by Gary Price. The library world hasn’t done enough to keep up with the Google juggernaut in defining our role in the Web age. We must do better and we must start now. Price suggests we should “energizes” our word-of-mouth marketing by getting to information gatekeepers like journalists, teachers, key members of a company, etc. and demonstrating what out service offers.
Eight Great Starting Points:
1. Reach out to people who haven’t been in a library in many years. Point out that library services go way beyond the four walls of the library building.
2. Develop personal relationships with users. In the same way bankers used to know their customers’ needs, let people know you are “their” information go-to person.
3. Not only tell people we’re here, but why we’re here and precisely what we offer. The phrase “save them time” is a good place to begin.
4. Court people in gatekeeper roles like journalists and teachers and demonstrate what we can offer. In addition, let them know that you’re always ready to assist them. Helping them one or two times can do wonders.
5. Publicize librarian-created services, for example, general Web directories like the Librarians’ Index to the Internet, Infomine, and the Resource Discovery Network. Explain how important the editors of these services consider the quality of information.
6. Remind people that passing up the library might mean they end up paying for material the library offers them for free.
7. Clearly illustrate and demonstrate Google’s limitations but more importantly, demonstrate how you and your library can solve these problems.
8. Remind people that a link to a possible answer is still not an answer.