ALA eLearning Course – Marketing 360

March to May 2022

Libraries often find it difficult to get the word out about all the wonderful things they do for their communities. We fight for public dollars because those who don’t use our services often don’t understand the value. As with any business that struggles with budget issues, marketing is often the first thing that gets cut and it’s probably one of the worst things we can do. I’ve learned from this course that creating a solid and sustainable marketing plan for one’s library is fundamental to its survival. Time, expertise and money have to be part of the overall library sustainability plan in order to keep the public informed and invested in library services.

My personal goal for the class was to have a toolkit for developing a marketing plan/template that could be used to organize various marketing campaigns. This resource was a nice, simple way to do that.

Practical applications covered social media, print, word of mouth, funding sources, allocation of staff, buy from of staff to help move the campaign forward as well as identifying and targeting your audience.

“Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course participants will be able to:

Identify the types of marketing tools available for use in libraries. Develop a marketing plan for their organization. Implement an environmental scan to determine the needs of the different communities served. Recognize the pros/cons of multiple social media platforms. Identify, analyze, and match the available marketing tools most appropriate for each audience. Develop a social media plan. Identify potential external funding sources to support the organization’s marketing campaign. Assess the success of the marketing efforts through pre-established measurements.” Course description from website – March 4, 2022, 9:42 AM

I formed an email group with other directors in my library system who were interested in learning more about marketing. I shared course highlights, tools, tips and tricks and best practices from the lessons. A Pinterest board with infographics was established for the class and interesting ideas and images were shared there. I found the infographic regarding Word of Mouth advertising particularly interesting.

The class was very interesting and helped me to organize my plan for future marketing campaigns.

Michele F. Ryan

Director, Oneida Public Library

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