Monday, May 29, 2017

Mission, goals and objectives exercise

Library Type:

Mission Statement:
Anytown Public Library strives to meet the information, educational and recreational needs of the people of Anytown to assist them in achieving their lifelong individual goals and in improving their quality of life.

To improve library services to young adults and children.

Increase programmes offered to young adults and children by 50% within the next two years.


  1. Identify popular topics to specific age groups, identify programmes geared towards them.
  2. Determine budget, staff resourcing and advertisement.

Library Type:

Mission Statement:
Ridgemount High School Library strives to support the educational program by providing timely, innovative and relevant services and materials. 

To improve the quality and currency of health materials.

Increase online subscriptions to journal and databases in the health field by 5% in the year 2005.


  1. Consult teaching staff to identify curriculum requirements.
  2. Consult other schools in division with what they are currently using and what could be shared.
  3. Consult major reviews selecting tool.

Library Type:

Mission Statement:
Duckburg University Library strives to support learning and research at Duckburg University by providing access to timely and relevant world knowledge.

To increase use of library resources by students in the faculties of science and engineering.

Increase circulation statistics by science and engineering students by 10% in one year.


  1. Subscribe to more science and engineering databases.
  2. Survey faculty for materials requirements.
  3. Increase advertising.
  4. More e-reserves.
  5. Offer workshops on how to search databases.
  6. Publicity.
  7. Display projects linked to resources.

Library Type:

Mission Statement:
The Corporate Library contributes to the mission of Healthy Way Products by providing timely and relevant information and services to all departments to assist them meeting their goals. 

To improve resource sharing with other libraries.


To improve resource sharing by 5% by June 2005.


  1. Join Amicus.
  2. Train staff in using Amicus.
  3. Current awareness in non-library staff.
  4. Join resource sharing group (also objective)

Monday, May 22, 2017


Why should we plan?
  • To assist us to get from where we are to where we would like to be or should be
Why don’t we plan?
  • Planning can be
    • Difficult
    • Time consuming
    • Confusing
You know, we really should plan!

What exactly is planning?
  • An analytical process involving:
    • Assessment of the future
    • Determining desired objectives
      • e.g., moving building to have new space, or revamp building
    • Developing several courses of action
    • Selecting appropriate course(s) of action
    • Think ahead to choose the best course of action.
Long range or strategic plan
  • Time frames such as:
    • 2-year plan
    • 5-year plan
    • 10-year plan
It’s hard to think in terms of 10 years because of ever changing technology.

Short term plan (operational)
  • Open eyes
  • Lift head
  • Move leg
  • Move other leg
  • Sit up
  • Yawn
  • Stretch
  • Put on slippers
  • Stand up slowly
  • Getting through specific tasks with lists of accomplishments 
Two levels of planning
  • Departmental or unit level
  • Overall plan for entire organization
Steps in strategic planning
  • Identify values, assumptions and beliefs
  • Conduct an environmental scan
  • Do a SWOT or PEST analysis
  • Create a vision and mission for the library
  • Develop goals and objectives
  • Implement the plan
  • Evaluate the plan and start again
Values and assumptions
  • Value
    • Respectful workplace
  • Assumption
    • Technology will continue to play a significant role on the library as it enters the next millennium
Environmental scan
  • Beyond the library
  • Analysis
    • SWOT
      • Internal and external
        • Internal
          • Strengths
          • Weaknesses
        • External
          • Opportunities
          • Threats
    • PEST
      • Restraints
        • Political
        • Economical
        • Social
        • Technological
Visions versus missions
  • Vision statement
    • Future oriented and almost out of reach
    • An ideal
  • Mission statement
    • Philosophical statement of overall purpose 

Sample plans and mission statements on the web
U of M.

