I had a great time presenting my session, Marketing & PR Skills for Friends at the recent annual Friends of South Carolina Libraries conference held online and in Mt. Pleasant, SC, at the Wando/Mt. Pleasant Branch Library of the Charleston County Public Library System. You can join FOSCL as an individual member or your Friends Group can join! Learn more at our membership information page.
In my presentation, I talk about how you don’t have to be a graphic designer, webmaster, or user experience designer to effectively promote and market your friends of the library group events, but it is a good idea to have a basic marketing plan and to know a few other basics before you get started promoting your next book sale or other membership events. I also reviewed many additional resources to get your Friends group pointed in the right direction.
From email marketing to social media, this presentation has a lot of points that will get your friends group thinking about creating a marketing plan if there already isn’t one. After my session, there were about 20 minutes of comments and questions! It was great hearing about different scenarios and best practices for promoting friends groups within the communities they serve.
If your friends of the library group is interested in having a 1-hour webinar on this topic, feel free to contact me to set it up! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Screenshot courtesy Jonathan Haupt, Executive Director of the Pat Conroy Literary Center.
Join me on Saturday, March 26, 2022, for the Annual Friends of South Carolina Libraries (FOSCL) Conference (online or in Mt. Pleasant, SC). Registration is $25 for onsite and $15 for online.
I will be giving a presentation all about marketing and PR silks for Friends groups. You don’t have to be a graphic designer, webmaster, or user experience designer to effectively promote and market your friends of the library group events, but it is a good idea to have a basic marketing plan and to know a few basics before you get started promoting your next book sale or other membership event.
Visit the FOSCL event registration page to see a full agenda and sign up today!
Register today for the FREE online SE Collaborative Conference – March 15-17, 2022
I am happy to announce I will be presenting a session titled, Library Signage: The good, the bad, and the ugly, at the third annual SECC online regional conference. My session helps library staff members think critically about their current and future library signage. In this session, I show many examples of library signage and attendees discuss what makes a good sign great and what to consider changing about library signage.
The 2022 Southeast Collaborative Online Conference is a collective effort by the Georgia Public Library Service, State Library of North Carolina, South Carolina State Library, Tennessee State Library & Archives, and the Library of Virginia to offer innovative and useful online learning experiences for library staff at all levels through a convenient online conference.
This year’s conference will utilize the Whova event app to provide more convenient access to sessions and resources for attendees. Webinar recordings and presentation slides for the 2020 and 2021 conferences are available on the About page.
Special thanks to IMLS! This conference is made possible in part by a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services administered by the State Library of North Carolina and South Carolina State Library. #SEcollaborativeconference
On January 27, 2022, I conducted a free webinar for WebJunction titled, Library Signage: Effective Crisis Communications. The most important takeaway is that I wanted attendees to THINK CRITICALLY about each and every sign in their library. Part of this process is to conduct a signage audit.
A great resource on how to do this can be found in Mark Aaron Polger’s recent book, Library Signage and Wayfinding Design.
Learn more about library signage by visiting the WebJunction page for my webinar and please make sure to review your library’s signage on a regular basis.
Join me for Library Signage: Effective Crisis Communications at 3:00 pm on January 27, 2022 for a WebJunction webinar and learn about how to get your library’s signage back in shape for the new year!
Good signage in the library helps to create clarity and build awareness, while bad signage can lead to frustration and confusion. Has your library had to implement COVID-related signage? Has there been a review of other temporary and permanent signage? This session will look at recommended types of library signs and address aspects of library signage within crisis communications. We will also address how to conduct a signage audit, the importance of library branding and using templates, and internal communications as they relate to signage. Online resources will be shared and there will be opportunities for Q&A and discussion.
I’m looking forward to talking about library signage with you soon!
Register today at WebJunction.org.
On November 30, 2021, at 7:00 pm, I spoke to Dr. Clayton Copeland’s Public Library Systems (SLIS 728) class for over an hour about library marketing, promotion, and communications as they relate to public libraries. They really had some wonderful questions!
What I found most interesting was the change in the student dynamics from thirty years ago when I was in library school. Back in the old days, I think there were many more full time students than there are now; however, by looking out into the gallery of zoom video streams, one thing seemed to remain the same: we still have a very white/female dominated profession.
There were many questions revolving around EDI (Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) in libraries and how we market to current and potential customers. Through graphic design and changing the view to represent inclusivity, we can do a better job of reaching out to all. While libraries have always been open to all, in the past we have not done that great a job of making sure our promotional pieces give a true depiction of the community segments we are trying to reach and we need to make a conscious effort to continue to change that.
A few takeaway resources I mentioned during the class session are as follows:
Here is a compilation of many of the questions along with my responses:
Now that I’m a library consultant and retired from the day-to-day library world, this conference was more important than I imagined it would be. Sometimes you need to be immersed in a subject for a few days to think of new ways to address issues and topics. The Library Marketing and Communications two-day virtual conference filled the void. Even though I’m retired and now consulting, I still serve on the board of the LMCG, which helps the conference, but more importantly, helps me stay involved in the profession. I attended some great sessions and moderated two. Here you will find a compilation of posts to my LinkedIn feed about those sessions. #LMCC22 will be held in Indianapolis in November so be sure to sign up for conference emails and find us on social.
