New Professionals & Marketing your Library Service #SLALeeds

Here are my notes from yesterday’s SLA Europe event. The speakers were Ned Potter and Bethan Ruddock.

Ned Potter: Marketing your Library Service

  • new professionals are library professionals who started work in the past 10 years
  • we are all marketers now
  • offer ideas to people in charge: more established staff might appreciate fresh view points, more than you might expect -> they will appreciate if you come with a plan that show benefits and is based on research -> give them two options to choose from
  • demonstrate an understanding of what social media can achieve that isn’t happening already; also what works for Web 2.0 -> participatory/interactive
  • 1-in-4 rule: one tweet promoting your own stuff and three tweets that are replies, RTs and other content -> add value
  • know your organisation’s culture to decide what could work
  • streamline internal communications and they might let you lose on external communications
  • storify useful for showing feedback
  • start talking benefits not features -> example: course titles: Come and meet your information heroes, Taking the hassle out of research, Find stuff
  • quality control -> make suggestions when you see something that doesn’t work well
  • focus groups: make each user bring a non-user -> use food as “bribes”

Ned’s presentation can be found at His website about the Library Marketing Toolkit is at

Bethan Ruddock: Personal marketing/promoting yourself

Bethan talked about the three main criteria in promotion: motivation, medium and message.


  • motivation is not just a single thing: different “hats”
  • think of your target audience
  • motive: e.g. educate, inform, amuse
  • be clear about your success criteria


  • social media: choose one that’s right for your message, audience -> be comfortable with social media
  • at work: your main medium -> live your message!
  • face-to-face


  • authentic/honest (enough)/engaging
  • congruent: activities need to fit together
  • let your message flow from your activities
  • don’t pretend to be an expert but say if you are

Further notes

  • don’t assume your target audience reads/consumes your output but make it suitable
  • share what you do and your expertise -> let people know what you’re good at and how it can benefit others, try to help people
  • colleagues and bosses know you best -> you need their recommendations at some point
  • make goals for yourself -> achievements fuel motivation
  • you’ll have different “faces” for different audiences
  • make the most of what you do & project benefits of what you do
  • build feedback and CPD into what you do anyway; marketing should be part of everything you do
  • think about impact!
  • don’t be scared to share

Bethan’s website about the New Professional’s Toolkit is at


About Carolin

Gas station attendant of the mind (librarian), learner, reader, googler, traveller, library camper. My personal views.
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