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Facebook Friday with Daniel Stuhlman

On Wednesday, January 12, AJL librarian Daniel Stuhlman joined us for a free-flowing discussion on the subject of library marketing.

Association of Jewish Libraries Welcome to AJL's second "Facebook Friday" (on Wednesday this time). Today's guest is AJL librarian Daniel Stuhlman, who'll take your questions for the next hour on library marketing. Welcome, Daniel!

Association of Jewish Libraries Please post your questions using the "Status Update" button

In 2009 Dean Hendrix, et al. published “Use of Facebook in academic health sciences libraries” in : . Journal of the Medical Library Association. (Jan 2009. Vol. 97, Iss. 1)

Daniel Stuhlman Please post remarks in the "post" tab above. That is easier for everyone to see the latest remarks.

Daniel Stuhlman Good morning or for you in the Eastern time zone, Good afternoon
Thanks for joining us. I was told that the January issue of College and Research Libraries (January 2011 vol. &2:1) has an article on using Facebook as a library tool. Unfortunately I didn’t read this article yet.

This is not a new topic in 2007 Laurie C...harnigo and Paula Barnett-Ellis published “Checking Out The Impact of a Digital Trend on Academic Libraries” in . Information Technology and Libraries. ( Mar 2007. Vol. 26, Iss. 1; )

Sheryl Stahl Steven - your definitely right about authority control - I don't think the article was saying that FB was a good as a catalog - just that you can use the features of FB to explain the features of a catalog or subscription database.

Daniel Stuhlman Library marketing is about getting people into the library and its programs, public relations is to spread news about and concerning the library, cataloging and other tech services are the foundation of the library and its collection. Public services is between them. Without a catalog, acquisitions, and buildings, th...ere is no library. Without marketing no one knows what is happening or planned for the library. Both marketing and tech services have the goal of connecting collections, information and programs to the users via the public services of reference and circulation.

However, frequently the roles of the triad are intertwined. A librarian can be doing all three in the course of the day.

Steven Bergson Here's something slightly off-topic.

There's a new concept out there (well ... new to me, at least). It's called the "content ecosystem" and there's a blog post about it at

I am wondering if you think that libraries (& Judaica libraries) have a place in such an ecosystem. If... not, shoud they?

The Content Ecosystem « Virtual Watercooler

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the content ecosystem lately. I’ve been considering the entire end-to-end process of organizing, creating, managing, and publishing content for the global marketplace.

Sheryl Stahl Steven - I remember reading an article in Library school (way back when) that one reason that librarians sometimes don't seem to get much respect is that we disseminate content rather than create it. We don't generally "make" things. I think that we're being forced to change that and to get into the creating business.

Steven Bergson

With all due respect to the author of that article, librarians have been creating "content" for a long time. It's just that such content is often taken for granted.

Bibliographies, subject guides, "how to do research", catalogs, indexes. are usually considered dull &/or unnecessary ... until a patron desperately needs it and then they can't thank us enough for our hard work. ;)

Daniel Stuhlman Does your library offer superior services? Have you told the world about your services? Marketing is not just about your products and services it is about focusing on the needs of your readers, users and stakeholders.

Daniel Stuhlman Many librarians have a great difficulty stepping back and examining what the people really need or want. Are you determining the differences between "needs" and "wants?" Are you trying to access what your users and and potential users need and want?

Daniel Stuhlman Steven, I am not familiar with "content ecosystem" I will have to reserve a comment for later.

Daniel Stuhlman Steven and Sheryl -- I wrote about authority control several years ago. It is a concept that non-librarians don't understand.

Sheryl Stahl ain't that the truth!

Ellen Tilman We are constantly trying to let our customers know what resources are available in our synagogue library. Right now I am looking for the best vehicle to let the congregation know that they can find the just announced Sydney Taylor Books and Jewish Book Council Award winners right in the Meyers Library. Any suggestions?

Steven Bergson Do you e-mail newsletters out to your members (the ones who have e-mail, natch)?

Daniel Stuhlman I see Facebook as one tool in the marketing tool box. It is an easy way to have a public face. A good home page and web site need more work for creating and maintaining than a FB page.

