I have been giving a lot of thought recently to marketing my small library’s services and resources on our campus and our role within the overall college community. I think that most of the students recognize me as the librarian and then one day I get a wake up call in the form of a student assuming that one of my older student workers is the librarian.
So it seems clear that we can do more (and do it more effectively) to get the word out about what we offer and expand our role within the campus realm. To that end I put in a request and have just become one of the three administrators to our campus Facebook page. That will allow me to reach out to students through a site many of them already use. The trick will be to up the number of fans we have for our page.
Which is another level of marketing. I have been doing more with posters around campus but for students who don’t spend a lot of time in the building, these aren’t too effective so I’ve been musing about emails and Adobe Connect and other online avenues.
I just read Cruise to Success: How to Steer Your Way Through the Murky Waters of Marketing Your Library by Loreen S. Phillips (2009) and one of the tips was to make sure the library is included in fairs held for students on campus. We have a number of events on campus and I suppose I haven’t taken the full opportunities these may present to explain the library to students. But a few weeks ago we had State Fair Week and I jumped right in (albeit in a non-traditional sort of way).
I volunteered for the dunk tank.
Well, to be honest, I was asked and grudgingly said yes after the coordinator told me proceeds would go to the local animal shelter.
But the dunk tank was a great experience. It really helped to foster a sense of community on campus between students in different programs and terms, between academics and administration, and the barker call “Step right up, dunk a librarian!” really got the crowd going.
The dunk tank got my face and position out there – and maybe it broke down some barriers. I figure a librarian can’t be as intimidating after you’ve seen her drop into a tank of water and bob back up dripping. It’s marketing the library – in a non-traditional space.