By :PK gupta
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Marketing of Library and Information Services P- 12. Management of Libraries and Information Centres & Knowledge Centres * By :PK gupta
इस ब्लॉग्स को सृजन करने में आप सभी से सादर सुझाव आमंत्रित हैं , कृपया अपने सुझाव और प्रविष्टियाँ प्रेषित करे , इसका संपूर्ण कार्य क्षेत्र विश्व ज्ञान समुदाय हैं , जो सभी प्रतियोगियों के कॅरिअर निर्माण महत्त्वपूर्ण योगदान देगा ,आप अपने सुझाव इस मेल पत्ते पर भेज सकते हैं - email@example.com
LIS professionals need to do effective marketing in order to ensure proper utilization of the resources. Market segmentation and research helps us understand the market and the needs of our customers and the library services have to be designed keeping the user needs in mind. An effective marketer makes a good blend of the seven ingredients of marketing mix in order to achieve the marketing objectives. While quality library service is a prerequisite and it generates ‘word of mouth’ publicity, librarians need to use other modes also, such as, leaflets, brochures, posters, presentations, road-shows, newsletters, extension activities, cultivating the media, etc. Marketing of e-resources calls for additional activities too such as development of good library website, user training programs, promotion through the intranet and running user competitions. Web 2.0 provides various tools such as Wikis, Blogs, Facebook, RSS feeds etc which are highly interactive, participative and make the library use interesting. Finally, regular study of effectiveness of the marketing has to be carried out by users’ feedback and measuring the use of resources.
Though marketing is not new to library and information professionals, there is still a considerable misunderstanding within most of the library and information sector as what constitutes effective marketing (Gupta and Jambhekar, 2003). Unfortunately, marketing is often reduced, when not understood in depth, to the most visible and spectacular aspects, namely, advertisements, sales, persuasion, price wars, etc. But the discipline is infinitely more ambitious and more demanding, not confining itself to these sales tactics..
The concept of marketing for non-profit organizations was first introduced by Kotler and Levy in 1969 (Kotler and Levy, 1969). Later in the book, Marketing for non-profit organizations, Kotler (1982) elaborated the marketing strategies for non-profit organizations like libraries. According to him, non-profit organizations like libraries are basically engaged in the production of services rather than goods. Services are distinct in nature primarily due to the characteristics of being intangible, inseparable, variable and perishable.
Marketing, according to Kotler (1982), is the analysis, planning, and control of carefully formulated programs designed to bring about voluntary exchanges of values with target markets for the purpose of achieving organizational objectives.
As per UK’s Chartered Institute of Marketing, Marketing is a philosophy which looks to place the customer and potential customer at the centre of the strategy. It is a management process which identifies, anticipates and satisfies customer requirements efficiently and profitably (Library Association, 1997).
Marketing is about getting the right service to the right customer at the right price at the right time. To do this, we must
(i) Identify the needs of our present and future customers;
(ii) Decide what services and products we are going to offer;
(iii) Ensure that we can deliver these services at the right time;
(iv) Tell the customers that these services are available ;
(v) Determine the ‘price’ at which we ‘sell’ these services where appropriate (If it is going to be free, we need to make sure ourselves that the free service is sustainable).
Marketing approach does not mean that our aim is to commercialize the services or generate revenue. But, it does mean that we define our objectives and policies in terms of customer needs rather than looking inwards in terms of our existing products/services, tradition, resources , skills and constraints.
Marketing suggests that the key task of the organization is to determine the needs, wants and values of a target market (made up of customers) and to adapt itself to delivering the desired satisfaction as efficiently as possible.
Library services have long been perceived as free. But in modern economy, nothing comes free. Raina (1988) says, “the age old concept of certain social services like health, education, justice, etc. being made available free is becoming irrelevant as the time goes by. This is true with library and information services also. The institutions engaged in all services are being asked to become self sufficient, if they are to survive in cost conscious and competition oriented social and environmental setups. Public funding for such purposes is being questioned ”. Even in public libraries which are completely free, the librarians need to market effectively so that the resources are used well lest being questioned by the authorities about the justification for spending. So is the case in academic or special libraries, though funded by the parent institutions, effective marketing of resources/services is a must so that they are well used and the expenditure is worth and justifiable.
