‘Tis the Season: Professional Development Opportunity

Christmas trees made out of books, elevator speeches, and soundbites? These are just a few ideas shared by Kathy Dempsey, Consultant and Owner of Libraries Are Essential, in a workshop, What Accidental Library Marketers Need to Know”, held on December 8th at the New York Metropolitan Reference and Research Library Agency. Ms. Dempsey enthusiastically outlined key terms and definitions in marketing, focusing on the 4 P’s (product, price, place, and promotion) and the importance of conducting SWOT analysis (a review of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats). She presented the “true cycle of marketing”, with recommended strategies, tools, and communication skills for librarians to develop programs, services, and/or collections.

Ringing true, action items for all those who work in libraries — and in whatever particular line of work –include:

Asking what our customers want.

Understanding what marketing is.

Separating people into target markets and treating the groups differently.

Studying the people who make up our user base.

Evaluating the results of programs and campaigns and applying data to improve future efforts.

Using word of mouth to seek out ideas, responses, reactions –- without using library jargon that is bound to confuse!

More information can be found in Dempsey’s eponymous book (Information Today, 2009).