How can you make your library more visible?

The language library I work in is hosted within a larger organisation (a university – but it’s not the university library!) and I have started work on a document outlining how to make it more visible to users and non-users, both online and offline. (Yes, I am hoping that by blogging my notes so far I will get some more ideas, so thanks in advance for any input.)

There is of course a difference between being visible to internal and external users, so I will try and colourcode my ideas, green being ideas that could be used for external users as well. Most of our current marketing concentrates on internal users, which is very important, as we want them to get the most out of our services. We could be a deciding factor for potential students and staff as well if we get our marketing right.

Offline visibility

  • meet with student union representative to explain what we do and to ask them to promote our services to student societies
  • attend staff meetings at different departments, esp. language departments, feed into other meetings as appropriate/possible
  • posters: distribute to a range of mailing lists, buildings
  • attend new staff welcome sessions
  • create a slogan or similar to explain in one sentence what we do
  • collect case studies (“human interest”)
  • write a regular newsletter/bulletin and distribute
  • organise events/workshops

Online visibility

  • VLE announcements, have a better presence on VLE generally
  • external web pages
  • Facebook page: check daily, update at least weekly
  • Twitter account: check and update daily
  • Foursquare venue: manage your own
  • Consider the content: make it relevant to current users and potential users, be informative and authoritative, maintain a consistent frequency of posting

Here are some of the links I came across when researching this:

Any more ideas come to mind?

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About Carolin

Librarian, amongst other things.
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2 Responses to How can you make your library more visible?

  1. Michelle says:

    A couple of thoughts:
    I think it’s really difficult to increase visibility of services to students. They’re bombarded with so much information that it’s difficult to stand out. Everyone from the student union to the library to the counselling service is trying to get their attention. When I did my undergrad degree 10 years ago I don’t remember it being nearly as bad as it is now – I currently seem to be signed up to all mailing lists in my current university, so get emails about lots of different things (most of which I delete straight away).

    I don’t have any solutions though, sorry! Except perhaps to target specific students (language students for example) and then if your service is good they will tell their friends. At my university recently we ran a programme that didn’t have a huge take up at first, but when students attended sessions and could see the benefits, they then told their friends and we had lots of people requesting to do the programme.

    Second (and you might already have done this), tell the library staff about your service! I recently had a student ask about language materials and because I knew you I was able to point her in your direction. Not sure if my former colleagues would know to do the same though. And don’t forget the weekend staff in this!

  2. Carolin says:

    Thanks Michelle 🙂 I have spoken to the library staff that deal with language and linguistics materials last week (only weekday staff though, so thanks for the reminder about weekend staff!). We currently target students from the Language Centre, so will try and expand that first anyway. Word of Mouth seems to be the strongest marketing tool for something like this.

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