In order to help you maximize your time online we will be providing a series of subject guides listing the courses available to WJIL registered users on selected topics, starting with marketing and useful marketing skills. Click on the course names below for a description and to enroll. You must be an eligible and registered user of WJIL to enroll in these courses for free.
There are myriad ways in which libraries are helping people pull through the economic crisis. Recent reports verify this role. ALA’s State of American Libraries 2010 and the Opportunity for All report from the Gates Foundation/IMLS-funded US Impact Study provide statistical substance to what library staff know first-hand: “Recession drives more Americans to libraries in search of employment resources.”
WebJunction is building a community of practice around libraries and workforce recovery. We want to surface all the mega and micro resources, strategies, or stories to let the world know how libraries and their staff throw out the lifeline to the community in tough times.
Here are four ways to share what you know:
- The fastest way is through your Twitter account, using the #libs4jobs hashtag. You can see the accumulated tweets by searching for the hashtag in Twitter or following the live feed on the Workforce Resources overview page.
- Jump in to any of the discussions or start one of your own. Current topics include Partnerships with workforce centers and the IMLS 21st Century Skills.
- Add to this list of workforce resource websites that libraries have created to help staff and patrons find what they need. It’s a wiki —you know how to wiki, don’t you?
- Write up a story, short or long, about the impact you or your library has had on a patron. Post it in the documents section or send it to WebJunction to post on your behalf. We know there are big and little success stories occurring every day. We’d like to put them all together as evidence of the amazing power of libraries
Every year, my favorite magazine, BusinessWeek, publishes a list of the best customer service companies in America or “Customer Service Champs.” I love the list. Each year, I look for ideas and trends from which we in library land can learn and borrow.
This year’s winners include:
- L.L. Bean received top marks for their quality staff and efficiency, but it was their
great return policy, which includes free shipping both ways, that made them number
- Apple also has great staff and is very efficient, but they are number three on the list
because of their “Genius Bars” (awesome in-store tech support) and roving checkout
- Nordstrom was in the top 5 for integrating their store inventory systems so online
shoppers can access stock in all stores. This sounds just like an integrated library
- Barnes & Noble put Wi-Fi in 700 stores in early 2009 to encourage longer stays by
potential customers. Again, this situation sounds familiar…library as place.
- Amazon.com experienced a great 2009 by expanding their tech services and
testing same-day delivery. It worked, as sales soared 10% over the previous year.
- American Express focused in 2009 on hiring staff with hospitality training and
experience rather than call center experience. Again, their ingenuity paid off; they
ranked eighteenth on the BusinessWeek list.
- Southwest Airlines is the only major carrier that does not charge customers to
check two bags; revenue per seat was up 7% in December 2009.
So what can library land learn from the list?
- Good customer service pays off! Make the wise business decision to focus staff on
the customers’ experience and not what is easier for the library. It’s not about us; it’s
all about them.
- Little things, like free shipping or no-fee baggage, really count. A mystery shopper or
very short, 2-3 question customer satisfaction survey will tell you a lot about what
drives library customers away.
- Be like Apple. Be like L.L. Bean. Make it easy for folks to do business with you!
- Customers need to be recognized and greeted within five seconds of walking
through the door! This action is no longer an option; it is a business necessity.
The latest conference on Marketing for Libraries is scheduled for Tuesday, March 9. Alison Circle of Columbus Metropolitan Library and blogger for “Library Journal”, will be the opening keynote speaker at 10:00. She will offer a step-by-step presentation on how to develop a marketing plan that integrates newest channels (Facebook, Twitter, and others) into a consistent value message that pays off in tangible results.
The upcoming WebJunction Webinar Library Images and Video: Engage, Inspire and Tell your Story is scheduled for Wednesday 3/3/2010 beginning at 1:00 PM Central Time.
In this entertaining and heartwarming presentation you will learn how two librarians teamed up to advocate more effectively (and boldly) while staying true to the personality of the communities, the libraries and the staff they serve. You and your library really can market your services and engage more effectively, and images, video and authenticity can be a key! Learn how you too can use images and video creatively and effectively to inspire Libraryland, engage the communities you serve boost staff morale and get more enjoyment from your job. The stories and lessons in this session will be presented by Jeff Dawson from the Lester Public Library in Two Rivers Wisconsin and by Michael Porter from WebJunction.
Visit L2 to sign up for this event.
To promote National Library Week 2010, a free customizable public service announcement (PSA) featuring award-winning author Neil Gaiman is now available.
Gaiman, the 2009 Newberry Medal winner for “The Graveyard Book,” will appear in both a print and a radio public service announcement (PSA). Gaiman’s love of libraries and librarians is no secret, as his many fans and Twitter followers know.
The PSA can be downloaded for free at www.ala.org/nlw. The PSA reminds library users of all the resources the library offer and how libraries are of key importance in tough economic times. To have the PSA customized with their library’s logo, librarians are asked to send a print quality logo file, their library name and URL to: email@example.com. The PSA will be sent to the library in 1-2 weeks.
Other materials are currently available in both English and Spanish, focusing on the 2010 National Library Week theme “Communities thrive @ your library.” They include a proclamation, sample press release and letter-to-the-editor, as well as scripts for use in radio public service announcements (PSAs).Libraries can download materials at www.ala.org/nlw.
Libraries planning to participate in “Communities thrive @ your library”-themed programming are encouraged to share their stories with the Campaign for America’s Libraries, by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
ALA Graphics products supporting the “Communities thrive” theme are also available. In addition to the 2010 National Library Week poster and bookmark, libraries can also purchase mini poster and, new this year, a downloadable transit sign. National Library Week-themed Web files along with all Graphics products can be purchased through the ALA Store at www.alastore.ala.org/nlw.
National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use.
Atyourlibrary.org, which launched earlier this year, continues to post lively new content that encourages the public to use their local library.
The mission of the site is to be a catalyst that drives people to their local libraries. The Web site works to get the word out that libraries are filled with rich resources, which are easy to access, as well as promote the goals of the Campaign for America’s Libraries.
Where available, recommended resources are linked to the World Cat database, which provides a list of the nearest libraries with the recommended item.
The Web site was launched with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, with additional support provided by the Disney Book Group. Both are partners in the Campaign for America’s Libraries.
Atyourlibrary.org is part of the Campaign for America’s Libraries (www.ala.org/@yourlibrary), ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe – use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations that advocate the importance of the library in American society.
Other partners are Dollar General, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Univision Radio, Verizon and Woman’s Day magazine.
At the Six Mile Regional Library District in LCLS, Branch Manager Gregg McGee received a great gift for National Library Week. One of the library’s patrons – Mike Ostresh – is a cartoonist. Mike created an original cartoon for the library in honor of National Library Week. Enjoy this take on a “frequent library user”!
New radio-quality public service announcements (PSAs) are now available online to help libraries reach out to their communities during National Library Week (April 12-18, 2009) from the ALA Public Information Office and the Campaign for America’s Libraries.
Radio PSAs are available in both a :15- and :30-second format and focus on libraries as places of opportunity. PSAs can be downloaded for free at www.ala.org/nlw.