As the community relations manager for the library I have been asked more times than I can remember what I’m most excited about in terms of the new library. And as the day of grand opening inched closer, the question was more frequent and, in all honesty, more emotional.”
Amber Mussman Author Archive
Amber Mussman is the public information officer and adult programming coordinator for the Cedar Rapids Public Library. She has several years of experience in non-profit marketing and communications, leading her team to win the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award in 2012. She is currently reading The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.
The discussion of art in public places is an ongoing and sometimes difficult one. Each community must ask itself what it values and whether public art is a part of the plan.
It is no longer the case that you can simply push your message out to the public over and over and hope they get it. We must find ways to engage with our customers and build dialogues to increase our reach. Social media is only one tool in the marketing arsenal, but it’s a big one.
The way to get your library into the news, which remains one of the most powerful forms of communication with the public, is to be top of mind when the media is working on a story. The only way to be top of mind is to be a friend to the media and show them you are a reliable source for stories.
Investing in innovation doesn’t necessarily mean new technology or expensive hardware. In our case it means investing in people.
Often when the library starts looking at what it values and what it would like to achieve with its programming, they find others in the community looking to achieve similar or complementary goals.
If there was a buzz word surrounding libraries in 2012, it would have to be “relevance.” Libraries are relevant—we know that every time we look at our statistics and see the increases in circulation, computer use, and visitors. Relevance is not the challenge for libraries. Telling our story is our biggest challenge.
When money is tight, marketing budgets are the first to go. Developing a strategic marketing plan will help prove why marketing is not only smart, it’s necessary to be successful.
In the aftermath of disaster, we seek refuge in the places that are familiar to us. For so many dealing with the tragic devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the public library has become just such a place.