Sheryl Stahl we tried that and have a page - but while a bunch of students a couple of years ago "liked" us - the new batch hasn't. We have a link from our library home page. Any other suggestions of how to draw them to the page?

Association of Jewish Libraries and as the dominant social network, many of your patrons are likely on Facebook already- so having a page and encouraging people to "like" it is an easy way to reach them.

Daniel Stuhlman Even the physical arrangement of furniture, stacks, and signs should be part of the marketing plan of a library.

Daniel Stuhlman Ellen, There is no "best way." One needs to hit the public with the message using several methods such as e-mail, signs, flyers, newsletters, personal contact, etc. Different folks respond to different kinds of messages.

Daniel Stuhlman Marketing also is matter of timing. Are you getting people the message at a time they are able to use it?

Ellen Tilman I plan to include a notice in our weekly email message as well as a posting on the congregational website and facebook page. Unfortunately, not everyone is connected. I will also post the information on our "physical bulletin board" in the main hallway. I also think I will send an email to the Religious school faculty.

Ellen Tilman I do have a library email list. I forgot about that as a marketing tool. Thanks for reminding me!

Daniel Stuhlman Sheryl-- I work in a college with more than 11,000 students. Fewer than 100 have friend-ed the library's FB page. We don't really push it since the person in charge of the library is not enthusiastic about it.

Association of Jewish Libraries Can you suggest it to the leaders in your library? By that, I mean use the "Suggest to Friends" feature to bring it to folks' attention?

Daniel Stuhlman We also tried Twitter, but few follow our tweets. I do hope that if someone uses a search engine they can find us.

Association of Jewish Libraries In my opinion Twitter works well as a networking tool- building relationships with individuals- and less well as an announcement or advertising tool.

Daniel Stuhlman In ancient times before the library had a computer, I had a constantly changing bulletin board promoting new books and periodicals.

Association of Jewish Libraries In my old library that stuff still works wonders! You can't beat person to person sharing & visual, tactile displays.

Sheryl Stahl Another challenge that we've been dealing with is that many of our patrons have/use technology that we (the library or the librarians) don't have yet. Most of our students have smart phones - I don't!

Daniel Stuhlman My college bombards faculty and students with e-mail. Everyone is automatically given and an e-mail account. The library does send e-mail very often. Occasionally we will tell the faculty about a recent article that is very appropriate or timely.

Ellen Tilman Last year our congregation received a grant for an Israel program. I was the coordinator. I placed a lifesize cutout of our Rabbi in the main lobby. Each week I would place an Israel oriented question onto a bulletin board he was holding. This unusual marketing tool attracted a lot of attention. Maybe I should try something similar for the library.

Daniel Stuhlman Please write in the "Post" tab. It is hard to find and answer when you reply to another message.

Sheryl Stahl I disagree! I get notified when you or someone else comments on my post - I can't really stay glued to FB waiting to see if anyone will answer

Stacye Mehard Any suggestions for asking for donations of material for a free library that recieves no funds?

Daniel Stuhlman I don't have a smart phone either. You may want to tell users that WorldCat is available from a smart phone.

Ellen Tilman Our problem is getting too many book donations of books that we already have or don't need in our collection. We love to receive "dollar" donations that have not limitations on them -- unrestricted gifts are ideal.

Daniel Stuhlman Ellen, a life sized cut sounds great. It adds a personal touch to the questions.

Association of Jewish Libraries Sheryl, regarding smart phones, maybe the library could create a one-pager or pathfinder on library-oriented apps, like Worldcat as Daniel suggests.

Association of Jewish Libraries Just a few more minutes- any last minute questions for Daniel?

Daniel Stuhlman Getting the word out that you offer superior service is not easy. First you really have to offer superior service and believe in yourself. Then you have tell people via personal, electronic and print media what you do. We have to weed out the negative thoughts.

Association of Jewish Libraries That about wraps it up! Thank you Daniel, for a great chat, and thanks to everyone who dropped by with questions.
Posted in: Facebook Friday


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