Alchemical Thoughts

Article Note: On developing an outreach plan

Posted on: January 8, 2008

Citation for the article:

Hallmark, Elizabeth Kennedy, et.al. "Developing a long-range and outreach plan for your academic library." C&RL News (February 2007): 92-95.

This is pretty much a brief reading note. Not quite enough for the main blog, but certainly important as a work note, so I am writing it down here.

I read this a while back, but I did not give it too much thought until I came to the job at Tyler. Now I find that we should develop a marketing plan for the library. At least, it would give us a sense of direction. There are certain things I need to keep in mind.

Things I need to know. In order to make things work and to give shape to the plan, there are some things I need to know. I need to continue learning about the campus and building my contact base. I also need some local user data. This I think I can gather, to some degree, from surveys we may be conducting in the near future as part of the accreditation process. The article mentions a SWOT analysis. I need to check if such a document exists for the library, and if not, what would be the possibility of creating one.

Some goals for this (and I am taking these out of the article now. See pg. 92)):

  • "increasing general awareness of the library." I think we do some of this already in publications like our newsletter and our new library blog. We need to put this goal in writing and find a way to document it goal progress and success.
  • "showcasing the library's collections."
  • "creating an ongoing excitement or buzz about the library through positive media coverage and hosting of high-profile events." We do a few events now such as Banned Books Week Read-out. We need to continue this as well as expand.
  • "providing staff and the university community with up-to-date information about the library."
  • "instituting a plan for continuous evaluation of marketing efforts." This I believe is important, not only to measure the success, but as documentation we can add to the accreditation process.

Items to identify from surveys (again, taking from the article, see pg. 93):

  • "characteristics of users, including their status (e.g. undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty, staff), college or department affiliation, age and gender."
  • "frequency of library visits."
  • "duration of library visits."
  • "equipment used while in the library."
  • "activities conducted in the library."
  • "desired changes in library services, including any changes in library operation, increased access to current equipment, new equipment, and changes in use of library space."

The article also has a list of various activities and things to do, making it a very practical piece.

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