By Anne Nagrant, Customer Success Manager
Posted on August 26, 2015
Greene County Public Library in Ohio recently renewed their annual subscription to Gale Courses –online, instructor-led classes which are free to library cardholders. Tamar Kreke, Adult and Technical Services Coordinator, shares five things her library does to recruit students to the resource:
- Gale Courses is posted on their website under Digital Collections instead of the “Research” page where databases are listed. Tamar knows that Greene County patrons are already going to Overdrive, Zinio, and Mango, so she feels that people are more likely to come across Gale Courses in the same area where these other high-trafficked products are found. The library also created its own landing page about Gale Courses, with a description and more information about it.
- The library puts Gale Courses in their online catalog. Each course has an individual listing, so that patrons searching on a subject will get electronic resource information alongside any printed holdings. MARC records are available at no charge to Gale Courses subscribers.
- Blog posts written for the News section of the website appear on the library home page, and are then shared on social media for even more traction (and views!). Past blog articles listed courses next to on-site programs around popular themes like technology and genealogy.
- Maya Stutzman of the Web Services Department creates YouTube videos for social media. She’s made quite a few about Gale Courses, from general overviews to videos that highlight topics of interest to their patrons, such as starting a business or alternative medicine. Because the videos are around a minute in length and do not have spoken narration, they’re great for auto-play on facebook. I think clips like these would work very well for libraries with lobby digital billboard screens.
- Greene County Public Library uses social media extensively. Maya promotes Gale Courses heavily on Facebook and Twitter. Posts can advertise a specific course, remind patrons that a new class session is beginning, or generally raise awareness of the resource.
And these techniques work! According to the end-of-course survey, 46% of Greene County students heard about their online course from a website, search engine, or email.
What do Greene County Public Library patrons say about Gale Courses?
- “Nice pace to get through the basics and build confidence to explore more with this knowledge. Great job!” – John L. (course: Creating Web Pages)
- “I loved this course. It got me back into the kitchen again and I’m starting to enjoy cooking. I’ve already sign up to take the instructor’s next course.” – Christa D. (course: Luscious, Low-Fat, Lightning-Quick Meals)
- “I thoroughly enjoyed this class. I actually took this class because I’m interested in transcription and wanted to move on to the Medical Transcription Class, but felt I needed a refresher on medical terminology since it was so long ago that I worked in a medical setting.” – Donna H. (course: Medical Terminology: A Word Association Approach)
- “Great class! This was exactly the information I was looking for to improve my investing skills. I’ll be digesting this information for some time to come. Thanks.” – Matthew S. (course: The Analysis and Valuation of Stocks)
About the Author
Anne Nagrant is a Customer Success Manager who serves public libraries throughout the US and Canada. She came to Gale in 2012 after a fun career in historical museums. She has a BA in anthropology and history from the University of Michigan. Anne is invigorated by promoting education via non-traditional paths.