Speaking of talking about it, what good is a library if no one knows about it? While my library serves the entire district, which has over 500 arts teachers, I only actually work with approximately a hundred of them on a regular basis (a number I am completely guesstimating). Of those, maybe half of them use the library consistently every semester.
At least once a month, I get an email from an arts teacher that starts out with something like “I had no idea this library existed! Great! Can you help me with XYZ?” I know that I send out a “Using the Fine Arts Library” email every year and I’m introduced, and usually speak, at the fall inservice meetings. Yet there are still teachers completely oblivious to my library’s existence.
What I would like to do, this fall, when I’ve completed the updating project, is to spread the word even more, especially now that I’ll be able to track circulation statistics. According to Rajesh Singh, in Does your library have an attitude problem towards ‘marketing’? Revealing inter-relationship between marketing attitudes and behavior, there are three levels of marketing – strong, medium, and weak. The prime aim of a library with a strong marketing technique is “identifying and meeting customer information needs” and “these libraries aim to build a relationship with their customers by offering tailored services and products which satisfy their information needs and problems”. As one can expect, medium and weak go down from there.
Of course, I hope to be more in line with a strong technique, and I think I’m on track. While, in the end, it will have taken me three years to fully update the system, it has given a chance to get to know the teachers I serve and their needs, and I’ll be able to use that to my advantage in my marketing and continuous updating of the library.