Promotional Considerations and Ideas
How do you promote your library’s reference services?
For library customers: Do you have a sign telling patrons about Ask a Librarian Delaware, or provide a handout for patrons with the Ask a Librarian Delaware logo on it? Do you tell patrons they can access Ask a Librarian DE anytime online through texting or email, and that there are many FAQs they can access to help with commonly-asked questions?
For library staff: Does your new staff training include the basic reference interview as a way to provide professional and friendly conversations with library patrons? Does your library include public services staff in such training? Do you have a standard training manual or handout you’d like to share, or a go-to resource you use for this training (if so, please share)? Does staff participate as a provider on Ask a Librarian Delaware as well as “on the desk”, on the telephone? Do you use a separate email address as well as the Ask a Librarian Delaware email (and why)?
For library websites How do you promote your library’s reference services, team and resources? Do you display the Ask a Librarian Delaware logo as an option for patrons when they are searching for information through your library’s website? Where on your website is this displayed – Contact page, footer, home page, sidebar? Is it considered a secondary way to gain help or do you place this option everywhere you think patrons may possibly get stuck and need immediate help? Do you link to the FAQs, such as how to download an ebook or how to retrieve a PIN?
A. Sharing those transformational stories with colleagues and stakeholders is motivating! Here are two ideas:
- Delaware Library Reference Services has an ongoing “Share Your Library’s Story” form you can use to submit those essential moments when patrons let you know how your library and interaction made a difference in their lives, and how. See the form at: https://bit.ly/DELibraryStories
- Nationwide, OCLC’s QuestionPoint has a repository of stories regarding reference interactions submitted by online chat providers. See: https://www.oclc.org/content/go/en/qp_reference_stories.html
B. Place a sign on your library’s window with the Ask a Librarian Delaware logo that promotes options for contacting you for help even when your library’s building is closed. There are about 60 FAQs for commonly-asked questions to help patrons when they are stuck in the moment (and it’s the middle of the night!), and they can always text us or email us. We let patrons know that we’ll be in touch with a response within two regular business days.
C. Bookmarks, handouts at the circulation desk help staff as well as patrons remember that their library’s services extend beyond the building’s walls and hours!
Can you think of other ideas? Send them in and we’ll share them here.