Marketing Information Products and Services: A Primer for Librarians and Information Professionals

Marketing Information Products and Services: A Primer for Librarians and Information Professionals

Marketing Information Products and Services: A Primer for Librarians and Information Professionals

Marketing Information Products and Services: A Primer for Librarians and Information Professionals

Synopsis

Library and information sciences are experiencing a period of radical change. Today, just as businesses must compete for survival, growth, and market space, librarians and information professionals must assume a more proactive role to cope with increasing competition.

This new demand presents a number of unanswered questions. What is the nature of this competition? How can libraries attract alternate sources of funding when public sponsorship and government spending are at a low ebb? What are some strategies for expanding the customer base and fulfilling customer requirements and expectations? And, finally, what is preventing librarians and information professionals from developing successful marketing strategies?

Marketing Information Products and Services responds to these questions. This comprehensive manual describes the fundamentals of marketing in the context of library and information sciences, presents various options for raising money, offers tips and techniques for better service management, and provides a step-by-step approach to developing marketing strategies.

Excerpt

Recognizing the importance of information in the process of development, Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has over the years supported a large number of projects aimed at developing information systems and services in support of research and development activities. An important objective related to the development of such projects was to ensure that the systems and services developed could be sustained over the long term. a crucial element in the sustainability of information systems and services is effective marketing. It presents avenues to generate revenue and reduce the financial constraints that many information services are facing in developing countries. This has long been recognized by idrc, and the development of marketing plans has been introduced in several information projects to study how this could be achieved.

A literature review conducted in 1993 revealed that marketing of information was a relatively new issue in developing countries and that most of the literature on the subject originates in the North. the review concluded that marketing potential is underestimated by libraries and information services and that information professionals were generally reluctant to embrace the marketing concept. Information professionals need a better understanding of marketing concepts and approaches to be able to introduce them into their services and to recover the costs of the information services and products that they provide.

In this framework, leaders of a number of IDRC-supported information projects were brought together with a team of specialists in marketing of information at a meeting held at the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad (IIMA), India, in February 1994. the discussion at this meeting focussed on how institutions in developing countries could be assisted in evolving relevant . . .

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