Thursday, August 14, 2008

Don't Market Like a Librarian

Photo be gwENvision.

I've been participating in a lively discussion this week about how marketing is changing in our Connected Age and how this is impacting LIBRARIANS.

I have to admit, as a kid, there was no love lost between me and my school librarian. She was:
  • A "know it all!"
  • ALWAYS TOO BUSY to explain the details of the Dewey Decimal System to me.
  • Saying SHHHHHHHH!
Librarians out there, don't kill me. I know you are not all created equal. The picture I'm painting is a stereotype. Still, it's worth noting that this caricature of the stern, perfectionist, disengaged, expert IS something that librarians and libraries have to contend with. I suggest reframing the job and adding a few new responsibilities for today.
Dear Librarians:
  • Instead of being the GATEKEEPERS of information, be a trusted GUIDE for my data collection and exchange.
  • Talk to me. Be willing and ready to ENGAGE me in dialogue via e-mail, social media, and in person.
  • SHARE your love of books.
  • INSPIRE me to share my knowledge with others and LEARN more.

P.S. These tips aren't only for librarians. They're for everyone who wants to be a better marketer, but you knew that!


Alexandria Arnold said...

Jocelyn, Come back! Things have changed!!!

But you bring up a great point (and more fodder for my next blog post; thank you very much!) - how do
libraries effectively reach out and market to people who have had too many close encounteres of
the shushing kind in their childhood?

roihunters said...

Last year I was asked to give a pitch to a local library on a web site face lift. I walked in with a marketing plan which the director loved, but the board rejected due to cost. It's not always the librarians that are the problem.