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Advertising Your Library

September 21, 2010

A project was presented to me today: to create a small library advertisement that will run in the school newspaper.  Do academic libraries need to advertise their services?

A look at some of the literature shows libraries having some success with targeted PR campaigns.  One library worked with students to promote their e-book collection, with good results.  However, their ad campaign was gigantic, incorporating banners, pamphlets, newspaper ads, posters, and even little strip ads on computer monitors.

Other libraries market their services in other ways: social networking, hosting events, and even by training writing tutors in library resources (a good idea in itself).

Their are some really great library ads out there, mostly for public libraries, and many focus on redefining the library’s image.

One of my favorite ad series has been the Chicago Public Library’s “Not What You Think” campaign:

Chicago Public Library's image make-over

Chicago Public Library's image make-over

Here is another interesting ad from Wyoming libraries:

a library ad worthy of a bumper sticker

a library ad worthy of a bumper sticker

And just for fun, check this out: I Geek Campaign

So the question is: what does a successful ad for an academic library look like? Should we be advertising specific services, or is a general “image change” approach an option worth exploring?

What have you seen that you think works?

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