Visible Librarian: Asserting Your Value with Marketing and Advocacy
|Judith A. Siess
Item Number: 978-0-8389-0848-8
Publisher: ALA Editions
6" x 9"
Year Published: 2003
Recent law, corporate, and even public library closings are the sad confirmation that libraries are no longer a given. Despite the fact that librarians bring unique value to their communities and organizations, too often their work goes on under the radar. The benefits provided by information professionals are invisible and taken for granted as Internet search engines replace real experts.
It's time to assert your value and the value of the resources you marshal. Step from behind the desk or computer to make your community aware of just how indispensable your services are. Here are all the tools you need to become the "squeaky wheel" and attract the attention your work deserves.
Use these practical strategies to connect with customers, make services both visible and valuable to the community, and get the word out using proven marketing, customer service, and public relations tactics specifically tailored to the library environment. Learn to:
- Provide the answers your users/customers need
- Gather internal and external champions to grow a funding base
- Access the resources that keep your enterprise viable
- Keep information resources available in spite of budget constraints
- Be recognized as a value-provider within your organization or community
Library directors, department heads, solo librarians: Learn how NOT to be invisible! Packed with all the best practices in marketing library services, this hands-on guide provides inspiring stories and case studies of library colleagues around the nation who are successfully advocating and marketing themselves and their services.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Primacy of Customer Service and Other Basics
Selling the Invisible: What Sets Librarians Apart . . . Customer Service
Creating Lasting Customer Relationships
Barriers to Customer Service
Customer Service Expectations: Learning from Dissatisfied Customers
Implementing a Customer Service Plan
Efficiency or Effectiveness: Doing Things Right versus Doing the Right Things
What Kinds of Changes in Our Libraries Might
We Expect in the Future?
Chapter 2: Doing the Groundwork Marketing
Who Should Market?
What to Market?
Know Thine Enemy: The Competition
Know Thine Friend: The Customer
The Six Ps of Marketing
When to Market?
Where to Market?
How to Market?
Ranganathan and Marketing
Marketing to Specific Types of Libraries
Chapter 3: Publicity: The Tangibles
Creating and Writing a Public Relations Plan
II. Situational or Environmental Analysis
III. The Plan
IV. Resources Needed
VI. Supporting Documentation
Nine Publicity Tips
Specific Forms of Publicity
Reports and E-mail
Bulletin Boards and Display Cases
Giveaways, Takeaways, and Other Ideas
The Computer As Salesperson: Using Technology
Chapter 4: Public Relations: The Personal Touchs
Public Relations by Walking Around:
Get Out of the Library
Teaching as Public Relations
Adult Education Skills
Feed Them and They Will Come: Open Houses and Exhibits
The Physical Library as Public Relations
Word-of-Mouth Public Relations
Other Person-to-Person Public Relations Methods
The Elevator Speech and the Thirty-Second Commercial
Cooperation and Teamwork
Public Relations for Specific Groups
Chapter 5: Advocacy: Putting It All Together
How Did We Get into This Mess?
What Can We Do?
Advocacy Ideas for Specific Types of Libraries
Becoming Indispensable to Your Organization: Avoiding Library Closures Professionalism: It's More than a Suit
Lifelong Learning: An Essential Part of Professionalism
Networking: An Essential
Creating Your Own Job Satisfaction: Career Planning
Giving Back: To Current and Future Colleagues
Improving the Image of the Profession
What Should Our Image Be?
About the Author
Judith Siess is a recognized expert in one-person librarianship and interpersonal networking. She has drawn from her more than twenty years experience and written three books: The SOLO Librarian?s Sourcebook (Information Today, 1997), The OPL Sourcebook (Information Today, 2001), and Time Management, Planning, and Prioritization for Librarians (Scarecrow, 2002). Judith also has been the editor and publisher of <>iThe One-Person Library: A Newsletter for Librarians and Management since 1998 and is the author of articles for publications such as American Libraries and Searcher.
An active member of SLA, she was the inaugural chair of its SOLO Librarian?s division, which is now the fourth largest division of the association with more than 1,000 members. Judith conducts workshops for continuing professional education in the U.S. and abroad. Judith earned an M.S. in Library Science from the University of Illinois and an M.A. in Anthropology from Eastern New Mexico University.
"Personal change and creativity: Why not start with [this] practical guide on how to get out, be noticed and make an impact."
— CILIP Immediate Past-President Margaret Watson
“...aims to help librarians become better advocates of their services and thus become more influential...include a number of practical strategies that would help any teacher librarian in need of a reminder of why the marketing of services is a crucial aspect of our job...This book is an interesting support tool for advocacy.”
“Siess’s title is essential for professional librarians wishing to lead their library into a successful future and should be required reading by all MLIS faculty and students.”
“This book is a valuable wake-up call. Siess, an expert in running one-person libraries and defending their value against corporate cost-cutters, offers a practical guidebook on marketing, public relations, and advocacy that’s so chock-full of useful tips that I used an entire pad of Post-it Notes marking them...The book teaches much of the basic theory of marketing an public relations while concentrating its fire on practical strategies and tips...valuable not only as a primer, but as a starting point for a more thorough exploration. In the interest of our survival as a profession, I strongly recommend buying, reading, and applying the lessons of this book.”
—The MLS Book Review
“One of the best things about The visible Librarian is the author’s ability to distinguish marketing from Public Relations and Advocacy...the book is filled with practical methods of improving customer service and making sure the customer makes note of it...It would be of value to any member of a public library staff. Librarians who are already doing this kind of work will still find plenty of new ideas here. A good purchase for all public libraries.”
“replete with practical advice and a list of wonderful and up-to-date additional resources for further reading and consultation...useful for library directors or department heads who ultimately must shoulder the responsibility for running their organizations effectively and efficiently.”
“This essential read for administrators and librarians alike.”
--Library Media Connection