Vancouver Public Library. Mission, Vision, Values and Goals

Goals and objectives
  • Goals
    • Broad statements stating how library will achieve its mission
    • Time frames are still 3-5 years
    • Strategic
  • Objectives
    • Specific, measurable and time limited actions in support of goals
    • Time sensitive
Goals often cover broad areas such as 
  • Services
  • Collections
  • Facilities
  • Funding
  • Staffing
  • Goal: To provide materials in a variety of formats as identified by public need and use
  • Objective: To provide a catalogued book collection of two volumes per capita by the year 2000
  • Action: By an increase in the collection of 2% annually
  • Objective: To provide an adequate ethnic collection by the year 2000
  • Action: By identifying the major language groups by June 1999 and acquiring at least 1,000 volumes annually in those languages

    Implementing the plan and evaluation
  • Set priorities
  • Allocate staff/resources
  • Establish time frame and when milestones should occur or products/services be developed
  • Communicate plan
  • Monitor, evaluate, adjust, start all over

Monday, May 15, 2017

Marketing measures for information services

Zachret, Martha Jane and Williams, Robert V. Marketing Measures for Information Services. Special Libraries 77 (Spring 1986) pp. 61-70

Monday, May 8, 2017

Tapping into the zen of marketing

St. Lifer, Evan, Albanese, Andrew R., Tapping into the zen of marketing. Library Journal. 05/01/2001, Vol. 126, Issue 8
Tapping into the Zen of marketing
Libraries strut their stuff and gather insightful data with a more retail-oriented approach to pursuing new patrons
LATE IN 1999, Ohio’s Lakewood Public Library recognized it had a problem or, more aptly, a challenge: after running some studies on its service area, it discovered that one of its biggest subset of residents was hardly using the library. “Many people had a perception of Lakewood as being a city of families and senior citizens,” said John Guscott, Lakewood PL’s manager of electronic services. “Our experiences at the library over the past few years suggested otherwise-that it was fast becoming a city dominated by young, professional (but nonmainstream) singles.”
As a group, there was very little in the collection specific to Gen Xers to pique their somewhat bohemian, countercultural lifestyles. Further, library staff didn’t know enough about them to offer materials that catered to their literary and musical proclivities. 
Lakewood’s problem was not unusual: traditional libraries have had a difficult time reaching Gen Xers, and the rise of the Internet hasn’t made that job any less difficult. 
Today, Lakewood has no such problem. The Gen X crowd frequents the library for a rich array of programming and diverse book and CD collections just for them. “Our circ for audio CDs has just flown off the charts,” says Guscott. 
The elusive Gen Xer
The story of how Lakewood PL was able to identify and target this significant subset, learn more about its predilections, and then act on that profile by delivering more materials that would attract that elusive group is a testament to libraries’ newfound willingness to employ marketing techniques and a service imperative once reserved for retail operations. Lakewood PL’s ability to ferret out this missing chunk of potential patron base stems from the research efforts of Guscott. A Gen Xer himself at 29, Guscott employed two techniques referred to in marketing parlance as “market segmentation” and “geodemographics.” Essentially, both processes allow the user to slice and dice potential patrons into meaningful, definable cross sections.
Gusscott worked with a program called “You Are Where You Live” (YAWYL) (www.delluke.claritas.conff YAWUL/aboutprizm.wjsp) created by Claritas and its net-based arm, ClaritasExpress, which offers marketing solutions and software. YAWYL is part of Claritas’s PRIZM lifestyle segmentation system, which is based on the premise that people with similar lifestyles tend to live near each other. According to web site information, PRIZM defines every neighbourhood in the United States in terms of demographically and behaviorally distinct types or “clusters”.
Guscott had a conversation with Lakewood PL Director Ken Warren in December 1999 to address the need to define and pursue dormant subsets of the library’s patron base. Less than two months later, Guscott submitted to his boss a marketing report using the PRIZM software, having divided residents in the Lakewood PL service area into nine clusters, ranked by sixe. For example, Guscott classified the largest cluster as “Urban Achievers,” documenting how many lived in Lakewood, 14,433, which he calculated comprised nearly 26 percent of Lakewood PL’s total population in its service area. He also compiled some very specific information about their ethnicity, age range, level of education, type of information (e.g. “white collar/professional”), type of housing (rent or own), median income, median home value, key issues (“gay rights or environmental protection”) and politics (e.g., “liberal independent”).
Targeting consumer tastes
However, the most intriguing part of the cluster profile and the area that provided Lakewood PL with the most insight into each duster’s general consumer tastes was the section entitled Consumer Pattern. Here the first group and largest cluster, Urban Achievers, were characterized as “behaving like middle-class sophisticates” and gravitating toward a welter of consumer outlets, products, and brands, including “speciality shops, ethnic markets, family restaurants, delis, sushi bars, taco joints, Nordstorm, jazz music, Kias, Volkswagens, and Nissans.” Their composite “Interests” were also telling: “multiculturalism, intellectually challenging pursuits, theater, adult education, libraries, public broadcasting, and alternative health.”

