Public Library Marketing on a Shoestring

Electronic Resources – Marketing on a Shoestring

By Sally Dewey

As the Electronic Resources Manager, an important part of my job is promoting the resources we buy.  I’ve actually had this job (under one title or another) since CD-ROM networks were around—back then we were just trying to alert the user in the building that we had something beyond books on the shelf. Then, in 1997, with web-based databases it was about the Library being the patron’s Information Home Page 24/7, or “Where it all Clicks.

Today, as public libraries are battling to stay relevant, we want to want to attract, snag, and entice patrons into discovering the wealth of resources we make available online.  Why would we want to do that?  To battle patron ignorance.

Why fight that battle? Because we have some truly fantastic resources. Most of them ARE better than a Google search—but our users likely don’t know it’s there waiting on our website–free with their library card.  New databases don’t get reviewed in the New York Times or mentioned on CNN. We actually call our databases Premium Sites, because we want users to consider them as better than free…like premium channels on cable.

It’s Not Hard…You Just Have to Do It

We have no marketing budget for most things. I’ve learned to keep it simple, but to keep doing it.

Most libraries agree that high usage and foot traffic in their library is important; however, not every library has a large budget to market their services and resources. Learn how Sally does it! Join Sally and our Gale Geek for a free webinar, Friday, November 7, 11 a.m. EST. Hear her tips, tricks, solutions, and best practices. Register now! 


[alert-info]Sally Dewey

About the Author

Sally is the Electronic Resources Manager at Arlington Public Library in Arlington, VA. She has an MSLS but no background in marketing, but she just does it!


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