Besides, there is increasing competition to libraries. Internet, Mobile phones, TV programs, Cinemas, Social events, Commercial events, Professional events, Sports and games and a host of such programs have resulted in reducing the footfalls in libraries. Libraries have to take on the challenge of winning the readers back and this can be done by increased marketing efforts.
Market segmentation means sub-dividing the market (customers) into subsets allowing each subset to be selected as a target market to be reached with a particular marketing method. For instance, in a university, the customers can be divided into Teachers, Research Scholars, Postgraduate students, Undergraduate Students, Distance Learning Students and Non-teaching staff. Basis for segmentation can be :
Geographic - E.g. Urban, Rural (or On campus, Off campus)
Demographic – Age, Sex, Income, Occupation (E.g. Teaching, Non teaching, Student, Research scholar, etc)
Benefits – E.g. DVD Library Member, CD Library Member, Children Library Member, etc.
Usage – e.g Gold Class Member (20 books at a time), Silver Class Member (10 books at a time) etc.
Identifying such sub-sets also helps to understand the requirements of a particular class of customers in our libraries. Designing of library services, fixing library timings, pricing of products and book acquisition programs are to be done on the basis of market profile and the segmentation helps a lot in building market profile.
To put in most simple terms, quality can be defined as the service standard exceeding the expectations of the customer. Quality has to be maintained in respect of every aspect of library including physical facilities, book stock, personal service by staff, equipment, internet bandwidth etc. Ensuring the consistency in quality is a difficult task especially in a service sector such as libraries. No public relation exercise can substitute a quality service. Libraries need to have an integrated approach to quality service by staff training, customer care meetings, written ‘Quality Service Standards’, regular monitoring of quality by senior staff, and staff motivation. Every library needs to have preferably written quality standards which specify the level of performance expected by the staff. For example : Every user will be received with a smile by the library staff; Every bookshelf will be shelf -read in three days; Every complaint will be replied in two working days; No furniture will be left un-repaired for more than a week, etc. Nowadays because of internet, the users have better exposure to what is happening in other countries and as a result, their expectations keep on rising and the libraries need to raise to the occasion.
Quality service generates word of mouth publicity for our libraries. It is said, one satisfied customer brings ten new customers with him while one dissatisfied customer takes away ten more customers with him.
Market research is an organized effort to gather information about markets or customers. Market research provides important information to identify and analyze the market need, market size and competition. Market research comprises of systematic gathering and interpretation of information about customers using statistical and analytical methods to gain insight into decision making.
There are various tools available in libraries in order to collect information about customers. The automated circulation system provides loan analysis of library materials which provides an insight into the subject interests of customers. It is also possible to collect important market information such as which subjects are more popular among the readers, identifying the areas for strengthening the collection, heavily and least used stock; areas which need pruning, busy and lean hours, etc.
Interaction with our customers has to be a deliberate and planned activity. The purpose is to come closer to the customer as well as to have a continuous dialogue with them. The library services have to continuously evolve in tune with the changing needs of customers. As customers change, so do their needs, library habits and their subject interests. New subjects also emerge and our libraries need to be equipped with newer materials. Many times, our customers give us useful ideas for library improvement. Therefore, regular meetings with the customers are needed.
In addition, random customer surveys through questionnaires are to be conducted periodically. Preferably, a sample of 10% the user population has to be included in the random surveys. The purpose is to obtain feedback from the customers in general. The questionnaires have to be kept deliberately short in order to encourage better response rate.
Besides, libraries may maintain suggestion registers or boxes which will facilitate users voluntarily dropping suggestions. In case any suggestion calls for detailed discussion, the member may be invited by senior library staff for a meeting.