“Any kind of cluster has basic values and what you want to do is find out what those values are and reflect that in your collection while leaving some room for discovery at the library,” says Guscott. “Then we took it to the next step and figured out the programming and content that would attract them to the library.”

However, the notion that all libraries are forever trying to drive usage by figuring out ways to expand their patron base is not realistic. Faced with limited financial resources and an often overburdened staff, many libraries are simply trying to provide first-rate service to the patrons they already have.”

“Usually people who use the library love the library,” reasons William Ptacek, director of the King County Library System (KCLS), Seaule, one of the busiest libraries in the country based on its record of circulating roughly 13 million books annually. “So there hasn’t been a good incentive to seek out ways to better serve customers or recruit new ones because we have so many using the library already.”

Arming the noncompetitor
Thus libraries haven’t traditionally behaved competitively by seeking to stake a claim to a specific constitution or audience. Now, however, with incursions being made on a number of fronts, e.g., bookstores and the Internet, some librarians have pushed their organizations to think about pursuing new patrons more aggressively. “We know that we have to compete to get business, and libraries typically haven’t thought that way,” says Gale Group CEO Allen Paschal. “Prior to the electronic age, they were the [undisputed] foundation for information in their communities, and now there is competition from AOL and Yahoo. Thus there is a danger that the virtual library will pass them by if they don’t let people know they are at the center of the information universe.”

Paschal admits that libraries’ reticence in marketing their virtues has “bothered” him because “libraries have better information and people don’t know it.” He readily acknowledges Gale’s vested interest—“obviously our existence goes hand-in-hand with libraries”—in attempting to help them market themselves more effectively.

Sensitive to librarians’ increasing desire to tout their institutions while lacking the financial wherewithal or expertise to do it, Gales has posted at its web site ( an assortment of free downloadable marketing resources based on the company’s “Find yourself in the library” campaign. Libraries can customize these resources to address their own marketing objectives.

Billboards for LOUIS
Gale has also invested in an experimental marketing foray with Louisiana’s LOUIS system, a statewide library consortium consisting of more than 120 public, academic, and school libraries. In an effort to help LOUIS push the visibility of its homepage ( as a statewide access point for an extensive army of online databases and resources, Gale paid for a billboard advertising campaign. Although LOUIS Director Ralph Bee concedes the “full impact of the billboards has not been felt yet,” Gale officials say they are willing to experiment and include value-added marketing strategies and investments in their future dealings with libraries.

King County’s Ptacek has fought against the strategically limiting axiom of “doing the best we can for the people we have” with some innovative marketing efforts that have pushed library use in his area to even higher levels. Ptacek details the source of his motivation. “I don’t think it’s a given that people will always use libraries and think about them the same way they do now.” King County employed a strategy of brand marketing in an effort to drive use of its electronic resources and databases. “We were spending all this money on databases and people weren’t using them as much as we would’ve liked,” explains Ptacek. The centerpiece of KCLS’s brand marketing strategy was a campaign to circulate 600,000 library cards to every student in King County.

Several months before kicking off the campaign, Ptacek and his staff deliberately embarked on a process of discovery, by hiring a pollster to “do an analysis of our market,” increasingly the telltale sign of a marketing-savvy library. In fact, Ptacek says he keeps a local research firm on retainer to help formulate focus groups and other data-gathering endeavours. According to Ptacek, the pollster gave them a good news/not-so-good news scenario: while 75 percent of the 400 family households said they had used a King County library in the last year, only 25 percent of this highly wired community said they had connected to KCLS’s homepage. Ptacek thought the library card campaign could literally double the homepage access rate to 50 percent of all King County family households.

KCLS’s library foundation kicked in $150,000 to pay for promotion of the campaign and also paid for all of the library cards. Ptacek says the campaign was a huge success: database use via the KCLS homepage rose from a precampaign average of 300,000 hits per month, to more than 700,000 hits per month.

