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Magazines > Computers in Libraries > May 2004
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Vol. 23 No. 5 — May 2004
Promotion Is Like Chinese Food
by Kathy Dempsey

Good promotion is like Chinese food. When it's done right, it's slightly enticing and pleasantly satisfying. And shortly after it's finished, you want to go back for a little bit more. Creating good promotion can be like preparing Chinese food. You may or may not have all the right tools and skills. If not, then you probably want to order out to get it. But you'll choose your vendor carefully, to be sure that you'll get just the right flavor combination that you're looking for.

In this issue, we serve up some examples of promoting library tech both ways.

There's a branding article that starts on page 18, written by Sejan Yun. She and her colleagues knew exactly what goals they wanted to reach, but they also realized they didn't have the knowledge to do it all alone. So they hired a local public relations firm to design a new logo, and to create a "brand" and plan how to integrate it into all the library's branches. One of their resulting successes was a much stickier Web site that got used a lot more than the old one did.

On the cook-it-up-yourself side, we have an article about how a duo is building and promoting a GIS lab in their library building. Having discovered the wonders of geographic information systems technology, they decided that their campus library should "own" it. So they wrote grants, got equipment and training, and started shopping around the new service to faculty and students. Now these librarians are looking savvy as they become the campus experts (well, the only ones outside the geosciences department) and promote their new technology to eager learners.

And you simply can't miss our cover story and its powerful message. How can you prove that you're better than the Web? Deliver reference service to your customers in real time, on their turf, and most importantly, in their language. Setting up a bilingual chat reference service was no piece of cake, but it sure is a winning way to serve up what people need—and what they can't get on the open Web.

So go ahead, promote your technology! Give people a taste of what you can do for them, and leave them hungry for more.

Kathy Dempsey, Editor

Kathleen L. Dempsey is the Editor of Computers in Libraries. Her email address is:

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