RAILS Member Announcements
At the 2012 ILA Conference in Peoria, a librarian told me about a frustrating experience she’d had. She’d tried to convince a young man in his ’20′s that the library had relevance for him. She was unsuccessful. She told me the story, and turning to me, she asked, “What’s the benefit?”"What’s the benefit?” is a phrase that comes to us from advertising, and I think what she meant was, “what could I have said to this young man that would have persuaded him to come into the library?” I’m afraid I was completely unprepared for this question, although I shouldn’t be: it seems to come up every so often.
On another recent occasion, I found myself making conversation with the man who helped me when I ran out of gas. I asked him about his reading, and he said that he had a Kindle, that he liked to read W.E.B. Griffin, and that he saw no need for libraries in the future because everyone would be using an e-reader. I should have said something to contradict him, immediately, but I didn’t. I didn’t have an answer, or “a benefit,” for him, either.
After some thought, I’ve realized that thinking about market segmentation for guys in creating an elevator speech is a way to respond to these particular challenges. For the kinds of real-life encounters I’ve described, it’s good to be prepared with an “elevator speech,” a list of two to three items you can talk about at a moment’s notice. To create this ready-made answer, it’s important to think a little about market segmentation.
Market segmentation is a marketing strategy that involves dividing a broad audience,like the users of a library, into subsets of customers with common tastes or needs. Having a teen department is an example of market segmentation.
Identify the library’s market segments and identify the products most likely to excite that segment. In the case of preparing an “elevator speech,” it’s even more important to think about the male segment. Men are more frequently not users of libraries, so it is more important to be prepared with a short list of items likely to appeal to men.
I should have suggested to my colleague at ILA that in a similar situation she could offer an elevator speech of two to four items, something like, “There’s a lot for guys your age at the library: videos, CDs, video games and graphic novels.”
I should have suggested to the man with the Kindle that, with a librarian as his guide, he might discover many other authors that might interest him. I might have said to him, ”If you enjoy Griffin you might enjoy knowing you can “check out” Griffin books on your ereader for free from the library website.” If he were a commuter, he might enjoy listening to Griffin on audiobook. And if he ran out of books to read, he could turn to his librarian for suggestions for new, but similar, authors to read.
One of my favorite examples of market segmentation I learned about from Building a Buzz: Libraries & Word of Mouth Marketing. The director of a library in Wyoming visited car shops in her community, distributing posters and stickers on the Chilton’s car repair database that featured the “Mudflap Girl” of truck mudflap fame, now shown reading a book. The guys in the repair shops found it funny, while some librarians questioned its taste. But it sparked a lot of discussion, and the uses of the Chilton’s database jumped to 800 a month.Use market segmentation to think about who your audience is and make your marketing appealing and accessible to that segment. When I organized a job fair for my library, I asked myself where I could find job seekers and then publicized the event at the unemployment office and the Township’s job club.
Men and boys are often underrepresented among the users of libraries, and perhaps are the most likely to believe that the library has nothing for them. Considering them as a market segments will be the first step in converting them into regular users. Identify the products that appeal to them, and get your elevator speech on – promote those products for given in ways that are likely to reach them, and enjoy the pleasure of bringing library patrons together with the things they love!
Elizabeth Neill is the Outreach Librarian at the Poplar Creek library.
First Lady Michelle Obama (right) presents the National Medal for Museum and Library Service to Waukegan Public Library in a White House ceremony Wednesday. Accepting the award (l-r) are community member Diana Alvey and Waukegan Public Library Director Richard Lee. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community and celebrates institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
The ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 27-July 2, is shaping up to be another outstanding professional development opportunity. Hope you will be able to take advantage of it being so close this year.
