This month, we asked you guerrillas to share examples of how you advertise your programs. In my admittedly limited library experience, I have noticed that most libraries have a program ad strategy they’ve been using for years–perhaps successfully, perhaps less so. I, for one, am pumped to get some new ideas from y’all.
From Allison Murphy:
A copy of the poster for our Break It-Make It workshop. It’s super fun and a great partnership between our town’s recycling center and our library.
From Nicole Thomas:
A calendar that we use to promote our programs. There are always two months displayed (front and back), but everything is also available on our events calendar online. Many of us at my branch still make separate flyers for our programs to highlight them a little more and post them on a bulletin board. We do a little bit of everything around here.
From Bridget Wilson:
For special events, I create large flyers (8.5 x 11) and mini flyers (6 per 8.5 x 11). These are handed out to my regulars and sent to schools. Large flyers are posted in the children’s section, on bulletin boards, at the circulation desk, etc. The mini flyers serve as a reminder…parents & caregivers can stick them on the fridge to help them remember.
For storytime, I create a seasonal schedule (Jan-May, June-Aug, Sept-Dec) that lists all storytimes (and school age events, special events, etc. if it’s summer reading) and breaks for those months. These are 2 per 8.5 x 11 page and for the Summer reading Program, I send one for each student in every school in the county.
From Dana Sheridan:
Most publications are delighted to include the photo with your event listing, which really increases visibility. This photo is from a Treasure Island event our library hosted. I believe it was published in 6 local papers and on scores of websites. It definitely got the word out – event attendance was 4,500. Yo ho ho!
From Rebecca Brooks:
Here’s what I do: I create (using either Photoshop or Microsoft Word) a normal copier-paper sized flyer to display (definitely on our bulletin boards, sometimes windows, and sometimes around town). I then use that same image to create postcard sized flyers (cut to size) for people to grab and stick in their pockets. I then convert that same image to a jpeg and post it on our website (after Pixlr-ing it a bit) – and even onto our social media sites. It’s all about branding each event.
We used to be able to give out our postcard-sized flyers to our schools (which we only did for special occasions like SRP), but they created a policy against anyone advertising anything directly to the students (apparently they felt overwhelmed by scout groups and the like sending them stuff to give out). But, I can email the principals my jpegs and they’ll get them into their electronic parent newsletter, and possibly post them on a community bulletin board if they have one.
A coworker creates the monthly calendars that come out (ideally) two weeks before the next month. I write a letter to parents/guardians on the back highlighting anything or just explaining the theme of our library that month. We print those out and have them available at our circ desk. I then convert the calendar to a jpeg and post it online (along with a downloadable pdf version as well).
The whole goal is to get this information out in a visually consistent manner, and in as many forms as possible to give our patrons as many options for reminding themselves of events they want to attend. It’s also super-fast once you have the system down.
Sometimes we do use a whiteboard to add to the overall theme of the month or to highlight a particular event (we have an awesome artist on our staff who works magic with dry erase markers and crayons). If you want a pic of that, then let me know. I feel like I’ve already been rather overwhelming in my email!
Oh – here’s a breakdown of my picture collage: Top Image Our calendar surrounded by our postcards – this is at our Children’s Library’s circulation desk | Left Image Our full-sized flyers posted on our Children’s bulletin board | Center and Right Image Snaps of our website – front page with events, and then our calendar page – all using the same original flyer as their basis.
From Jess Mowery:
Our main source of advertising is program flyers. Short and sweet letting everyone know all the dates and times for all our storytime sessions.
I also have pictures of our storytime bulletin boards at my blog http://fromtheliberryof.blogspot.com.
From Abby Johnson:
I copied this idea from the children’s department at the Jefferson County Public Library in Madison, IN. We purchased a librarian’s desk calendar from Upstart and hung it up on the side of our children’s reference desk. I write in our programs (just basic info – program name and time) each month and it gives patrons a nice view of what’s being offered. It’s right there at the reference desk, so if they have questions they can ask us. The calendar is obvious and eye-catching, so it reminds patrons that we offer lots of activities, which may prompt them to pick up one of our program flyers for more information.