Low-budgeting marketing
However, the country is chock-full of a whole cross section of libraries that could never afford to keep a marketing firm on retainer. Even among those that have a foundation, there is little chance that they could appropriate foundation money for promotion or research when an infusion of new materials or technology upgrades beckon. So what is a less affluent library to do?

“We’re always looking for people who don’t use the library,” says Nancy Dowell, director of the Vigo County PL (VCPL), IN. “We take advantage of all the demographic information we can get our hands on.” In an effort to save money and pool resources, VCPL has sought to partner with other local agencies, businesses, or institutions to promote a local event. The library’s sponsorship and promotion of “Family Learning Day” in downtown Terre Haute with the local business association garnered it the 2001 Marketing of the Year Award from the Wabash Valley Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Dowell says the library sought to promote the revitalization of the economically blighted downtown in combination with the concept of family literacy.

In some cases, perception is just as important as any well-oiled, assiduously researched marketing plan. Ferguson PL Director Emie DiMattia’s goal of having a Starbucks on its premises was to “add quality to the experience of those who currently use the library.” But, most importantly, says DiMattia, was the public perception of the library, based in downtown Stamford, CT, as a relatively “in” place. Ferguson is only the second public library to house a full-service Starbucks franchise. DiMattia and staff have added other touches: a passport office and a “Friends of the Ferguson Library Used Bookshop.”

According to Greg Buss, chief librarian at British Columbia’s Public Library, the staff didn’t have to hire any market research firms or pore over demographic, data to discern the needs of the public. Buss says staff simply “took very seriously” the patron comment forms that most libraries offer. The types of things on the public’s wish list are not uncommon to any public librarian. “They wanted longer hours, more technology, more books, and more personalized service—really more of everything,” he says. “Customers have never been shy about what they want, but I think we have been shy in giving it to them.”

Slicing and dicing the constituency: a comparison of two of Lakewood, OH’s “Clusters”

Bohemian Mix American Dreams
Percent living in
18.9% (1.7%of U.S.) 5.0% (1.4% of U.S.)
Number living in Lakewood 10,967 2,828
Cluster rank for Lakewood 2 6
Description Progressive, eclectic group of executives, students,
artists, and writers;
live in rented high-rises; very few children;
75% single or divorced;
33% are gay
Immigrants and descendants
who typify the American Dream;
affluent married couples with or
without children who work hard at multiple trades and public service jobs;
often have big families
Family types Single Mixed
Ethnicity Ethnically diverse Ethnically diverse
Age Range
25-44 Mixed
Education College Graduate Some College,
College Graduate
Employment Professional White Collar
Housing Type Rental of Multi-Unit Owner of Single-Unit
Median Income Mid to High 30K Low to Mid 50K
Median Home Value $135,452 $180,900
Politics Liberal DemocratLiberal Democrat
Key Issues Gay rights,
legalizing marijuana,
defusing racial tensions
Gun control,
pro-life movement,
eliminating affirmative action
Early adopter consumer pattern,
quick to try new products,
imported goods,
especially wine,
beer, and cheese,
organic foods,
fashion forward,
subcompact cars,
anti-mainstream brands,
New cars, boats,
recreational vehicles,
designer labels,

Is the “Library of the Future” the future of the library?
How many libraries allow food and drink anywhere in the building and call its most heavily used room the “living room”? With its newfangled Ironwood branch, British Columbia’s Richmond PL is recasting the conventional notions of what a library can and should be.

Although the idea of allowing kids to do their homework while they lay sprawled on the floor munching potato chips and sipping soda might be anathema to some librarians, most sit up and take notice of some of Ironwood’s gaudy annual usage numbers: 12,000 program attendees and 100,000 hours of net time used. Perhaps most impressive are its circulation statistics: the library circulates more than 750,000 items annually, which means it circulates its 65,000-item collection more than 11 times. Ironwood, at 12,000 square feet, does this with 13 FEEs.

