By Harmony Faust
I’ve volunteered to author our inaugural blog post on behalf of Gale’s public library team. You know, the one where we introduce ourselves, what problem we aim to solve and the unique voice we think we’ll contribute to the already fully-loaded blogosphere. No pressure.
I’m a sucker for a good, easy-to-read list, so here it goes:
Top 5 Reasons Why This Blog Exists
Alternatively titled: Why Gale Is Talking To and About Public Libraries
1. We are truly passionate about public libraries.
We’re not just saying that to pander to our audience. For me personally, I can honestly say that the most recent six months of my thirteen years in publishing have been the most interesting and rewarding of my career—and these are the only months I’ve been solely focused on working for and with public libraries. We have massive amounts of respect for our wonderful colleagues in higher education, academic libraries and schools, but the individuals behind this blog are all public, all the time.
2. We want to help public libraries thrive.
We’ve talked with many of you in person, visited your libraries, and read countless strategic plans—part of why we’re so passionate about partnering with public libraries is because we want to accomplish the same things. We share your vision of the library at the heart of the community, providing people the educational support they need to find jobs, learn new skills, and improve their lives. An education-focused library deserves an education-focused partner.
3. We want to…um…clear up a few things.
Do you want to know an insider secret? Our research shows that while 99% of public libraries know who Gale is (yay!), you’re not as familiar with what we do. Clearly, we’ve only been doing a so-so job letting you know what Gale offers specifically to public libraries, like the first-of-its-kind Career Online High School, hundreds of instructor-led online courses, and thousands of titles from dozens of leading publishers to expand your non-fiction eBook collection.
This blog will in part, serve to connect you to the content, tools, and services that will best help you encourage lifelong learning, foster local economic development, and move your communities forward.
4. Blogs are a good way to share meaningful information.
Seems obvious, but worth mentioning. This blog will be our one-stop shop for interesting news, articles, and opinion pieces about public libraries and education, free resources to help your library market itself both to those who use you and fund you, spotlighting libraries and librarians who are doing really cool things (featuring guest bloggers from within the library community), product updates, and more. We will also be tweeting, Facebooking, and eventually, pinning.
5. Everybody else is doing it, so why aren’t we?
According to the Library Research Service, “Almost all (93%) of the largest libraries, a little more than 4 in 5 (83%) libraries serving between 25,000 and 499,999, 7 in 10 (69%) of those serving 10,000 to 24,999, and 54 percent of the smallest libraries had at least one social media account.” That means we’re late to the party, but we won’t show up empty-handed.
About the Author
Harmony is Gale’s Marketing Director for Public Libraries. She has an M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications and 13 years’ experience in the publishing industry. She loves her husband, 15-month old son, craft beer and Pinterest.