Monday, January 30, 2017

Northwest Branch library turns fast-food style page

from the Winnipeg Free Press, Wednesday, March 5, 1997
IN THIS age of fast food, even libraries are starting to get into the act. 
The new Northwest Branch Library on Keewatin Street has added an unusual feature to their building – a drive-through window. 
Northwest Branch opened its doors for the first time on Feb. 18. A grand opening and tree-planting ceremony will be held in May or June.
“We figure we’re going to hear a lot of ‘would you like fries with that?’” laughed library relations coordinator Heather Graham. “It’s a huge convenience for families on the go and people with disabilities, who don’t have to worry about getting in and out of their vehicle. As far as we know, it’s the first of its kind in Canada.” 
The drive-through window isn’t the only thing that sets this new library apart. 
“We’re trying to be responsible for what the community itself needs, instead of being a rubber stamp of what happens in another branch,” said Graham. “We’re trying to be innovative and flexible in what we provide.” 
Multi-lingual material will be provided to those who request it. 
“They’ll be an attempt to provide materials in languages relevant to the community,” Graham said, adding the library already has a full natives studies collection. 
The library will also be a computer addict’s dream. 
“If you bring in a lap-top and modem, and you have your own Internet account, you can hook up here,” she said. Many of the personal computers on hand also have Internet access, and extensive CD ROM networks are available. 
“This is something the community will really be proud of,” said Rick Walker, area head for the north district. “It’s a wonderful new facility for the entire community.” 
Every effort has been made to ensure every reader’s comfort. 
“Our shelves are considerably lower than in most branches, and that is a benefit not only to someone in a wheelchair, but those who have other physical limitations,” said Graham. 
The aisles are wider for easier wheelchair access, and the library offers a self-serve check-out unit. 
“In some branches, there’s been a problem with parking, but we have space for 50 vehicles,” said Graham. “Groups in the community can display their artwork on our community art wall.” 
The library was built on over two acres of land that will be landscaped like a park in the spring. 
“The park is going to be a really nice feature,” Graham said, “with trees and nice lighting. It will be a nice, safe walkway.” 
On-line catalogue Other available services include an on-line catalogue, large print and audio books for the blind, an automatic door, and a 90-person meeting room with Internet hookup. 
Walker is very enthusiastic about the new building, which will be replacing both the Brooklands and McPhillips branches. 
“As a department, we’re very proud of it,” he said. “Every time we build a library, we learn a little bit more.”

Monday, January 23, 2017

Media relations

  • Know the local media
    • Who are your local contacts?
    • Who would give the best coverage? 
    • Give tours
  • Have a press plan 
    • Know how to get the media involved 
  • Create news releases 
News releases 

* How is a news release going to be appropriate to gain attention?

Include the 5W and 1H at the beginning 

Format of news release
Date Contact person’s name and address


Lead paragraph – who, what, where, when

Following paragraph – why and how, important details 

Types of stories that will sell 
  • Styles and trends 
  • Prominent people
  • Local interest 
  • Disasters and crises 
    • Turn a negative into positive 
    • Brings attention 
  • Success story 
  • Human interest 
Stories can fit into more than one type 

Photos in news releases 
  • Include a caption
  • Identify individuals
  • Include photographer’s credit 
  • Black & white photo often preferred 
  • Avoid “Grin and Grab” photos

Monday, January 16, 2017


Based on: Wolfe, Lisa A. Library Public Relations, Promotions, and Communications. New York: Neal Schumann, 1997, p. 154 

