Monday, March 16, 2009

On Relief: Federal Depository Libraries: Marketing Strategies and Activities

Cynthia DuBois and Rita Franks

[Personal note and confession: Early in my career, I was actually the Depository Librarian at the Bridgeport Public Library. I happened to discover, early on, that we were about to celebrate our 100th anniversary of being a depository library, so I organized a celebration. We got a rep from the GPO as well as local federal officials including the Postmaster to attend.]

In 2006, the Depository Library Council created a document with the vision statement that Knowledge will forever govern.

FDLP marketing campaign is free, dedicated, and limitless. Promotional materials are in packets: posters, pocket cards, table tents, bookmarks, and buttons “Ask me about FDLs!”

Strategies (this part was focused on academic libraries) include being at key events in the community (campus), alternative reference services like chat and IM [Meebo], social networking sites, networking, regular PR (newspapers, radio).

We are encouraged to send state produced documents through the State Library of Louisiana’s state depository program which then sends the information sent statewide. Use contacts with the local state offices and quasi-governmental agencies.

Strategies in the library include using internal displays, creating flyers, articles for the newsletter, library orientation, and service on organizational committees which do promotion. You can also do contests/games, create a handout area and seek flyers from agencies. Look for interesting items coming in to use on display in the department. Tie the display with local interests. Let departments know when something “profoundly cook” arrives. Offer workshops and training to the public on topics of local interest. Go on local radio/television media programs.

Think about what makes your library unique? How can you publicize or help the public? Appeal to your community. Some types of information that is included in depository collections includes:
Ø Health and nutrition
Ø Military and US History
Ø Travel
Ø Maps
Ø Business and statistics
Ø Pictorials

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