When you’re marketing to libraries , it’s good to know the lay of the land. That means knowing a plethora of ways to help the librarians on your sales list do their own marketing.
As big-box bookstores like Borders and Barnes & Noble take over more and more of the landscape, marketing to libraries is becoming more of a partnership between marketer and librarian. To truly prosper, the marketing professional must help the librarian in his efforts to popularize the library’s services.
Here are five more ways of marketing to libraries by helping them market themselves:
Open Library . It’s rough when a borrower asks for a book that a librarian knows nothing about. It’s also not an unusual occurrence, given the number of books out there. Marketing to libraries doesn’t always have to mean knowing about books, but the good marketer is one who can point to great resources. Open Library’s goal is to have a description page for every book in existence. Each page includes a wealth of information, like ISBN, subject headings, tables of contents, and links to purchase the book or borrow it from a library. It’s a work in progress, but so far it’s remarkably complete. A similar resource is Shelfari .
Resource Shelf . Billing itself as a “daily newsletter with resources of interest to information professionals,” Resource Shelf compiles lists, databases, multimedia and other tools and toys for the dedicated librarian. Useful for educating yourself before you start marketing to libraries.
The WordPress for Libraries Wiki . WordPress is one of the most popular blogging tools on the Web, and this Wiki is a powerful tool for learning to use it. It’s also geared specifically for librarians, so the writers provide a variety of “tips and tricks” for zeroing in on the best blogging practices for librarians.
New York Public Library’s Google Maps Mashup. Here’s a great example of how to handle public communications. The NYPL used the broad functionality of Google Maps to mark every branch in every borough. Just click on one of the “pins” in the map to get all the information you need: Contact numbers, address and operating hours.
Simmons College del.icio.us bookmarks . This year, the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science hosted a “tech summit” for librarians and information professionals to share ideas and tools. Those who went used del.icio.us, a popular social bookmarking site, as a central collection point for all of the resources they use. An hour or so of perusal should yield some great resources for marketing to libraries.