Get the Word Out: an ALA program you might consider

The name: “Get the Word Out: How to Do It; Marketing for Small and Rural Libraries”

The time and place: Sunday, June 29, 2008, 1:30-3:30 p.m., Hilton, Pacific Ballroom B (but check the final schedule)

The sponsor: Public Library Association (PLA) Library Development Cluster (LDC)

The description:

No matter how small your library, effective marketing is the key to success. Hear how small libraries across the country are leveraging simple marketing techniques to make their libraries vital to their communities. Marketing basics and practical tips for developing a strategy, executing that strategy, and measuring effectiveness will be provided.

I’m speaking (based on the articles on “The Storied Library” I wrote last year for WebJunction), but there are also four experts on the program: Diana Bitting (PALINET), Edward James Elsner (Delton District Library), Beth Nicholson (Clarksburg-Harrison PL) and Annette Wetteland (State Library of iowa). I expect to learn something…

For reasons that escape me, the preliminary program (and, thus, Library Journal’s set of program picks) describes me as “Creator, Author, Publisher, OCLC.” I don’t know where “creator” came from, and I haven’t worked for OCLC since September 2007–but I’m certainly a publisher (Cites & Insights) and author. I should note that that odd word gave John Berry a chance for a shot. Quoting from “Shifting with the Paradigm,” Berry’s set of program choices:

[The speakers] will preach that effective marketing is the key to success and to your library’s future. They promise marketing basics and practical tips. When the “creator” preaches, who dares not to listen?

I certainly don’t plan to do any preaching and I don’t call myself the creator, but that’s OK. It should be a good program, and I expect to be the least interesting and informative speaker there–but I’ll do my best..

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