Floor-walking by senior library staff is another way. In this, senior library staff walk around the library periodically and meet the customers and encourage them to speak about how they find the library, bookstock, staff service, physical facilities, etc. Customers always come forward in case senior library staff are willing to listen to them.
Marketing Mix refers to the collection of controllable elements which an organization uses to influence and focus on the target market. It is a mixture of several ideas and plans followed by a marketing person to promote a particular product or brand. Several concepts and ideas combined together to formulate final strategies helpful in making a brand popular amongst the masses form marketing mix. Historically, there were said to be four Ps of marketing elements, namely : Product/Service, Price, Promotion and Place. Recently, another three elements (People, Process and Physical evidence) have been added particularly in the context of services marketing (Booms and Bitner, 1981). Art of Marketing consists of the optimum mix of these factors in order to achieve the marketing objectives.
This refers to the goods and services the library offers. While the traditional libraries offer lending of print books, reference, photocopy services, etc., the present day hybrid libraries offer a blend of both print and electronic information resources which can be accessed anywhere, obviating the need for visiting the library. Product planning constitutes the variety of services/products the library would offer, their quality, usability and up-to-date-ness. While the product/service has to be planned keeping in mind the customer needs, the constraints of library budget, staff and other resources also have to be taken note of.
Due to escalating costs, libraries have begun charging for the services though selectively. In most of the cases, the purpose of pricing in libraries is to earn some revenue which absorbs at least a small part of running cost and it has never been to commercialize or to make profit by selling information. Some examples of pricing are in the case of photocopies, inter –library loans, Membership fee for outsiders or corporate members, Loan of special items such as DVDs, Overdue charges for defaulters, Sale of weeded out books, etc. There are instances of libraries renting out display areas to companies for display of products or obtaining sponsorship for maintaining library websites or printing high use leaftlets and the companies are given some privileges in return. Library has to develop a pricing policy which needs to be followed consistently. Also a suitable balance needs to be struck between price and quality. Pricing also needs to be done keeping in view the competition
Nowadays, it is not enough if we just provide a good service. We need to ‘broadcast’ what we do and this message should reach the customer quickly. Promotion consists of providing a means of persuasive communication to the greatest number of potential customers in the most cost-effective method in order to persuade them to choose/use the services. The aim of promotion is to increase the customer base besides retaining the existing customers. Broadly speaking, the purposes are :
(i) Creating a proper mindset among the customers favorable to the library;
(ii) Telling the potential customers the availability of the service;
(iii) Convincing the customers the benefits of using the service;
(iv) Prompt the customers to accept the service.
There are various promotional methods and some of the important ones are given below :
Mailshots contain customer friendly introduction letter accompanied by relevant brochures about the services offered by the library. The letter is to be personalized and has to be short and simple.
Personal visits by the library staff to customers help establish personal contacts with them. The visit could be used both for getting a new customer and for getting feedback on library services.
Librarians can visit gatherings of customers and make presentations about library services. Small library displays also can be arranged on the occasion and this enables the audience to pick up the brochures.
Design of brochures, leaflets and posters is very important. Nowadays, everyone is flooded with attractive product literature. Therefore, unless our brochures are well designed, they will not catch the eye of the customer. The wording should be carefully coined, the presentation be interesting and the final product should be attractive in order to stand out. The brochure should highlight the benefits to the customer and should keep the customer absorbed till the end. It should finally prompt the customer to act. There are a number of books available to help libraries design good brochures and posters. With the availability of easy-to-use software, reasonably good quality brochures/posters can be designed in house.
Library newsletter serves as a media to let the member know the range of library activities, either those that have taken place or those that are being planned for the future, list of important books added, etc. Newsletters can serve as excellent marketing tools, apart from being PR material.
It is important that our libraries project an image of active centers of academic and cultural activities. It is useful to organize periodic activities such as special book displays, lectures, quiz programs, debates, seminars, poetry reading and so on to project the library as a social organization. Social impact is the spin off. Also libraries can organize topical book displays on the occasion of seminars, conferences etc being held in the parent institution.