- Here is a great takeaway from the first session of the #LMCC21 – check out the NLW toolkit the Georgia Public Library Service put together for their state. https://georgialibraries.org/nlw-toolkit/
- Attending the #LMCC21 and hearing from Anna Moorehouse at The University of British Columbia Library about Story-Based Communications at her concurrent session. Here is a story they published on their library’s website to effectively communicate with their library patrons. https://about.library.ubc.ca/2020/05/08/how-ubc-library-is-supporting-the-ubc-community-during-the-current-covid-19-outbreak/
- Moderating a session at #LMCC21 with Tina Thomas of Edmonton Public Library for her talk about opening up a shiny new library during COVID-19. Amazing how the communications had to be adjusted when the new building was viewed as ugly by the public. Turning it into a “Think Tank” was a great example of how to go with the flow! https://www.epl.ca/milner-library/#look-inside
- Attending an interesting session at #LMCC21 on live streaming by Daniel Cuthbert from the Lansing Public Library. “If the pandemic taught us anything, it taught us how precious and challenging it was to have spaces…” other than our physical locations. Can check out their videos on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWJqXZkk0SnPbiBUbolBIFQ
- Listening to the Day 2 Keynote at #LMCC21 with Fobazi Ettarh (I’m not a morning person either!) presenting Vocational Awe and the Art of Selling Libraries. Session takeaway: If the library is a safe space for hate groups, then the library is only a safe space for hate groups. If libraries are truly the last bastion of democracy, then we need to truly present that and pay close attention to critiques and think critically about what we do, what we portray we do, and how we can be truly inclusive. Toxic positivity is a real thing and we should practice being more authentic as library marketers and communicators. Learn more about Vocational Awe and related library issues at https://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2018/vocational-awe/
- Moderating a great session today for #LMCC21 – Partnering with Local Organizations to Promote Libraries and Increase Cardholders with Kari Lapp and Jordan Reynolds from the Saline County Library. Learning about the importance of partnerships with local organizations and businesses, using QR codes in monthly magazines and rack cards, etc. I also think this session has been a great example of what libraries can do by hiring NON-LIBRARIAN marketing professionals! Hire marketing staff with marketing degrees and backgrounds. They can learn the library stuff later 🙂 Check out their News page on their library website at https://www.salinecountylibrary.org/news
- Attending an interesting session at #LMCC21 titled Creative Approaches to Promoting Libraries Through Non-Traditional Partnerships with Nicholas Alexander Brown from the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System. Learning about converting participants to advocates, reaching out to influencers for the long term, creating high visibility moments, and even partnering with local sports teams. Learn more about their library at https://www.pgcmls.info/about-us
Your public, academic, or school library has probably had to deal with increased COVID-19 signage. Have you branded it or just printed out what the CDC or local health authority has recommended? Is there any continuity to the signage? Are you using clip art of masks, syringes, and viruses to get your point across? Whatever signage you post in the library, make sure you think critically about the message you are conveying.
The most important aspect of COVID-19 signage at your library is to properly yet briefly convey the message to the reader. People usually don’t take time to read signs. When dealing with health issues, we need to be particularly helpful!
Here are some tips for COVID-19 signs at your library:
- Use polite language,
- don’t be verbose (get to the point in as few words as possible),
- always add your library’s logo/branding,
- don’t have any typos and use correct grammar,
- make sure that fonts and font sizes are ADA compliant,
- and use images that support the content.
Some great online resources to COVID-19 signs as well as additional resources for your library:
The most important tip is to keep your COVID-19 library signs as up-to-date as possible. Make sure your signage is not too time-sensitive so that you don’t have to replace it too often. Also, make sure that it’s part of someone’s job to regularly assess the overall library signage and make adjustments as needed.
Are you looking for an amazing online library marketing and communications conference? Look no further, this conference will have everything! Be sure to follow #LMCC21 and get on the email list. Learn more at LMCC21 Conference website.
Library signage sets the tone not only of the individual library branch, but also of the whole county library system. All library signage should be positive, brief, and consistent. The following are both positive and negative library signage general rules of thumb:
- Polite language
- Not verbose – get to the point
- Consistently use library logo/branding
- No typos
- Correct grammar
- Font and font size
- Image that supports content
- Too many words
- Clip art (try to use photography if possible)
- Comic sans font (use font that is similar to the library’s standard font selection/branding)
- Passive aggressive
- Too many colors
- Too much going on
A library signage audit is not only an audit of the library’s signs, but it may also relate to the library’s internal and external image including printed materials, customer service, grounds, and community perceptions.
During the signage audit, photographs will be taken of most of the library branch’s signs. Later, a visual report will be created with a list of what your branch is doing well and recommendations for what to change. The report may be used to look more closely at each library branch’s signage and make decisions about the type of signage that may be best suited to that community’s needs.
Does your library need a signage audit or signage training? If so, contact me and I’ll be glad to discuss it with you: email@example.com.