email marketing; free web site promotion; linking
strategy; online advertising; search engine marketing; web design and marketing.
Add library jargon to marketing jargon, and you may need a source for definitions of buzzwords. Try
The Buzzword Compliant Dictionary from BuzzWhack.com. Buzzword is
humorously defined as "a usually important-sounding word or phrase used primarily to impress laypersons."
Marketing, advertising, and public relations industries apparently produce an impressive percentage of new business
Contact hours for Renewal of Ohio Public Librarian Certification are approved for this tutorial. OLC’s three online tutorials qualify for recertification under Category C: Self-directed Continuing Education Activities. The Orientation tutorial may be credited for 3 contact hours. ORE on the WEB and Marketing may be credited for 6 contact hours each. All three online programs include a Certificate of Completion. Librarians who wish to use the online classes for recertification credit should download the certificate, print it, have their supervisor sign it to verify the course has been completed, and include it with their recertification application.
The purpose of Marketing the Library is to introduce Ohio public library staff to
marketing concepts, emphasizing the process of preparing a marketing plan.
1. New hires who have completed the OLC Orientation.
2. Staff new to marketing.
3. Those needing a review.
5. Anyone interested in marketing in Ohio libraries.
Description of the Modules
One-page summaries of Modules 1-5 are found on the review pages of each module: Overview, Planning, Product,
Promotion, Internet. Module 6
illustrates marketing concepts with Ohio examples, and
supplements the instructional material of the other modules.
Start with an overview: What is library marketing? Why do libraries need
to market? What's a marketing plan?
Summary or Intro.
Planning is the key! Are market plans & market research needed?
What's the process? How are plans developed?
Summary or Intro.
Products users want: What "products" do libraries market? How
do users decide what products are valuable to them?
Summary or Intro.
Promotion strategies: What are the best promotion strategies? What works
best for different services?
Summary or Intro.
Internet marketing: What role does the Web play in marketing libraries?
What works best for marketing?
Summary or Intro.
Ohio library marketing: How do public libraries in Ohio market and
- FAQs (frequently asked questions) lead to specific pages within the
modules, pages that are the most requested by site visitors. The FAQ links provide appropriate
alternate entry points for visitors looking for information on a specific topic.
- The recommended FAQ "answer" pages have content that explains a specific marketing
concept. Based on individual needs, trainees can then choose to continue to the next
page of the module, use suggested links to a related page, or investigate an appropriate
external resource. This encourages multiple paths through the training content.
- Material on most pages is followed by an exercise. Links, photos, and other supplemental
information are in the right sidebar.
- A review and quiz follow Modules 1-5. Module 6 has examples of the concepts using Ohio
library marketing ideas.
Self-Pacing: Work with Your Supervisor
- If you are completing this training for your library, discuss your plans to complete the
modules with your supervisor or the person who will review exercises and quizzes with you.
- Work through one module at a time. Do the exercises. Let it sink in. Work through the
module again if everything is new, and you need more time with the material. Go to the
next module only when you feel ready. If you need a quick glance back at an earlier
module, use the links in the left sidebar or at the top of the page.
Where to Start?
- Work through all modules in order if you're new, or jump to the modules you need as a
- The modules have unique names and colors. Use left sidebar menus within a module and use
the navigation bars at the top of the page to change modules.
- Side menus have arrows to indicate pages, and "you are here" page names are
provided at the top and bottom of module pages.
- Use the Site Index to see a list of all module contents or to
find your way back to a specific page from an earlier module.
1. Get an overview of the material before assigning any modules.
- Read module review pages for a summary of each module, then decide if your trainee needs
to complete all modules. Needs won't be the same for all trainees.
- After reading the review pages or scanning the modules, you can determine if you want to
coordinate the module material with other training or supplement it with information
specific to your library.
2. Consider the trainee's learning style.
- Does that person learn things quickly and absorb a lot of new material in a short time
or does the person need to learn a little bit at a time to thoroughly grasp new ideas?
- Does the trainee work best alone or should a co-worker be assigned to answer questions
and provide support?
- Does the trainee have enough experience to work through the module to the end or will it
be best to have the trainee check with you at intervals that you determine when you read
through the exercises?
- If you are unfamiliar with the trainee's learning style, suggest that they do the first
module without a specific time limit to find out what pace will work the best for them.
3. Consider specific training needs and how you would like to use the modules.
- How many? Do you want your trainee to do one, two, or all of the modules? This depends
on your knowledge of the trainee's skills, your expectations and needs, and the time
- Over what period of time? Very new employees may take longer or have more questions
about basic library procedures. Each module can be scanned and read in an hour, but to
visit the links, do the exercises, and absorb the material will take much longer. It will
be a better training experience if the trainee isn't expected to cover the material of one
module at one sitting. Completing all the modules may work better if done one per week, or
every other week.
- In what order? All six modules work well in sequence, but you might have a special need
for assigning them in a different order.
- For specific concepts only? FAQs on this page link
directly to a module page that covers the concept involved. Trainees can then choose to
continue to the next page of the module, or use suggested links to another page or outside
- At what level or learning track? Someone who already has experience may just need a
refresher and would not benefit from the exercises. You might ask that trainee to scan the
contents of the necessary modules and discuss with you the review and quiz sections only.
4. Participate in the training.
- Your trainee is requested to ask you throughout the modules and exercises how the
presented concepts work specifically in your library.
- At the end of each module, the trainee will complete a quiz to give you along with the
completed module exercises. There are no answer sheets for the quizzes. Answers can be
found in the modules, except for questions with answers that are specific to your library.
It is recommended that you allow the trainees to treat the quizzes as "open
book" tests for immediate feedback and reinforcement.
- Discussing the quizzes with the trainee is your way to assess whether or not the trainee
is ready to go on to another module or needs to review.
Copyright, credits, and permissions
Instructional content copyright OLC 2000-2008. Photos, graphics or images not credited to a specific library are copyright Deana Noack. Photos of libraries are the property of the respective credited libraries. Contact Ohio Library Council for permission to make any changes in printed or
Marketing the Library was created for web-based staff training in Ohio libraries.
The project was commissioned by the Ohio Library Foundation with
financial support provided by the Drew Carey Fund and appears on this web site through a
cooperative agreement with the Ohio Library Council.
Project consulting for original development, annual updating and revised content, instructional design, and web design by Deana Noack Web Design, edited by Jennyann Noack.
Libraries featured in the Ohio module (Euclid, Massillon, PLSJ, WCPL) responded to a call for ideas. Thank you for your materials,
outstanding efforts, and cooperation! Other library ideas and links were a result of
Internet research, with a follow-up request by email for permission to use any photos.
Sites were chosen to fit the concepts of the modules, on a random basis, to get an
assortment of libraries around the state.