Media always have a close association with libraries and information centers. Therefore, cultivating the press does not require much effort for librarians. Libraries may regularly pass on interesting stories to the press.
Newspaper advertisements are useful if we wish to get a quick publicity and for a large number of people at a time. However, newspaper ads are usually expensive and therefore, libraries should not resort to this unless they have a good budget for publicity.
Refers to the distribution channels through which the product or service would be made available. For instance, the arrangements to collect and return books through mobile libraries in the case of city library system ; or Phone a Book service in a university campus wherein books are delivered to the student’s hostel room by phoning the library.
Refers to the processes the customer has to undergo in order to avail the library services. The library marketer has to make the processes simple and customers’ convenience is the objective and guiding factor. Process also refers to the ‘behind the screen’ tasks in the library which have to be made efficient, keeping in mind the customer service.
Staff play a crucial role in promoting the library services. Library staff need to have strong customer orientation in all activities. Their skills need to be honed up in the area of library techniques, communication, technology and team-working skills. All the staff need to be trained and re-trained periodically.
This is another aspect that is particularly important in the provision of services and refers to all physical aspects that can influence the customer’s perception of libraries. Things include interiors and exteriors of the library, cleanliness, arrangement of bookshelves, etc. Also it refers to all stationery used in the library, staff uniforms, warranties, guarantees, etc. It is believed that the quality of service is reflected in the physical evidence.
While the e-resources are much sought after nowadays, a lot of efforts need to be put in so that they get noticed and their awareness gets enhanced. Apart from the traditional marketing methods, the following additional activities are suggested.
Library website is a shop window to the e-resources and it has enormous potential to attract people to the e-resources, yet it is very poorly used globally.
According to a survey conducted by OCLC in which over 3300 online information seekers participated, only one percent of them used library websites as a source to begin the information search (3) . There are many guidelines for the development of library websites (BHAT, 2008). The following are some specific points which help in increasing the use of e-resources.
(i) Provide link to the library homepage from the university homepage;
(ii) Provide links to e-resources from the library homepage, prominently;
(iii) Provide both alphabetical and subject wise journal lists as well as vendor wise lists;
(iv) Provide telephone numbers and email addresses of library staff for any help;
(v) Provide subject guides to online resources;
(vi) Provide facility to register online for training sessions.
Since the library website showcases the library, it is important that it is promoted well so that we can ensure good traffic to it. Therefore, it is ideal if the link to the library website is given right from the homepage of the parent organization.
Philip Kotler said, ‘All employees in an organization are involved in the process of marketing and they can either carry out or destroy the marketing”
It is essential that the library staff especially those who are frontline are kept well aware of the various e-resources available and they need to know the strengths and limitations of every e-resource. Often when the user has an information problem, he/she may approach any library staff and not necessarily the Librarian. Therefore, all professional staff of the library be able to suggest alternative sources of information. Some ways of internal marketing to the library staff :
(i) Run monthly online resource challenge : This involves sending some interesting questions to the library staff which can be answered by using the online resources. Gifts or certificates will motivate the staff to participate in this competition.
(ii) Run regular training sessions : Prepare a training package in order to cover all e-resources. These programs be run on regular intervals.
(iii) Encourage staff to experiment with online resources. Tell them that it is perfectly right to search online resources during their leisure time.
(iv) Involve staff in the selection and evaluation of online resources.
(v) Encourage the staff to use the databases for their own study and development.
(vi) Involve maximum staff in vendor training sessions.
(vii) Create an online forum for staff to share ideas relating to e-resources.
Various traditional methods are available and they continue to be effective. They are listed below :
(i) A-Z lists of journals : Providing a list of e-journals subscribed and providing a direct link to the journals either from the library homepage or from the OPAC. This will ensure that the user does not miss out a particular periodical though it is hidden in a database. Such periodical list can be made alphabetically title wise.
(ii) Access e-books through library OPAC. Some library automation packages do allow the integration of e-books metadata with library OPAC provided the metadata is in the standard format. Integration allows a single point of search both for print and e-books.