Early bird registration ends on April 12th, so I wanted to alert you to make sure you can take advantage of discounted rate. Registration info is at http://www.alaannual.org
Programs and conversations will cover digital content and e-books, technology in libraries, innovation, books and authors, transformation, leadership, library advocacy, community engagement, and other topics. High-profile speakers already confirmed include Alice Walker, Jaron Lanier, Ann Patchett, Cory Doctorow, Congressman John Lewis, Khaled Hosseini, Asi Burak, Veronica Roth, Oliver Stone, Peter Kuznick, Temple Grandin, Giada De Laurentiis, Jonathan Kozol, and Lee Rainie. There will be significant programming around maker innovations including a preconference, a Maker Showcase, a Maker Pavilion and Interactive Demo Area, and MAKE Magazine’s Mark Frauenfelder.
The exhibits host hundreds of authors including Live @yourlibrary Reading Stage and PopTop Stage, products and services with the 800+ exhibitors, poster sessions, ARCs, special Pavilions, What’s Cooking@ALA Cookbook and Graphic Novel/Gaming Stages, "Artist Alley," and Wrap Up/Rev Up.
The Second City, Chicago's legendary sketch comedy theatre is bringing "Best of the Second City" to McCormick Place for the ALA/ProQuest Scholarship Bash on Saturday evening. And for the fitness minded, the 5K Fun Run and Walk also offers discounted registration until April 12.
The award celebrations include the Caldecott Medal 75th anniversary, the second-ever Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Awards Banquet, Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast, Stonewall Book Awards Brunch, Margaret A. Edwards Luncheon, Michael L. Printz Program and Reception, and others.
And you can get a more detailed picture from the preliminary list of programs. And anyone who needs help in making their case will find helpful resources at Make your case to attend. You can stay in touch, get updates, and join the conversations on the website at alaannual.org; Twitter: #ala2013; the Facebook Event; and the Pinterest page.
Hope to see you in Chicago!
-Michael Dowling, Director, ALA Chapter Relations Office
Marketing for Everyone
Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 2:00 pm EST / 1:00 pm CST
In this Demco sponsored webcast, Catherine Hakala-Ausperk, from Libraries Thrive Consulting, joins Demco's Director of Library Markets, Janet Nelson, to discuss how everyone who works at your library can make a positive contribution to marketing your library.
When every member of your library staff contributes to marketing efforts, it helps make your library more user friendly and increases the impact of your programs and services. Your marketing efforts go far beyond your website and brochures, and are really part of a holistic approach that draws your patrons in — and keeps them coming back!
In this webinar, you'll learn to:
- See your library and staff as your patrons do
- Identify the “hook” that best markets your resources, services and programs
- Learn quick and easy marketing techniques that work and don’t cost a lot of money
- Increase your library’s value to its users
There will also be a chance for you to ask questions about Cathy's approach to marketing the library.
Publications of the Historical Library 1902-1906
Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society 1908-1936
Papers in Illinois History 1937-1942
The Mount Prospect Public Library will be closed all day on Friday, May 17 for a staff training day.
NEH GRANT AWARDED TO THE MATTESON PUBLIC LIBRARY
The Matteson Public Library located at 801 S. School Ave in Matteson, IL, is among the 125 libraries and state humanities councils in the nation, selected to receive a monetary grant for Let’s Talk About It: Muslim Journeys, a scholar-led reading and discussion project sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.
Reviewers gave Matteson Public Library’s Outreach Librarian Colleen Vander Hye’s proposal “high ratings for her approach to the theme and for her plans for stimulating and engaging programs.” The Matteson Public Library will be concentrating on the Muslim Journeys Theme “Pathways of Faith.” Matteson’s own Dr. Abdul Basit will be leading our reading and discussion series exploring the theme and related books.
A former Fulbright scholar, he has published extensively, including books and book chapters. He also has a long-standing interest in monotheistic religions, especially Islam.
Check our website http://www.MattesonPublicLibrary.org as further details become available. Contact:
Colleen Vander Hye, Head of Outreach for further information Matteson Public Library
The Matteson Public Library is dedicated to the assistance of life-long learning for all residents by providing excellence in services, resources, and classes."