The Who, What, Why & How of Library Marketing

October 2002
by Linda Murdock

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Let’s start with why–that is, why I’m writing this article. I recently went to the library with the intention of getting a list of every public library in Colorado, home state of Bellwether Books. I realized I could touch on the bigger national libraries with the larger budgets by using PMA’s library program. But I also knew that this program did not include every public library, not to mention all the other kinds of libraries out there.

My logic was to start with one state at a time and pursue the smaller libraries that are not inundated with marketing material. That way, I hoped, Bellwether Books would stand out. Plus, it is always good to use the local angle, because it gives you a focus and a defined target market. In this way, I could lay the groundwork for marketing future publications.

As with everything I seem to get into, I needed to know more. I made a few calls, got my friend Barbara Osgood-Hartness with Poncha Press involved, and here’s what we uncovered.


“Collections/Development” & “Acquisitions”

Become familiar with these two terms, because they are the “who” of library marketing. The larger libraries use the term “collections/development” to describe the person who makes the buying decisions. Smaller libraries use the term “acquisitions.”

Of the 15,000 public libraries, about 17% (or 2,600) have an annual budget ove…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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