(iii) Subject guides compiled by the library staff comprising of evaluated printed and e-resources. These subject guides are put on the library website.
E.g. University of Delaware Library Subject Guides
http://www.lib.udel.edu/ (Accessed on 26.1.2013)
http://www.lib.polyu.edu.hk/ (Accessed on 26.1.2013)
Some libraries bring out course specific subject guides as given in the following website :
http://lib2.csusm.edu/research-guides (Accessed 26.1.2013)
(iv) Banners, posters, brochures, bookmarks, emails etc : Use of printed brochures, flyers, posters, bookmarks etc should not be underestimated. Such flyers, brochures, bookmarks etc be made freely available in various service points in the library. Posters be pinned in library, hostels, faculty meeting places etc. Various e-journal publishers have brought out templates of banners, posters, brochures, bookmarks, emails and press releases which can be used for publicizing their e-books. These communication toolkits can be customized by putting your library logo, address etc.
http://www.proquestk12.com/productinfo/marketingkits/ELKIT.shtml(Accessed on 26.1.2013)
http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/promote/default.htm (Accessed on 26.1.2013)
http://www.info.sciverse.com/mobile/librarian-toolkit (Accessed on 26.1.2013)
Inflibnet Centre, Ahmedabad has designed good posters which are provided free to all participating institutions. Besides, they can be downloaded from :
http://www.inflibnet.ac.in/downloads/ (Accessed 26.1.2013)
These communication tools are excellent for awareness creation. Many vendors and publishers might come forward to sponsor these materials.
(v) Publicize in the physical library. For instance, put posters about online journals in the journals stack area. Similarly, display information about e-books in physical stack area. Amidst bookstacks of Science, one can display major online databases in the area of Science. Similarly, in case the library subscribes to online archives of newspapers, proper signs may be put up in the newspapers reading hall of the library.
(vi) Book dummies in the physical library. In case both printed and e-reference book are available, put a dummy book adjacent to the physical book This will catch user’s eyes. The publishers of the online Kompass provide a ‘big black box’ to all subscribing libraries (SHEPHERD, 2006). The box mimics the well known printed Kompass Directory and it invites users to use the online Kompass.
Fig. 2 Signages and book dummies in the physical reference section
(vii) Library newsletters (printed or electronic) can be used for providing general messages about library services, such as new databases added, training programs, new facilities etc. Also information about databases may be provided on the library newsletters. However, it has to be noted that the newsletters are only passive means of promotion, similar to printed brochures which are waiting to be picked up.
(viii) Various in- house magazines are brought out by student bodies, academic associations etc. Write ups on subject specific online resources will attract the students and researchers.
(ix) Research reports culled out from the online databases may be distributed to key academic staff. This provides good publicity for the online resources. Similarly key reports may be mailed to senior academics discreetly.
(x) Encourage users to review databases. Such participation will encourage users who in due course, will become ‘Library Ambassadors’.
Face to face interactions in the form of training programs, personal visits, launch events, user meets, library stalls etc still make a good impact in spite of large number of other communication channels to reach people.
Study by Elsevier (DEWHURST, 2008) has found that the impact is always noticed more if there is a physical interaction between the user and the information marketing people (compared to communication through brochures, email or web etc). Realizing this, Elsevier has packaged the marketing strategy with On Site Awareness Programs, Student Ambassador Program and User Training with local language trainers. Elsevier runs a very interesting program named Student Ambassador Program under which they train a few students in using their e-resources. These students in turn, train other students (ELSEVIER, 2005).
Importance of training programs has been confirmed by a study by Punjab University (DHINGRA and MAHAJAN, 2007) wherein 48% of respondents mentioned that lack of training was an impediment for the effective use of e-resources.
Certain face to face interaction methods are given below :
(i) Visits to departments. Visits to departments and laboratories are still needed in order to get noticed.
(ii) Subject specific training programs : These will be welcomed by the departments. Similarly, presentations might be offered to various Subject Associations such as Physics Association, Pharmacy Association etc.