12 weeks before program/special event 
  • Determine date, time and location for program/special event (are there any competing activities?) 
  • Secure funding 
  • Develop promotional plan (determine what deadlines for promoting in newsletters, media, etc.) 
8 weeks before program/special event 
  • Confirm in writing presenters and other involved participants
    • Don’t confirm too early or too late 
  • Determine whether book list or display will be created to accompany the program/special event 
  • Develop evaluation form 
6 weeks before program/special event 
  • Promotional materials should be ready for proofing 
    • For bigger events, information needs to be out even earlier for others to make arrangements
2-4 weeks before program/special event
  • Promotional materials should be distributed 
  • Confirm audio visual and electronic equipment needs and book 
  • Ensure that any on-site promotional items have been ordered/created (e.g. balloons, banners) 
  • Order food/beverages 
    • Guaranteed to bring in people! 
1 week before program/special event 
  • Double check all bookings have been made
  • Finalize agenda for program/special event 
  • Ensure all tasks for day of program/special event are covered 
  • Produce name tags/badges and signage 
2-3 days before program/special event 
  • Confirm that all speakers or presenters are still able to attend
  • Review various responsibilities with volunteers 
  • Confirm food/beverages
Night before program/special event
  • If possible, prepare location for event (e.g. put up banners, signs, etc.) 
2-3 hours before program/special event 
  • Ensure location set up properly and all audio-visual and electronic equipment functioning properly 1 hour before program/special event
  •  Greet presenters, speakers and participants 
1-2 days after program/special event 
  • Write thank you letters 
  • Compile results of evaluations of program/special event 
  • Have a session with others involved to determine what could have been done more effectively

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fundraising and advocacy

Why is fundraising important? 
  • Reduction of traditional sources of funding 
  • Useful for improving or enhancing library facilities or a special project 
    • e.g. computer suites 
  • Large libraries often have development officers who primary role is to raise funds for the library
  • Must be an integral part of library planning 
Libraries most likely involved
  • Academic 
  • Public 
    • Buildings
    • Services 
  • School
    • Trips 
  • Some special if mandate is to serve the public 
    • Rare 
Where to start 
  • Project a positive image of the library
  • Be proud of what you do and strive for improvement 
  • Be involved as part of the entire operation (e.g. school, university, city)
  • Choose goals for fundraising (one or two high profile projects) 
9 Cardinal principals of fundraising*
  • Institutional or organizational objectives must be established 
    • Why is it important and why is it needed?
  • Development objectives must be established to meet institutional goals
    • What’s in it for them? Make people see how they would benefit 
  • The kinds of support needed determine the kinds of fundraising programmes
  • The institutions must start with natural prospects
  • The case for the program must reflect the importance of the institution
  • Involvement is the key to leadership and support 
  • Prospect research must be thorough and realistic
  • Cultivation is the key to successful solicitation 
    • Develop relationships
  • Solicitation is successful only if primary principles are followed 
*Harstock, Robert F. “Why People Give and Why People Don’t.” Resource Development for Libraries. p. 12.

Types of fundraising
  • Annual giving campaigns 
  • Special events 
  • Retail operations 
    • New libraries have gift shops, profits go towards library
  • Major gifts Annual giving 
  • Adopt-a-book or journal o Have new books on display with label saying “Adopt me” 
    • Have people donate new books or journals to library
    • Instill book plates to recognise donor(s) 
  • Retail sails 
  • Bequests and memorial donations 
Retail operations
  • Library merchandise
  • Coffee shop 
  • Selling recipe books
  • Necessitates thinking about having a cash register at the circulation desk or accepting credit card payments
  • Online shopping 
Special events
  • Book and bake sales
  • Author readings where people pay 
  • Walk-a-thons
  • Auctions
  •  Note that these are very labour intensive 
    • May not raise a lot of funds, but may be invaluable for raising awareness of libraries 
Major gifts 
  • Foundations (Gates, Winnipeg Library Foundation)
  • Corporations o Watch out for strings attached to agreement 
    • Make sure you have a policy that sets out parameters of relationships
    • Ethical dilemmas can result
    • Will they donate equipment or services? 
  • Individuals 
    • 80-90% of charitable giving is from individuals
    • 5 steps* 
      • Identify
      • Cultivate 
      • Solicit 
      • Nurture
      • Resolicit
        * Denham, Rudi. “Fundraising for Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries” Feliciter 44 (November/December 1988): 28 
    • Five C’s of ideal donor 
      • Current 
        • Support/use
      • Close
        • Location/attachment 
      • Committed 
        • Always loyal
      • Capable
        • Do they have the money?
      • Compatible 
        • Do their interests match the library’s?
          * Bergan, Helen. “Where the Money is: How to Add Names to Your Prospect List.” Library Administration and Management 7 (Summer 1993): 40 
  • Parent organization 
    • Never forget that your parent organization provides you with major fund
    • Cultivate and nurture this body as well 
Some Canadian success stories 
  • Oakville
  • Calgary 
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Toronto 
  • Vancouver Public Library 
Library advocacy
  • What is it? 
  • Key strategies of ALA campaign 
    • Mobilize network of library advocates to speak out for libraries
    • Increase federal support for libraries o Initiate media campaign 
  • This campaign included Academic, Public, and School libraries 
Goals of ALA campaign
  • Shatter myth that libraries are frills
  • State urgency and scope of public’s need for libraries
  • Position libraries as central to America’s information superhighway
  • Inspire more Americans to use and support libraries 
ALA’s role 
Advocacy for special libraries
Library advocacy in Canada 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Promotional techniques

