Are you looking for ideas to promote your corporate library service to other departments, employees, patrons, researchers and management and want to increase your library user base?
We have been providing solutions to special and corporate libraries for nearly 30 years and over this time we have been involved at many levels within the library. It has allowed us to gain an invaluable insight into what the needs of both the users and library staff are, how management might be influenced and how to best present ideas to decision makers. But simply marketing the library and keeping it in front of users is a very effective way of creating more user engagement.
In this article are just a few ideas to help increase visibility. They may be relevant to your situation or provide you with inspiration to develop your own ideas!
1 – Create an email newsletter
By capturing the names and email addresses of your users, you can then use this to keep them up to date with ‘everything’ you do at the library. Some corporate information centers and libraries don’t run an email marketing newsletter, yet it is the easiest and most direct way to approach and speak to your users.
Using tools like Mail Chimp to set this up simplifies administration and you can encourage both library members, patrons and non-members to join if this is permitted within your organization.
2 – Welcome Packs
When someone uses your library for the first time, provide them with a Welcome Pack. This could be a simple fact sheet of contact details, reading lists and library opening hours or more.
Ask how they would like to stay informed (e.g. by email) and add them to the newsletter. The first email they receive should also replicate the details you provide on the fact sheet. Include lists of up-coming events or seminars you are hosting (see below) and the kind of tasks you have performed for others in the organization.
3 – Partner / User Group Events
Use your suppliers and any third parties or business partners. Invite them to hold library briefings where they can talk about their latest offerings and solutions. Make sure you invite department heads, researchers and your members. Use your newsletter to promote this to generate interest.
4 – Library Website or Portal
Make sure your corporate website has a space just for you. Have a link from the corporate site directly to the Library website or portal where the first page might inform users:
- What specialist information and content you offer
- Reading lists and the latest titles available
- Your opening hours and your location (include travel / parking facilities nearby)
- Staff details and bio’s (include group and or individual photos)
- Include a blog or section on the latest news and events at your library
- A simple search function to access content
If permitted create your own corporate library website using WordPress or other content management software. Learn how to create your library website using WordPress in this article.
Perhaps your library management system provides a Search Portal where you can market your services and regularly change the content so that it is fresh and up to date without having to keep referring back to your web master. A Search Portal such as that within Soutron allows you to control the entire experience, theme and style – even make it look like your own corporate website. It provides a great starting place to engage your users and keep them coming back to access your library catalogue online. Learn more about our Library Search Portal technology.
5 – Share great ideas!
Produce case studies, recent examples or blog articles on how you or other library colleagues have helped your users within the organization. If you can get your colleagues to produce them and pass to you for review before publishing on your website library pages, even better. Just make sure to share via the newsletter and social media, if suitable for public broadcast of course!
6 – Take the library to other departments
Find out about other department events and seminars where you can help and take part. Grab 5 minutes to talk about the library and showcase some of the examples of your work and case studies in your portfolio.
7 – Use video to promote the library
From simple how to guides, information videos to recording recent events held. Capture them on your smart-phone. Most are more than capable of recording high quality video. Purchase a tripod to make your video more professional. Smartphone tripods don’t cost much, so “go pro”!
8 – Create a distinctive Library Logo
To help promote your corporate library, produce your very own library logo. This might be a variant of your organization’s logo or something completely different. Either way once you have this approved, make sure to include it on all your corporate library literature, emails, social media and promotions. Branding is a key ingredient in helping your users identify with you and your service.
9 – Run your own social media accounts
Social media is a great platform for you to build an audience and niche user base. We have seen many corporate libraries create their own social media accounts and use these to promote events, content and even the history of their organization via the library. The only cost here is a little of your time to set these up and to share the articles and events from your website.
10 – Leverage your library staff’s own social media
This might not always be permitted or even possible if other colleagues do not use social media, but if they do… Just ask if they would like to get involved in re-sharing library content via their own accounts, Twitter and LinkedIn are perfect. Just make sure they are on-board with your organizations employee social media policy first.
11 – Produce a library blog
If your software allows it then provide periodic updates in the form of a library blog. Talk about the specialist areas and events taking place and again invite new readers / employees to join your newsletter. WordPress (mentioned at point 4 above) provides the tools you need and a great platform for running a blog as part of your library website. You can also generate a blog from within Soutron software and publish to the Search Portal!
12 – RSS Feeds
An RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) is a great way to push your website news, content, articles and blog to others. Soutron Search Portal includes this feature.
13 – Get involved in other events – digitally!
You might not have the time or budget to physically attend all the conferences, seminars, user groups or showcases related to your library or organization, but you can still get involved online.
Most events use social media and #hashtags to help promote them, so use these to get involved in the debate or event and get noticed by others in your industry. For example #librariesweek is a very popular hashtag during Libraries Week which takes place in early October each year.
14 – Fact sheets / Reading Lists
A simple but sometimes overlooked task. Produce regular fact sheets or reading lists and include these within your Search Portal. It’s easy to produce downloadable PDF versions allowing your users to take these away for later reference – with your branding! It can really help engage users with some of the great content and value within the library.
15 – The Physical Library
How much space does the library have within the organization? Are you lucky enough to have open spaces or rooms you can offer to your organization or others? Make them available for company events, seminars and corporate training.
Provide visitors with presentation tools such as screens, displays, projectors and WIFI, budget permitting, of course.
We trust these ideas are of some value and might help you in the near future. We would love to hear from you if any other ideas or suggestions!
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