Definition of Blue Sky: What would your library be in five years if you had no financial concerns, personnel concerns, etc.?
We would like to solve problems with technology, facilities, etc. (broken printers, need new shelves)
- Storytime and other services will still be needed if books are all electronic. (Storytime could be done on a large screen?)
- Librarians’ skills would be different in an all-electronic library.
- You would still want to maintain some community atmosphere for a library.
Michael’s blue sky vision would be people understanding that we are more than just books.
People don’t know what they don’t know. People don’t realize the information they are missing by relying on Google.
OCLC’s Geek the Library campaign
We have to think outside the box to market our services.
Is a library a business? Yes and no. In some ways, we need to operate like a business, but we are different.
We have to think of different models of delivering services. For example, academic libraries have embedded librarians, who have offices in the departments that they work with. Do we need the reference desk anymore?
Are we in the business of making connections?
Prove your worth to the decision-makers in your community. Find out what subjects matter to the people in charge of your budget and send them alerts about those subjects.
Connecting with your community is more important for smaller libraries, and also might be easier.
Libraries have more competition than they used to have (television, Internet).
Some people in libraries have marketing skills, but that’s not their official job. They may not have permission to do it. Organizations should give all their employees permission to do marketing.
Clarkson Library has big budget, but little use. If you had money, what would you do to increase use?
- book clubs
- go to local groups and ask them why they don’t come
- build relationship with school libraries
- send out Christmas cards to patrons (North Loup Public Library is going to do this.)
- Seward Public Library sends postcards to new parents with literacy tips periodically for five years
- make sure that the hours you are open are the hours when people need your services
How do you get people to check out your materials once they are in the library?
- Lincoln City Libraries does “guerrilla displays” – put up displays for a few days in locations where there are not usually displays
- Put up displays of items on the topics of your programs and events
Put up displays that