Advertising Library Services

Being a librarian, you need to wear a number of different hats. For the IM reference service we have now implemented I needed to do some promotion. I came up with a few advertising ideas including: flyers posted where the students are (i.e. dorms, commons), bookmarks with the URL on them, and screen savers or backgrounds on the library computers promoting the service. The web services librarian and I teamed up on designing the logo:


Advertising takes a lot of thought beforehand in order for your ads to be successful. Here are a few tips that I learned while I was creating an advertising campaign:

  • Keep it simple (people have little time to read a bunch of text)
  • Make it catchy (have something that gets the intended audiences attention)
  • Keep your audience in mind
  • Advertise where your audience is going to be (e.g. for students, put ads in common areas)

A good place to begin online with library advertising is Library Media and PR. They have a number of free logos and excellent tips to get your message out there.


Classroom vs. Online Education

A recent comment referred to an article by Randy Cohen in which he addresses a concern about a professor not posting a video-recorded lecture online after classroom attendance started dropping. As the comment stated, students now expect these tools to be available. It is humorous that this has become the norm. I think the professor was right in trying to make the students get back to the classroom. Online learning is great and has its place, but learning in meat-space is also very important.

My last post was about how much I enjoy having online tools to further my education. I do not believe though, that these tools could take the place of the learning I do in real life. The students in this article simply did not want to get up for an 8am class (I remember how hard it was), but learning in the physical classroom cannot easily replace learning on the web.

With the web you can either watch the lecture or not. Being in the classroom is much more engaging. You can react, ask questions, and take personal notes (less likely if you can just refer back to the video lecture). Notes make the experience more personal. You make the material your own when you put it in words you can understand. And if there is any discussion portion to the class, then you are missing a lot of valuable interactions.

Web-learning and distance education are great. I think they partner well with the classroom, but it seems to me that it is difficult to completely replace classroom learning. I could be wrong. Can students thrive in an online only environment?


Learning on the Web

I really am amazed with the web. Learning is just so different now. Instead of having to pay for journal subscriptions, professors are now putting their articles up for the public to view. In addition, institutions are also putting up video recorded lectures of classes. What I take advantage of though, are the wealth of online tutorials, especially for computer skills. I am not a graphic design guy, but in trying to come up with a marketing logo I was able to make a really cool looking Web 2.0 button.Ask Button

If you want to learn a new skill, the web could be an invaluable tool. I found the tutorial for this button at Free Adobe Photoshop Tutorials. But you can learn lots of other DIY stuff as well. The web as learning tool…I really like that.