Marketing on Fire

Ignite Session offers fast, cheap marketing tips

February 2, 2015

The pace of the 30-minute Ignite Sessions is fast, and the ideas flow even faster. It’s a lot of information to digest in a short amount of time, but it creates great energy.

Librarians flew through low- to no-cost marketing solutions in the Monday Ignite Session, Marketing On-the-Cheap for Small Libraries.

The 30-minute Ignite Sessions consist of 5-minute presentations accompanied by 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds. The pace is fast, and the ideas flow even faster. It’s a lot of information to digest in a short amount of time, but it creates great energy.

Tatiana Calhamer, readers services librarian at Gail Borden Public Library (GBPL) in Elgin, Illinois, explained how to harness the power of storytelling for programming. Influenced by the Human Library in Denmark, GBPL reached out to its community to find volunteers willing to share their stories with patrons. Volunteers included immigrants, veterans, and anyone with a compelling life story to tell. GBPL set up events where patrons could “check out” the volunteers for 30-minute increments to hear their stories. The projects were fun but more importantly allowed GBPL to make lasting connections with the community.

Mandi Goodsett, reference and instruction librarian at Cleveland State University, presented four points on marketing to millennials.Mandy Goodsett

  1. Give recognition and instant feedback: Use digital badges and polling tools to let them know how they’re progressing;
  2. Make it relevant: Use pop culture to connect the library to their coursework;
  3. Use peer learning and teamwork;
  4. Cater to digital natives: Use blogs, games, and other digital content to teach.

Fiona Jardine, Johnna Percell, and Diane Travis from the University of Maryland Library in College Park detailed diversity resources and events that they developed for students: career development workshops, human resources panels, tours of the Supreme Court Library, Little Free Libraries, mentorship programs, and bake sales. The inclusive programs helped build a new student community and allowed the library to offer more informed service.

Carli SpinaCarli Spina, emerging technologies and research librarian at the Harvard Law School Library, dived into the creative commons, showing how to use it to get free resources for your library. Eight-hundred and eighty-two creative commons materials were available in 2014, and Spina outlined where to find them online, the differences in the different types of licenses (pointing out which ones allow unrestricted use), and how to add your own content to the growing collection.

T. J. Szafranski, virtual services and reference librarian at Lake Villa (Ill.) District Library, made a compelling case for adding fantasy football leagues to programming.

Thirty-three million people played fantasy football in 2014, he said, and it’s an untapped market that perfectly aligns with the library’s mission to connect people with their interests. He explained no-cost ways to organize the leagues using Facebook and fantasy football gaming sites and detailed the simplicity of holding draft day parties onsite. The events are more than pure fun, he said. They help patrons build research skills and encourage community building.


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