Academic journal article Journal of Library Innovation

Marketing the 21st Century Library: The Time Is Now

Academic journal article Journal of Library Innovation

Marketing the 21st Century Library: The Time Is Now

Article excerpt

Marketing the 21st Century Library: The Time is Now Debra Lucas-Alfieri. Waltham, MA: Chandos Publishing, 2015. 126 pp. ISBN: 978-1-8433-4773-6. $78.95.

Debra Lucas-Alfieri's Marketing the 21st Century Library: The Time is Now can serve as a guide for librarians to develop their own marketing plans. The author frames the marketing of modern libraries in the context of the common-held belief that libraries and librarians are vanishing. She argues that unless we properly market and advocate for our professions and institutions, they could go the way of the telephone operator (p. 95).

Lucas-Alfieri's goal is to give readers the tools to make their libraries thrive, not just survive, and to take a user-centric approach to guide libraries' development and missions in the years to come. She stresses that much of our current marketing focuses on the students and users that we already have, and that understanding who doesn't use the library and why they don't can help us to develop our market base.

The initial chapters of the book lay the foundations of the 21st century library. Lucas-Alfieri describes in-depth how libraries evolved to their present state and profiles some of the most important figures who helped to shape modern library marketing in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The book then moves through a logical sequence of chapters on creating and implementing a marketing plan, beginning with using qualitative and quantitative data to research and develop a plan. The author includes a section on avoiding the challenges of assessment, including using convenient surveys to gather only convenient data and gathering information that researchers want to find. She stresses that understanding the needs and expectations of our constituents (in this case, the students and faculty of a campus) is just as important as promoting and raising awareness of our services and resources. The library's mission and vision statements must work hand in hand with the marketing plan, and the plan must be a living document that changes as our technologies and users' needs do. …

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