This made me realize that to get people here, you have to make people want to come here. As I have mentioned time and again, I do a lot of things to make the library a better place. I have changed the layout, added tons of new books, weeded old books, organized, cleaned, you name it. Another thing I have done a lot is market.
I majored in Journalism at one point in college and ended up minoring in it instead, but, I was fortunate enough to take a class in Public Relations and a class in graphic design. I have really used a lot of that knowledge to make tools for the marketing of the library. Here are a few of the things I have been working on:
- Weekly posts about new releases which are emailed to the students. (I use Animoto to make short videos, link them to YouTube and embed the content on the library website.) It takes about 10 minutes to do each week, but, the kids are starting to catch on and new releases are starting to disappear off the shelves.
- Posters: I made simple but clean cut posters to hang around the school featuring information about our social media campaign. They were printed on 11"x 17"paper in color and laminated. I hung them everywhere kids go (bathrooms, above water fountains, in the cafeteria and in classrooms.) I also made posters reminding kids about checking email and about things they can get in the library.
- Genre specific fliers and posters: I made posters that compare books. "If you liked this, try this". I hang those around the library and plan to make more over the summer to put in different places in the school (particularly English classrooms).
- Newsletters: I can't take credit for this one- a library media specialist in a district here in Indiana shared a copy of hers with the state listserv and I LOVED the idea. I now do a quarterly newsletter via Smore.com that features current hot titles, a special tip and some basic information. It gets emailed to the staff and students.
- Press releases: It pays to know people in print. Our local newspaper owner (printing about 500-1000 papers a week) has asked me to write a small column about the library, about programs, promotions, what's hot, etc. to be printed each week in the paper. What a way to get the community aware of what we do.
- Teacher reads posters: I am still working on this one, but, I am going to make a poster for each teacher that they will jot down what they are currently reading and the author. I am hoping kids will see the adults they look up to reading and decide to do the same. (Fingers crossed!)
These are a start of my plans. I am still working to develop more ideas and ways to promote the school library. Since I have started this, my numbers of visitors has increased dramatically. In 2014, I had 17,000 visits during the school year from August to July. So far, since August 1, I have 16,000. We still have 35 days left of school so I can already see an increase in my numbers. Doing that little extra has really paid off.