The Internet may be your one-stop source for information and background on pretty much everything, but it didn't get that way overnight. Help keep your library relevant by drumming up business with these simple tips and tricks.
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Get the Word Out!
Get ideas to get the word out without breaking the bank from two experts in the field: Audra Caplan, Director of Harford County Public Library and President of the Public Library Association, and Redwood City Librarian Cristina Thorson.
1. Send Newsletters
A print and email version of your library newsletter, jam-packed with children's activities, booklists, programs, and other library events, will help get the word out about everything the library has to offer.
2. Use Social Media
Use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to publicize special events and keep the library on everyone's radar. If you're using these sites to publicize a particular event, make sure that you are tweeting about it several times a day. Twitter users view a stream of information in real time, and there's a good chance that they will miss your tweet if you only post it once. Be persistent to maximize the impact of your messaging.
3. Access Local Television, Radio, and Newspaper
The key to accessing this type of media is to write solid, exciting press releases: be brief, write eye-catching headings and subheadings, feature all the essential facts up front, get a good quote from your director or a board member, use catchy phrases, include graphics, and always add the library's mission statement at the end of every press release.
4. Offer Welcome Packets
Give every new library card holder a welcome packet. This can be something as simple as a folder with pamphlets, library resources, a list of library staff, a map, and other information that they will need to make the best use of the library.
5. Build a Lifelong Love for the Library
It's important to make the library a special place for young children. Make that first library card an event by presenting the child with bookmark or some other small token. Find out what the child is interested in for materials; if they like trains, get them to those books! Make the children's area engaging, colorful, and exciting, with lots of developmental toys.
6. Help Keep Teens Engaged
The library is an important resource for teenagers. You can keep kids engaged with creative and exciting programming that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Host video game tournaments, fashion shows, Anime clubs, or workshops on how to cook or write a resume.
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