(iii) Through events in the institution. Events in specific subjects may be used to promote e-resources in the related area. For instance, Engineers’ Day may be used to promote the resource Engineering Village database. Therefore we need to have a good overview of what is happening around in the campus.
(iv) User Meets. Regular user meets or Open Houses may be used to publicize online resources.
(v) Competitions : Interesting competitions may be organized involving intensive use of online resources . Vendors might be too happy to sponsor these competitions.
(vi) Launches. Launch events for specific e-resource may be organized and it will attract good publicity
(vii) Library stalls and roadshows . Library stalls and roadshows in Institute events will create awareness for various e-resources available in the library
(viii) Training sessions, Workshops relating to specific resource be run. EgCapitaline Plus. Similarly workshops relating to resources of particular subject. E.g. Use of Physics Databases will be welcomed by the concerned department.
(ix) Marketing of the databases by vendors. Many of the vendors offer training in order to promote their databases. Some databases such as Chemical Abstracts need intensive instruction by the trainers and vendor’s help has to be availed in order to exploit all the features of the database.
(i) E-mails – global. Emails to all library users indicating new subscriptions, launch events, training programs will promote awareness. Emails are very proactive. Emails have to be short, specific news items, which could be read quickly. Our users are overwhelmed with information and therefore, they are likely to ignore long emails. The periodicity could be preferably weekly or bi-weekly. More frequent ones are likely to be ignored by the user. Emails be sent only to the subscribers and there has to be facility for canceling the subscription.
(ii) Targeted emails. This is preferable. The message has to be tailor made. Examples include contents of new e-books added with a link to the book’s website by which the user would hopefully ‘hook’ into investigating more deeply through the hyperlinks provided. This service is very effective, though time consuming.
(iii) Screen messages on computer terminals. Screen savers on computer terminals may be used to give powerful messages, announcements etc.
(iv) Online Information Tutorials : Online information tutorials on how to search information, evaluating and organizing information, citation, ethical and legal issues relating to electronic information tools etc will be useful. Some database producers such as Proquest, Lexis/Nexis, OvidSP, PubMed etc bring out video tutorials which can be linked from the library site.
Example : University of Pittsburgh Library
http://www.library.pitt.edu/services/classes/infoliteracy/tutorials/sc2/scholarly.htm (Accessed 26.1.2013)
(v) Table of contents : British Library in UK provides an electronic table of contents service named Zetoc covering 28000 e-journals. This service is made available free for members of JISC sponsored Higher Education institutions of UK. Other institutions are encouraged to subscribe to this service (3)
(vi) RSS Feeds : Using RSS Feeds, one can get e-alerts from the favorite e-journals. Applications may include : Current awareness services to keep oneself up to date, RSS Feeds of new article references, news alerts from different subject databases. Other library related uses may include RSS Feeds of new book titles based on selected keywords, and subject related library events. Many e-resources provide RSS Feeds. Examples include IEEExplore, Lexis/Nexis, Proquest, Nature, Proceedings of New York Academy of Sciences, American Chemical Society journals etc.
(vii) Wikis : Wiki is a collection of web pages which enables users to modify the content. Wikis contribute to group collaboration on the internet. Wikis can be useful to share documents. University of Huddersfield Library, UK has prepared a Wiki document providing information on the various electronic resources available in the library with ample hyperlinks.
http://library.hud.ac.uk/wiki/Main_Page (Accessed 26.1.2013)
(viii) Blogs : Blog (stands for Weblog) is a website that contains brief entries arranged in reverse chronological order. A blog can be created by one author or collaboratively by a community of authors. Some blogs encourage interactivity between writer and audience by allowing readers to post comments and questions about the entries. These blogs can be on general topics or they can be subject specific. Libraries can use blogs in order to announce new e-resources, provide subject guides, announce library events, e-book reviews, etc. Blogs serve handy for students to chat with librarians and for librarians to notify about library products and services.
