PRO MEDIA

Library Marketing and Communications: Strategies To Increase Relevance and Results

ALA. 2020. 176p. ISBN 9780838947999. pap. $54.99. PRO MEDIA
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In this expanded version of a 2018 speech to the Library and Communications Conference, Anderson (former marketing and communications director, Charlotte Mecklenburg Lib.) notes that funding cuts are more dire than ever, given the COVID-19 pandemic; accordingly, librarians must deploy marketing and communication strategies to prove their relevance. The author covers managing a library’s reputation, establishing a crisis communication plan, using stories to convey ways in which the library affects the community, and increasing user engagement. Helpfully, she also points to ways that many libraries fail to use marketing to their advantage. Traditionally, there has been more effort put into promoting programs and events and little into marketing collections, services, online resources, and facilities. Citing examples from individual libraries but no case studies, Anderson convincingly argues that library staff must look beyond print collateral such as bookmarks, signs, and posters (which often take time and effort to create) and instead seek out other, underused channels.
VERDICT Library directors, senior library management, and marketing staff looking to implement long-range plans for growing their customer bases and increase community engagement will find useful strategies here.
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