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With budgets for many public libraries being squeezed, it's more important than ever for librarians to be able to promote the value of their resources and their information expertise. To aid them in this essential work, ProQuest has released a new version of its free Public Library Marketing Toolkit. The toolkit contains many resources that will help to increase awareness of the library and to boost usage of online resources.
The Public Library Marketing Toolkit aims to help librarians develop successful, actionable, and sustainable marketing plans, even if they don't have backgrounds in marketing or promotion. It includes many ready-to-use bookmarks, customizable posters, and fliers designed to save individual organizations the time and money of having materials created on-site. There's also a Flash commercial, along with patron-centric database descriptions for the library Website and links to training materials for both librarians and their users.
"Library users often start and end their research on the open web without finding answers to their research questions," said Lynda James-Gilboe, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Customer Care at ProQuest. "The Public Library Marketing Toolkit will help librarians point users toward the authoritative and relevant content contained in the library’s online resources so users have a more successful research experience."
The kit's premiere resource is a colorful, clearly written, How-to Guide called "Marketing Your Public Library's Online Research Resources." It lays out a four-step strategy for getting started and details how to promote certain databases to certain types of patrons, linking to the related parts of the toolkit for each step.
Because different audiences respond to different messages, ProQuest has created three sets of printable tools (bookmarks, posters, fliers) designed for specific age groups: middle school students, high schoolers, and adults. Employing such targeted promotional materials can help boost usage of databases and other resources.
ProQuest has also created a digital commercial for the toolkit. The 30-second looping message tells patrons that they can access resources online even when the library is closed. There are two versions, one silent and one with music, and there are simple instructions for loading the Flash file onto library websites where they can attract attention.
Another powerful tool in this kit is a document that outlines how library employees can approach local businesses about sponsoring databases that are beyond the library's budget. It includes ideas to reward the businesses and even a sample letter to help make contact with and persuade these potential sponsors.
ProQuest has a long tradition of supporting libraries and their mission to connect people with high-quality information. The all-new Public Library Marketing Toolkit aims to help libraries connect users with their valuable online resources. The Toolkit is available now, for free, from the ProQuest website at www.proquest.com/go/pltk.
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as Chadwyck-Healey™, UMI®, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich's™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience.
More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication — including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.