@ Your Library needs a makeover

16 06 2007

I’ve spoken before in the comments of some of your blogs about my feelings towards the @ Your Library campaign at ALA. I’ve grown increasingly frustrated by the outdated campaign, and when Karin at Musings of an LIS Student told me that several of the links on the @YL page were broken, I decided enough is enough. I was going to compile my own set of tools, including a site index to the @YL page so people could find things. I started out by asking people to contribute any tools or resources they found that I’d overlooked.

But as I started compiling the short list of my own favorite free marketing tools, I became bogged down and overwhelmed. I wanted the help of some of my fellow marketing librarians…especially since some of them have actual real-world experience using/creating marketing materials, whereas my knowledge is purely theoretical and from a student standpoint. I needed more help!

ALA is absolutely the correct place to collect, organize, and distribute marketing information and tools to libraries across the country. But there’s nowhere to talk about changes to the site/campaign or share tools that we find that aren’t created by ALA. Then I heard about Aaron Dobbs’ Improve ALA wiki (via David Lee King’s blog) and said “aha!” Let’s talk about how to change the @YL campaign on the wiki! So I added marketing to the list of “things to change” :

Create a new set of marketing tools — and make them easier to navigate

The @ Your Library Campaign has a lot of information that’s really useful on planning and strategizing, but it’s difficult to navigate (like much of the rest of the ALA site). The actual marketing tools themselves though need an overhaul and some major additions. How to use Web 2.0 to get feedback during the planning stages of developing a campaign… and get feedback after the campaign is started. Let’s get some TV spots with real interest, flair and creativity. Having a celebrity or two standing there pimping libraries isn’t going to cut it anymore. The library photos from the contest are great, but why stop there? Let’s have an ongoing submission process and compile a huge set of stock photography that ALA members can use for their own community advertising needs. And lets have some tools on how to use Web 2.0 in general to advocate for more community involvement and participation.

So…how best to start compiling ways to change the @YL campaign? Do I start my own wiki for Library Marketing (something ALA really should do) or do I tack it on to this project? Advice and opinions are needed!

Update: In the meantime, I’ve put my site index of the @YL page up here at LibraryNation. I’ll move this over to the wiki where ever it finally ends up. 

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5 responses

16 06 2007
Jenny Levine

My two cents based on what I’ve learned during the last year: ALA doesn’t have the staff to maintain the type of resource you’re discussing. At least, not without help from the members (which you’re offering – yay!). ALA staff rarely request new initiatives/tools like this without prompting from members because they believe ALA is a member-driven organization (a separate discussion).

Since there is no one division or unit that handles marketing, there really isn’t anywhere to centralize this type of coordination. However, based on the little bit I know (which is my caveat here), members could request that the folks who handle the @yl campaign (the Public Information Office) start a wiki where they could help PIO collect this type of information.

Alternatively, PIO is part of the “Communications and Member Relations” area of ALA, so I’m guessing the request could go to that group as a whole. I can’t speak for any other department, but I can tell you that ITTS could create that wiki in a heartbeat once the request is submitted. :)

16 06 2007
Jenny Levine

Kathleen, can you email me at jlevine@ala.org ? Thanks!

16 06 2007
librarynation

Great, Jenny! I’m so glad you know all this stuff because I have no clue! I’d be happy to help contribute some time to a project… it just seems like it could be such a wonderful resource if only members could share what they’re doing…tools, media, techniques… I’m very excited to help out in any way I can.

16 06 2007
Karin Dalziel

I would be happy to help where I can, as well. I don’t really expect ALA to do everything, but they have a lot of power as a rallying point- they can help get people involved as almost no one else can. I (as usual) like the idea of a wiki.

17 06 2007
librarynation

Yes… and the tools that would be gathered would need to be added to their website for them to reach a broad audience where they could do some good.

In addition to the wiki (which will support text-based tools and ideas) I was thinking that perhaps a flickr pro photo account or possible a photo pool could be started and then people could add to it to share. The benefits of a pro account over a stream would be that we could ensure that every photo submitted was free for use (via creative commons) and high quality/resolution (so it would be suitable for posters). Alternatively we could have different categories so every entry could be used…some at lower resolution that would still be fine for a website, and then a separate section for super-high res photos for posters. The downside of a photo pool is that the photos only stay in the pool as long as the owner of the photo has an account with flickr and the photo in question is on that account. I’ve already hit the ceiling of a free account and haven’t yet upgraded (not sure if I will) so I automatically have all my images sized down to 800×600 instead of original high res.

Thoughts on this as well?

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