22 September 2010

Notes from the Community Outreach Training

I have been participating in OverDrive's Open Training Month; today I attended the Community Outreach training. Here are my notes:

#1 Referrer – your library’s homepage. Be sure it is easy to locate (above the fold/not needing to scroll), and directly links to your virtual branch. Try to minimize the number of clicks a patron has to make. You could also use a text link or a “spotlight banner.”

Also an access point from your catalog – not just having the MARC records, but having a link that says something like “downloadable audio” or a graphic.

Be where your patrons are – Facebook, Twitter (what about a fan page for patrons?) – send through new posts with noteworthy titles, for example.

Consider reviewing downloadable media.

Techniques for promoting in the library

· Have promotional materials – bookmarks, posters, etc

· Put business card size promotional cards in your books on cd

· Try to have your own “gadget gallery”

· Have your screen savers and/or digital message boards promote downloadable services

· Do you have a bookmobile? Promote downloadables

· Don’t forget the bottom of your circulation slips or your email signature

· OverDrive materials (bookmark, etc) in the books on your holds shelf

Have a training for patrons

· Try for monthly, but at least quarterly

· Promote on website

· Flyers in library

· Media coverage – reach out and include pictures

· Have a raffle

Techniques for promoting outside the library

· In many libraries, the majority of users are not regular library users

· Use your local media

· Community events

· Local schools and colleges

· Gyms are a great choice – remind people they can download audio to listen to while they work out

· Catch the eye of your travelers with posters at bus & train stations, etc.

Reports

· Use the referrer report – how are people finding you?

· Use new patrons per month to judge your marketing efforts

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