the future of libraries in the digital age
Our small public library branch is located in a rural county that has no universities and only a couple of extremely small technical commuter colleges. We would like to better connect with college students in our area. Many students are not aware of the services and resources we have to offer. We are a quiet place to study close to home, offer free internet via both wifi and public computers, and have a knowledgeable staff who can assist in quality internet research. We would also like to be a supportive social outlet to commuters who often lack student life opportunities, by offering organized, and impromptu, study groups and recreational activities.
We have the support of our technical schools but are still having difficulty reaching students who commute outside the county. We held a study hall during finals, although the turn out was poor, those who attended were very appreciative. We have started a blog, College Connections at the Commerce Library, but it has had abysmal readership.
We would appreciate hearing from other public libraries cooperating with colleges and academic libraries cooperating with public libraries. What programs have you tried? What was successful, what was not? How do you publicize?
Thanks for all input!
Commerce Public Library,
a branch library of the PINES System of Georgia
I would suggest that you carry out a study to determine a number of things before you can zero in on any particular marketing strategy. First and foremost conduct a survey that is targeted at understanding the information seeking behaviours of you prospective library users taking note of the kind of information they require, the coverage and scope of that information, e.t.c. Set out to know when the prospective clients most need information and the type of information they will be highly interested in:- see if your library has that information.
consider some of the following aspects in your study/market survey
it is after you have a clear picture of the environment you are in, draw up a strategy that derives form the needs of your users. It is from such a background that you know the information seeking patterns of the intended audience and you match these to the information in your holdings. From there you look at the gaps that do exist in other information centres and you take advantage of them.
on publicising your services,
wish you success