Example : Library of Congress Blogs
http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/ (Accessed on 26.1.2013)
Indira Gandhi National Open University
http://libraryservicesignou.blogspot.in/ (Accessed on 26.1.2013)
(x) Facebook : Facebook is a free access social networking site. Users can join the network to interact with other people. Vikram Sarabhai Library, IIM, Ahmedabad uses the Facebook for promoting the library services.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vikram-Sarabhai-Library/156352691110595 (Accessed 26.1.2013)
Marketing plan is an important document in strategic marketing. It contains a road map in order to achieve the marketing objectives of the library considering the environment, resources available and budget. It adopts a rational approach to achieve the target in a certain specified period. It calls for an understanding of the threats and opportunities facing the organization and/or the service. Marketing plan ensures that the organizational and product/service strengths are fully utilized and it provides a plan for developing new services. Above all, the marketing plan gives a proactive approach to handling change. Contents of a Marketing Plan are broadly the following :
(i) Introduction : Vision of the library; Mission
(ii) Environmental and SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats )
(iv) Marketing Mix (7 Ps)
(v) Detailed Action Plan (Including Time scales and Who does what)
(vii) Timescales for Monitoring and Review
Impact of the promotional strategies needs to be measured regularly. Some of the tools for measuring the effectiveness are :
(i) Analysis of book issues;
(ii) Library attendance counts : Number of footfalls into the library;
(iii) Number of times a particular book is used – this can be analyzed from the due date labels;
(iv) E-resource usage statistics : Most of the e-resource publishers or aggregators provide usage statistics and it will be available on the site itself. Administrator’s User ID and Passwords are issued by the resource provided. In case the site does not routinely provide the statistics, the publishers would send the usage statistics on demand.
(v) Surveys : Surveys carried out manually or online in order to elicit user views regarding a particular resource is useful
(vi) Open House/User Meets : User Meets and Open Houses can be held in order to obtain the views of the users
(vii) Feedback from the staff : Informal feedback from the staff regarding a particular promotional activity can be obtained.
(viii) Monitoring the revenue growth of the library (in case revenue collection is also included as one of the objectives of the library).
While quality service is a prerequisite for the effective use of library, there has to be a well organized plan for the promotion of use. Various methods need to be explored in order to make the library resources visible. Traditional methods such as launch events, personal visits and training workshops need to be continued. Printed brochures, posters, newsletters do create awareness and provide the much needed publicity. E-mails and alert RSS alerts bring the information for the personal attention of the user. Newer methods by using Web 2.0 which include Blogs, Facebook, Wiki are interactive and they increase the user’s involvement. Finally, the impact of promotional activities need to be measured regularly by examining readers’ attendance, usage statistics, surveys and conducting user meets.
BHAT, Ishwara. Designing efficient home pages for special libraries. In Shaping the future of special libraries, ed by S M Dhawan etal. New Delhi, Ane Books, 208, p 420 – 435.
Booms, B. H and Bitner, M. J (1981). “ Marketing strategies and organization structure for service firms” in Donnelly, J. H and George, W. R (eds). The marketing of services, American Marketing Association, Chicago, pp. 47-51.
DEWHURST, Charlotte. How marketing can help increase the value of e-resource investments : five key findings. Library Connect Newsletter. 2008, 6(1), pp. 1.
DHINGRA, Navjyoti and MAHAJAN, Preeti. Use of electronic journals : A case study of Panjab University Library. In Proceedings of International CALIBER 2007, Ahmedabad, Inflibnet, p. 744 – 755.
ELSEVIER. How libraries are training users on e-resources : Best practices. Library Connect. 2005, 6(1), p. 8.
Gupta, D. K. and Jambhekar, A (eds.) (2003). An integrated approach to services marketing : A book of readings in marketing of library and information services, Allied Publishers, Mumbai, p. 7.
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SHEPHERD, Nancy. Putting it on the shelf. Gazette. 28 July – 10 August 2006, Available at : www.media.xrefer.com/x/about/whitepapers/xrefer-rtlo.pdf (Accessed on 26.1.2013)