  • Exhibit 
    • Bulletin boards 
    • Displays 
  • Printed publicity 
    • Brochures 
  • Web pages 
  • Special events 
    • Open houses 
  • Library orientation 
    • Tours 
      • Virtual 
      • Orientation 
  • Current awareness 
  • Fundraising 
  • Programming
  • Bulletin boards 
  • Displays 
  • Purpose 
    • Communicate a message 
    • Foster participation 
    • Instruct/inform 
    • Promote use of services and resources 
    • Encourage interest in under-utilized resources 
    • Why is the exhibit being created? 
    • What do you hope to achieve? 
  • Types of exhibits 
    • Instructional 
      • Mainly in educational libraries 
    • Promotional 
      • Display highlighted resources 
    • Interactive
      • Computer set-up at display, participate in exhibit 
    • Patron/client designed 
      • Fostering participation 
Exhibit criteria 
  • Relate exhibit to mission of library and its parent organization 
  • Exhibit must be sponsored or approved by library 
  • Fairness concerning issues of possible controversy 
  • Be aesthetically pleasing 
  • Display relevant materials 
  • Promote materials and functions of library 
  • Facilitate cooperative relations with community
Part-time Public Relations with Full-time Results. Chicago: ALA, 1995. p. 11 

Is what you’re doing clear and evident? Does it attract and hold attention? Does it motivate people to do something? Does it cause conversation? 

Printed publicity 
  • Types 
    • Newsletters
      • Print 
      • Electronic 
        • Use both to reach everyone 
    • Brochures 
    • Flyers 
      • Use 1 sheet for any event 
    • Posters 
      • Big
      • Encourage
      • Alert 
    • Bookmarks
      • Hours
      • Locations 
    • Annual reports 
      • Promotional
      • Charts
      • Be creative
Printed publicity criteria 
  • Reflect today’s society 
    • Use recycled paper 
  • Create consistent look
    • Logo 
    • Mascot
    • Attractive
  • Be consistent with parent organization 
    • Parent organization should be recognisable in logo 
    • Colour 
  • Think about a logo 
  • Date all items 
    • Month, year 
    • Bottom corner
  • Keep language clear and precise
    • Aim to patrons
    • Don’t use lingo
    • Use plain English 
  • Use appropriate graphics
  • Use appropriate photos 
    • Angle focus 
    • Related 
  • Purpose
    • Improve communication 
      • Success stories 
      • Odds overcome 
    • Keep staff and clients abreast of new services 
      • Aim different news to different groups 
    • Encourage support for library 
      • Tell people what’s happening 
      • What has gone well? 
    • Highlight special events 
  • Purpose 
    • Relay information about library as a whole or a particular service 
  • Some consideration 
    • Message and target audience
      • Who is the target audience? 
      • What message are you trying to send? 
    • Visual aids to reinforce message 
    • Cost of producing brochure 
Posters and bookmarks 
  • Often used for a particular event/week 
  • May be produced by an outside agency for distribution in libraries 
    • Fosters community support 
Annual reports 
  • Purpose 
    • Itemize library’s activities and budget for previous years 
    • Photos, charts, shows general atmosphere 
  • Will be presented to senior management 
  • Some are extremely attractive and well-thought out 
    • Creative 
    • Business like 
    • Presents information clearly 
Library orientations 
  • Locational tours 
    • Virtual tours online 
  • How to use the library’s resources 
    • Classroom/workshop settings in groups or one-on-one targets specific groups individually
Library orientations are important techniques

Current awareness 
  • SDI
    • Selective dissemination of information 
  • Bibliographies on “hot topics” 
    • Pathfinders 
    • Individual profiles 
  • Acquisitions lists 
Very important in special libraries 

Be proactive, provide before users realise they need it