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Posts Tagged ‘library marketing’

Yesterday, a few co-workers and myself, were saying goodbyes to another who was leaving the firm to pursue a degree in political science and work for a campaign. The topic of demographics and statistics came up and it got me thinking. How often do public libraries use public demographics/statistics and/or ask for statistics from political parties? Could this data prove useful? Politicians use this data to determine where to campaign and where a certain percentage of voters typically live.  Depending on the county, city, district, area, etc., library funds are often voted on by the people and/or decided by a governing board;  knowing as much as possible about the people in the community has unknown value. A basic identity can be uncovered and some collections can then be geared towards that. However, the library would have to market the changes appropriately. Just as a politician goes door to door, sends out mailers, and has voices in neighborhoods speaking on their behalf- so too should the library.

I understand that many libraries use this type of data but to what extent? Most certainly do not go as deep as politicians. Politicians employ specialist in organizing this data and lining it up with a campaign plan. Librarians though are armed with a skill set that would make tackling such an endeavor simple. A phone call to a local official  would be a good start. The library wants to reach out to the people and an elected official would want the same. Perhaps the library could set up an appointment with the official’s campaign manager or a specialists from their campaign. It’s a win-win situation and most importantly a win for the public.

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Pt. 1 The Library Wastes Time

Westlaw has confirmed the mishap in advertising/marketing and issued an apology. Obviously their “library relations” should have nothing but good intentions. However this lack of judgment will create anti-westlaw fodder for years to come. Many librarians have made their voices heard on the law-lib forum;  will the library community respond en masse or will this simply be another story we hash over at librarian happy hours? Is this battle worth picking?

Personally, I have a career in librarianship of which I am proud. I  explain and stand up for librarianship in the professional workplace and in my personal life. And to have a major vendor, that shares such a heavy and important relationship with the librarian community, put out an ad that degrades my profession and value is upsetting and disheartening. In the end, there is someone at Westlaw who believes that anyone who knows my first name is being afforded a disservice.

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