Apparently the public library world has taken notice. Public library officials from King County, San Jose, Solano County, Santa Clara, New York, Chicago, and southern New Jersey have all made pilgramages to British Columbia to talk to Chief Librarian Greg Buss and Deputy Chief Librarian Cate McNeely about Richmond PL’s self-anointed “Library of the Future.”
The concept for the Ironwood branch came from a “series of epiphanies” that occurred from looking at trends and developments outside the library. Perhaps most important, staff noticed the emerging trend of self-service in the retail sector and considered how to adapt it to a new branch library in which they could incorporate innovations from the ground up.  
Their idea, according to McNeely, was to automate certain library functions, checking out books principal among them, to “free up the library staff to have more meaningful interactions with customers.”  
One of the main lessons learned from developing the forward-thinking Ironwood branch was that it could be done without huge infusions of money, said Buss. “It required a lot of planning and really working together with the staff, the board, and the community. It’s not impossible to have a library with a good selection of books and the latest technology,” he said. “You can have food in the library and the world won’t fall apart.”

Monday, May 1, 2017

Marketing the worth of your library

Sass, Rivkah K., Marketing the worth of your library. Library Journal, 6/15/2002. Vol. 127, Issue 11.
For the cost of a latte a week, your library brings you the world
In a perfect world, everyone would have a library card, and the library would serve as both a real place worth spending time at and a virtual information center available 24 hours a day. The library would be the top-of-the-list destination for information and pleasure seekers alike. Unfortunately, in the real world, the public library may rate closer to number 11 as the chosen place to seek information (that’s according to a 2001 survey at The truth is the library isn’t on the radar screen of many people who think of themselves as information literate.
Despite all our real-time reference, web sites that rock, and exemplary programs, libraries are still missing the hook that will change our public’s perception of what we have to offer. It isn’t enough simply to tell potential patrons what is available at their library. What was the last Madison Avenue ad campaign you saw that just told what the product offered?
The hook is selling the value of the library in real bottom-line terms. 
The curse of history
Libraries are a beloved tradition in America, commanding respect, pride, and even a willingness to support the occasional bond issue. Yet, for an institution that has been around this long, the library has simply faded into the background for many in the general public. Librarians struggle to demonstrate that they are the information cognoscenti.
Most customer satisfaction surveys regarding library services indicate a high level of satisfaction with basic or traditional roles. The primary expectation is that libraries offer books for lending and provide programming for children, but they do not contribute to more sophisticated information needs. Adjusting such an entrenched reputation would not be easy in the best of circumstances. In this day of downloads from Kazaa, “Live Journal” communities and “blogs” with names like “Snoop Doggy Blog,” libraries have to fight for the attention of our users, and we are losing the battle. In trying to cast a new status for our institutions as information central we face the new and, for many librarians, uncomfortable position of being in competition. In this environment, we must tell our users—who are also our funders—what they get for a dollar spent by the library. 
Borrowing from the competition
Librarians do not promote library services well and often are reluctant to borrow from the private sector, although that may be the only thing that will guarantee a viable future. This observation isn’t new. In fact, more than 50 years ago Pelham Barr wrote, “There is general rejoicing if some lipstick, love, and lingerie magazine says a kind word about libraries” (Public Relations of Poor Relations,” LJ 6/15/46, p. 884ff). Things have not changed much. Too often, we wait for others to notice that we are doing a good job.
Try as we might, we have not come up with the ultimate marketing message. “@Your Library” is a terrific idea as far as it goes, but despite the best intentions and great public service announcements (PSAs) starring Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, three problems stand out. Just when we are trying to prove our relevance in the digital age, too often the implication of the campaign is that people must actually enter a building to use the rich array of resources libraries have to offer. We can market librarians as information-savvy and tout libraries as the place to find that recipe or research that car, but if the message is still about the library as the place, ultimately, we will lose out.
Second, as respected as Sarandon and Robbins are by baby boomers, their message may not hit Generation X or Y. These are the generations least impressed by the traditional array of services.  
And, most importantly, the campaign takes an essentially passive stance: We have something you might like, stop by if you have the time. Selling the library on its value, on the other hand, is about letting people know what their libraries already own. It is about presenting information as a commodity that librarians can deliver at discount rates. 
Databases vs. the web
Libraries should be valued and viewed as an essential community resource. People should react with delight when they’re presented with options for service and delivery. The first step is letting them know options exist. The next step is letting them know the comparative value of library products and services.
