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Magazines > Marketing Library Services > September/October 2003
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Information Today
Vol. 17 No. 5 — Sep/Oct 2003
Special Reports

The 2nd Annual IFLA/3M International Marketing Award Winners Named
by Christie Koontz

To recognize libraries around the world that develop and implement effective marketing programs, the Management & Marketing (M&M) Section of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) joined with 3M Library Systems last year to create the IFLA/3M International Marketing Award. So in August 2003, for the second year in a row, first, second, and third prizes were presented at IFLA's Annual Conference in Berlin. As a member of the M&M committee, I'm very familiar with the awards. In this article I'll profile the top three winners and give brief summaries of other applicants' projects. The top three had been notified early this summer so that the first-place winner could claim the big prize--airfare, lodging, and registration for the 2003 IFLA Annual Conference--and, at the show, a cash award of $1,000 (U.S.) to further the library's marketing efforts.

Altogether there were 15 applicants from seven countries--four from Spain; four from the U.S.; three from the U.K.; and one each from India, Tanzania, Serbia, and Thailand.

This Year's Winners: Examples of Their Ingenuity

This year's winners are varied, robust, and colorful.

First Place: "The Marketing Campaign: Literary Pathways" Consorci de Biblioteques de Barcelona (CBB), Spain

Submitted by Mireia Sala, director, msalaf@mail.bcn.es

The public library system of the beautiful bustling seaport town of Barcelona, Spain, is putting nonusers on paths that lead straight to the libraries! Literary Pathways is a program featuring actors or guides who lead tour participants into neighborhoods that famous authors lived in or wrote about, all while reading selections of their works. The literary travelers are required to register for library cards. (The nearest library is often a stop on the tour as well.) Librarians encourage families and children to participate together, thereby creating a basis for a whole new generation of customers.

Colorful examples of the tour subjects include George Orwell, author of 1984 and Animal Farm, as well as famous poets, children's authors, and even a ghoulish tour of a cemetery where authors lie in rest!

The programs are evaluated on a cyclical basis. The goals of the project are to develop new customer groups and to illuminate the range of topics available for study and access within the library. Participants can view the tour itineraries ahead of time on the Web, which gives them more opportunities to learn about library services. The campaign is supported by a variety of communication media, from posters in bakeries to publicity articles in specialty magazines and local newspapers. Brochures and buttons were developed, as were point-of-purchase displays in the libraries. Felicitaciones Barcelona!

Second Place: "CU e-Intellectual Property" Center of Academic Resources

Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Submitted by: Yupin Chancharoensin and Supaporn Chaithammapakorn, yupin.c@car.chula.ac.th

The second-place winner is from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, and the 1999 site of an IFLA marketing workshop sponsored by the M&M Section. The Center of Academic Resources within the university had offered a full-text, in-house database of graduate theses that was well-accepted, but little-used. To increase usage and to better serve the academic community, the library added faculty research data. Yet use of the database still did not increase at the rate planned. So during a time when they really needed to show the value and impact of the library, staff members created a well-developed marketing plan to increase usage of the database by 10 percent. A second objective was to provide easier access to the database at anytime from anywhere; both objectives were to be met within 18 months.

The campaign used all the tenets of marketing--customer identification and segmentation, marketing strategy, and evaluation. The database was renamed "CU e-Intellectual Property." The library staff organized an awareness campaign through its Web site, the telephone, e-mail, and workshops. Articles were also published in faculty publications. Banners, fliers, and radio spots are also planned. Congratulations CU!

Third Place: "Have We Got News for You!" Newman College of Higher Education Library and Learning Resource Centre, Birmingham, U.K.

Submitted by Janice Bell and Maureen Carter, library@newman.ac.uk

Utilizing mince pies and punch to celebrate, Newman College Library designed a campaign to communicate changes in the library's staff, programs, and services. The library staff identified primary target markets as academic staff and students. The goal was to make the markets more knowledgeable about the new, larger library, and to increase usage of a growing array of virtual services.

The librarians created a newspaper, The Library Times, which is published on campus and is also available on the college's intranet. The paper is packed with library news and information--and students are encouraged to be columnists. The library is also holding on-site quarterly showcases that illuminate new services and products. The winning features of this application were the identification of customer groups, the precise and systematic communication to those groups through various and sundry media, and evaluation based upon measurable objectives. Congratulations Newman College Library!

Marketing from Around the Globe

Here is a listing of other applicants' worthy ideas. If you'd like more information from a particular library, please contact committee chair Daisy McAdam at Daisy.McAdam@ses.unige.ch.

University Library Campaigns: Ideas in this group included promoting a positive image of the library and its services by developing a new online catalog; a campaign to foster user interest in improving library skills via a promotional toothbrush imprinted with the slogan, "Brush up on your Library Research Skills"; promoting a historic collection (both physical and virtual) to a wider audience; a strategy to develop classroom bibliographic instruction to increase use by specific student populations; promoting the acquisition of the 1.5 millionth volume to build relationships with key funders; and a marketing plan to overcome customer dissatisfaction with the physical library facility.

Special Library Campaigns: A unique array of campaigns were entered by libraries representing governments, agencies, and special institutes: promoting an information system to improve decision-making skills of students and management practitioners; a campaign to promote the library as a meeting point for discourse and information by a community recently experiencing civil war; and a new-employee campaign to promote knowledge of the information center's resources and services through tours, open houses, personal contacts, and a graduation card.

Criteria, '02 Winners, '04 Application

This annual international award was created to identify best marketing practices, and it gives a chance for all types of libraries to showcase full marketing campaigns and programs rather than simple publicity efforts. Any library, agency, or association in the world that promotes library service is eligible. Applications are available in the five official IFLA languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German). This year's applicants were judged on the creativity and innovation demonstrated, effectiveness of marketing goals, and an ongoing commitment to marketing. The M&M committee continues to revise the criteria and simplify the application to facilitate participation by a broader range of countries, and specifically to recognize marketing efforts in developing countries that have fewer resources.

If you missed last year's winners, check the MLS Web site. Applications for the 2004 award will be available in September at http://www.3M.com/us/library or http://www.ifla.org.


Christie Koontz, Ph.D., is a research associate and director of the GeoLib Program at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Koontz also teaches marketing at the School of Information Studies at Florida State University, and conducts marketing workshops for colleagues around the globe. Her e-mail address is ckoontz@admin.fsu.edu.

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