Successful Library Marketing

A Masterful Approach to Strategies, Best Practices, and Tools To Turn Your Library Into a Powerhouse

Starts November 9, 2016

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Library marketing can sound daunting but if done right, marketing can be an easy, fun and extremely effective way to connect with, excite and engage new and existing users.

In this 4-week online course, Library Journal and an array of experts from inside and outside of the library world will help navigate you through different aspects of marketing your programs, services, materials, and—yes—even your databases.  Guest speakers will appear each week in live webcasts focusing on a variety of topics with audience q&a. Plus, participants will work with a dedicated mentor who will provide you with one-on-one feedback within an online discussion group, where you will work on weekly assignments, share resources and best practices with a group of peers from across the country.

Participants will learn:

  • Techniques for creating content that puts your users’ needs first to truly connect and engage patrons.
  • How to design effective marketing materials to distribute across a variety of channels
  • How to tap diverse and ever-growing resources available via social media to stay ahead of the curve.
  • How to establish an authentic social media voice for effective marketing
  • How to identify your target users and their needs and use data and demographics to target the right user at the right time
  • Methods for harnessing powerful face-to-face marketing tactics

By the end of this course, you will be a pro with blueprints that you can emulate and new ideas to put marketing plans within your budget into action.

Online Course Features

  • Instructor-led online courses feature personalized interaction over four weeks
  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available afterward)
  • Weekly homework assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help sort out challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums
  • Articles, videos and other resources

COURSE PREVIEW: In this recorded webcast, course advisor Meredith Schwartz, Executive Editor for Library Journal shares highlights from the guest speaker program and explains what to expect from this interactive online course.

Group discounts are available!

Register in groups for a unique team-building experience and get everyone working together. Contact us to learn more.


Course Schedule

WEEK 1: Wednesday, November 9, 2016

SESSION 1: Keynote with Author Heather Pemberton Levy

11:00-11:45 AM ET

When it comes to marketing, the best content starts with a story the audience cares about, not the library’s message about what it wants to promote to them. In this keynote session, Heather Pemberton Levy, author of Brand, Meet Story, shares lessons from her Story Comes First method, a practical approach that combines techniques from journalism and fiction writing to help you tell stories that put the readers’ interests first. Whereas most brand marketers create content to sell their product, service or technology, the Story Comes First method turns this approach on its head to create content with the “human moments” that truly engage an audience.


Heather Pemberton Levy,
Author, Brand, Meet Story: How to Create Engaging Content to Win Business and Influence Your Audience

SESSION 2: Designing Dynamic Marketing Materials

11:45-12:30 PM ET

Learn the ins and outs of designing effective marketing materials in this useful session. Find out what make the most effective giveaways for a library and how to use a diverse approach to marketing materials in order to reach as many users as possible. Whether through newsletters, print and online ads, totes, or t-shirts, this session will leave you with a wealth of practical inspiration.

Stephen Barrington, Manager, Marketing & Communications, Vancouver Public Library

Week 1 Assignment: Hone in on your brand story and rethink the design of your marketing materials.

WEEK 2: Wednesday, November 16, 2016

SESSION 1: Social Media Marketing 101

11:00-11:45 AM ET

Social media can be one of the most effective marketing tools for your library, but with so many variables to deal with, it can be a tricky environment to navigate. In this session you’ll be asked to consider your library’s voice in the social media world and learn why that voice is so key to establishing an authentic and memorable social media presence. Other fundamentals considered include how to time content sharing, how often to repeat sharing, and how to balance self-promotion with other content. You’ll also learn about how best to interact with other accounts, including how to share others’ content and attribution etiquette, how to handle missteps, how to navigate the complicated world of comments, and how to develop a team with a vision to handle all your social media needs.


Helen Todd,
CEO, Socialty Squared

SESSION 2: Target the Right User at the Right Time

11:45-12:30 PM ET

While you may have all the tools you need, learning how to reach the right patron at the right time is key to effectively marketing your library. In this session, you’ll hear about tried and tested techniques you can use to identify your target users and their needs, use data and demographics to learn about your patrons, find the right audience for specific services and programs, and develop demographic and psychographic awareness about your community and core library users that will leave you with the most effective marketing strategy possible.


Danielle Patrick Milam
, Development Director, Las Vegas-Clark County Library District & Foundation, (NV)

Week 2 Assignment: Audit your library’s social media efforts and choose one target demographic to reach with your marketing efforts for a specific offering.

WEEK 3: Wednesday, November 30, 2016

SESSION 1: Staying Ahead of the Social Media Curve

11:00-11:45 AM ET

Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Pinterest? Snapchat? These only begin to scratch the surface of the many possible platforms available for getting your library’s message across in the world of social media. In this session, find out which platform is best for your shared content and target audience, and how to use the diverse and ever-growing resources available via social media to stay ahead of the curve. We’ll also navigate free vs. paid automation tools, such as Tweetdeck and Hootsuite, and why metrics must become your best friend.


Susan Halligan,
Founder, Halligan Consulting

SESSION 2: Moving the Needle on Engagement

11:45-12:30 PM ET

We all want the same thing: To get more people to use more services more often, and bring their friends. But our efforts to promote services and programs don’t always give us the results we want. Why? Maybe it’s time to flip the narrative! It’s not about the Library, it’s about the people we serve and their stories. In this session, you’ll learn how to move from a promotion strategy to an engagement strategy using all the tools at your disposal. We’ll touch on marketing, branding, social media, advertising, media relations and other topics relevant to today’s Library marketing & Communications professionals.


Cordelia Anderson, Director of Marketing & Communications, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, (NC)

Week 3 Assignment: Define the next phase of social media marketing for your library or specific programs and rethink your approach to face-to-face marketing, including staff training efforts to help you reach that goal.

WEEK 4: Wednesday, December 7, 2016

SESSION 1: Effective PR & Media Outreach

11:00-11:45 AM ET

Partnering with local media and a PR team can be extremely useful in marketing your library successfully. This session will explore effective ways to market your library’s offerings to local newspapers, as well as what’s involved in getting a PR person or newspaper editor on your marketing team.


Colleen Theisen,
Outreach and Engagement Librarian, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Iowa

SESSION 2: How to Pitch to Trade Press

11:45-12:30 pm ET

Learn the inside scoop from LJ’s own executive editor, a practicing journalist for 18+ years, on the dos and don’ts of how to maximize your chances of coverage when working with the press, why it matters to target publications outside your local area (and how it’s different than working with your local paper), and how to turn national media coverage back into local attention and credibility.


Meredith Schwartz
, Executive Editor, Library Journal

Week 4 Assignment: Optimize your PR efforts to partner with local media and the trade press.