One area that is truly undermarketed is our electronic resources. Many users have no concept that they’re different from “the Web”. We know they are unique, content-rich, authoritative, and not free. Again, too many of our information literacy initiatives are passive. We ask people to sign up for a research class and then teach better search methods. Information literacy needs to include teaching happily oblivious people about the dangers of bad information and the costs of good information.
Like almost everything else in the library, databases are not a “free” service to the public, but they represent a great value compared with other available sources. The same marketing strategy can be applied to other areas of the library. 
Staff as marketers
So, what is the value of a library card? What is the value of a library? Access to unique resources? The help of trained professionals? While some of us want to tip the balance in favor of providing electronic resources for the serious user, it is still the human connection that makes the difference. As highly touted, purely electronic tools like Questia fade into history, we should remember to market the value of what is the largest percentage of most library budgets—the staff.
The staff in turn need to sell the value of the library. When Starbucks was a small, local coffee company, its staff knew coffee, and, more importantly, they knew their customers and understood that their service and our satisfaction were integrally linked. As customers we developed high expectations. While Starbucks has lost some of that personal touch, there are few among us who do not envy its brand, which literally helped change our tastes.
Like Starbucks, librarians can use the personal touch to build a brand and change user tastes. The reader who comes into the library every week to talk about what’s new and what’s good has high expectations about whatever the librarian is going to suggest. It’s the service that our public receives that helps them perceive the value the library brings.  
The staff need to be smart and offer expert knowledge, but, in fact, it is the personal encounters that hold value, whether they are face to face or virtual. Each encounter is an opportunity to share our expertise, our resources, and ourselves in a way that allows our customers to savor the experience and go away wanting more.
The marketing of libraries is the responsibility of all of the staff. If we can do it with reader’s advisory, we can convince our users of the worth of electronic resources and our ability to help them make the best possible use of them. We will know we have succeeded when a customer asks what new databases has been added this week. 
Marketing your worth
While the idea of advertising library services isn’t new, we must exploit it more than ever. We need to talk about “having the world in your pocket” with a library card and stress that you don’t have to be inside a library to use it. I hope some library somewhere is doing radio spots featuring “inside the mind of a librarian” scenarios that target diverse user groups. Even better, how about a whole show devoted to information? If the Satellite Sisters can be syndicated, why can’t a group of creative and zany librarians who respond to reference questions as though they were car repair issues?
Whatever the creative avenues your team can come up with to spread the word about what the library has to offer, don’t forget that these services aren’t free. Simply put, thanks to librarians, the public has access to resources more easily, quickly, and cheaply than would otherwise be conceivable. We know that; now we must let our public in on the secret. 
By Rivah K. Sass
Rivah K. Sass is Reference & Information Services Coordinator, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR.
Five things libraries can do to market their worth
  1. Have a real budget for advertising, like St. Louis Public Library. It budgets $120,000 a year for radio ads, billboards, and bus cards, targeting some of its low-use neighbourhoods to encourage people to use the library and understand its value. Somewhere travelling around St. Louis is a bus with a sign that reads, “Want to be healthy, wealthy and wise? Use your library!”
  2. Develop creative PSAs aimed at Generations X and Y that are designed to be broadcast during late-night television. “It’s the middle of the night and you’re working on a paper? Did you know that your library card will get you into the library’s databases all night long? They’re better than Google, and you can cite them, too!”
  3. Develop catchy placards for the inside and outside of buses that highlight the value of the staff at the library. Use some of the more unusual questions librarians have been known to answer next to pictures of local staff members: “Have you ever wondered can you poach a salmon in the dishwasher? Ask a librarian!” In the Information Age, it’s good to know there are true information professionals ready to assist with any question.
  4. Joe Jarnes of the University of Washington iSchool says, “Be where people are.” Janes was the inspiration for Multnomah County Library’s “Knowmobile,” a rolling reference cart that allows staff to answer reference questions, make library cards, and promote library services at everything from baseball games to farmer’s markets.
  5. Work with database vendors to develop strategies and promotional collateral to market electronic resources and get the word out. Product-specific marketing materials about electronic resources would be a huge benefit to users and give librarians a chance to highlight the specific cost of building their collections.