In today’s environment, it’s hard to figure out how to create buzz for your library. Every day libraries face serious issues such as budget cuts, reduced staffing, and privatization. It is stating the obvious to say that the profession is greatly changing. However, there is a new way for libraries to get the message out about what they do and why they do it. The June 16th, 2015 issue of American Libraries Direct highlighted a promising development out of Canada: the first librarian radio show. Hosted by two librarians from the Vancouver Island Regional Library, 101.7 CHLY’s “Librarians on the Radio” discusses books, includes interviews with librarians and writers, and so much more. Launched in 2012 by Jason Kuffler, the idea was to find another “way to reach out to the community” and to those who “had no clue that we were doing the types of innovative things that we are doing.” Radio programming is a fantastic way to educate the public about what libraries can offer and how much value they provide to the community. It also helps fulfill the need for marketing programs and services to new and existing users.
The possibilities are endless given this type of forum. No doubt it takes enthusiastic people, time, money, and a well organized plan for this project to succeed. However, it can provide libraries with an effective medium for reaching out to their patrons. In this case, the dedication of those involved led to an award from the British Columbia Library Association; the 2015 Advocacy and Marketing Merit Award. Not only can the public learn about what their libraries are doing, but library professionals can discover unique ways to connect with their patrons, thereby increasing their knowledge of the field. One noteworthy guest on the program was Scott Bonner of the Ferguson (Missouri) Public Library. Listening to this segment likely gave librarians tools on how to cope with difficult events that affect their communities. If feasible, libraries should research whether creating a similar radio program would work for them. It could be a very effective strategy for creating awareness not only about the good libraries do, but also the challenges they face. Kudos to everyone involved with “Librarians on the Radio” for their hard work finding an inventive way to market their library!
Librarians on the Radio Archive: http://virl.bc.ca/news/radio/archive
 Nicholas Pescod, “Librarian-hosted radio show earns recognition,” Nanaimo News Bulletin, updated June 11, 2015, http://www.nanaimobulletin.com/entertainment/307041141.html .