Archive for the ‘Library Advocacy’ Category

The ridiculous reach of Slideshare

09 May

I’m always banging on about to anyone who’ll listen – I think it’s the great underrated social network, the secret weapon of communication. And people do listen – whether it’s librarians on presentation skills or social media courses, or academics on web 2.0 / edtech courses, people are amazed at the reach Slideshare can provide. An example I like to give is of a presentation I created a couple of years back called The Time For Libraries Is Now - it’s essentially pro-library propaganda packaged up in such a way that non-librarians will hopefully look at it. I’ve only given that presentation once to a room full of people, but it’s been viewed around 70,000 times online – that’s the equivalent of my having presented at Wembley Stadium! It’s more or less the same amount of effort, for hundreds of times the audience and reach, and that makes Slideshare invaluable. People LOVE to share presentations, they tweet links to them, they talk about them on Facebook, they embed them on their own blogs and sites - and they view them a lot more readily than they’ll read an article or a blogpost. It’s all about packaging up a message for maximum impact; I’ve said before on this blog, that if I have something really important to say, I’ll say it with slides.  Here’s my Slideshare profile.

Anyhow, Slideshare have just started emailing users with updates on how their decks are doing. This week I got this:

Slideshare stats showing 397k total views and 2k views for this week

What struck me (apart from the fact that the Tweets / FB stats are wrong for some reason) is the sheer number of views per week – for things I’ve already done, and don’t update or even regularly add to. Around 2 thousand views a week! This blog gets around 2,500 views a week (unless I actually write a blog post in a given week, in which case hopefully it goes up a bit…) and that’s with an archive of 100s of posts for Google to find – Slideshare only has about 25 of my presentations on and yet that many people are receiving the messages I’ve put out there. (Plus, only four of my blogposts have had over 10,000 views, let alone 50 or 70,000.)

So, information professionals with something to say – make a nice slidedeck and get it on Slideshare. Libraries with key messages for users and potential users – by all means use all the usual channels, but use Slideshare as well! Got some new facilities? Make a slide deck about it, full of nice pictures of those facilities, and embed it on your library homepage. Got some new courses coming up? Create a PowerPoint with what the courses are, why they’ll benefit the users, and some quotes from previously satisfied customers – stick it on Slideshare and embed it on your bookings page. Teaching information skills? Put the PowerPoint on Slideshare afterwards so your students can refer back to it.

In terms of getting your message to stick, and generally making slide decks which are nice enough to get shared a lot on Slideshare (and perhaps picked up and featured on their homepage, which guarentees a huge amount of exposure), here’s some tips I’ve previously posted on here – on a slidedeck of course!


And if you’re interested and haven’t seen it, here’s the Time For Libraries Is Now deck I mentioned at the top of the piece.

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Creating ambient awareness of the Library as authoritative source

07 May


Picture of the LJ column

Click the image to read the article


I’ve recently become a columnist for Library Journal, along with several others, as part of an Advocates Corner feature all about library marketing and advocacy. Here’s where you can read the first of my columns, about the increasingly important practice of marketing with video. The second one went online last week – you can read it here.

It’s about creating ambient awareness of the Library as authoritative source – the reason it doesn’t say that in the article itself is that it’s a much better way of putting it than I could come up with myself! The particular phrase comes from Valarie Kingsland, as part of this tweet responding to the article (see more response below).

The central tenet of the article is something I first grasped when Terry Kendrick explained it to me – that it’s very hard to get anyone to take an action as a result of any one-off piece of marketing, and that it is this unrealistic expectation which leaves so many library marketers disappointed. You really have to build an awareness of what you do over time, so you’re the first thing people thing of when they DO need your services – rather than expecting them to drop what they’re doing and run to the Library when they see your tweet / poster / email / leaflet or whatever… Hence the title of the column – marketing libraries is like marketing mayonnaise, in that no one sees an ad for Hellman’s Mayo and rushes out to buy some, but when it comes to the time when they need mayonnaise, Hellman’s are foremost in their minds because they see so many ads and promotions. Read the article to see what I’m on about!

The reaction to the piece was fantastic, and I’m really pleased to see how many people really ‘got’ it. I’ve documented a small selection of it on Storify.


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Introducing the Library Marketing Toolkit website!

09 May

Months in the planning, the library marketing toolkit website is finally live! It can be found at

A screengrab of the Library Marketing Toolkit website

It looks like this

What’s on it?

The site is essentially designed to give you lots of practical advice on how to market your library – be that public, academic, special or archive. There are tools and resources, lots of useful links, new case studies which will be added to on an ongoing basis, and there’s info about the Library Marketing Toolkit book and its contributors.

There’s also a blog, which will give tips and aim to highlight the best (and sometimes the worst) marketing from libraries around the world. The first post is Marketing libraries with new technologies: what you need to know, and what to do next and features this presentation, which I gave yesterday at an Academic and Research Libraries Group conference on new technologies in libraries:

(Works best on full-screen mode)

What’s coming up next?

The next post on the site will be a fantastic case study from the Bodleian library at Oxford, about their amazing smartphone app which has had everyone from Stephen Fry downwards swooning over it’s amazingness.

There’s also some additional case study material which I couldn’t fit into the book, and several other brand new case studies including stuff from the UnLibrary in Crouch End, high-level tips on crowd-sourcing from JISC’s Ben Showers, and a brilliant how-to on social monitoring from Andy Burkhardt.

Subscribing etc

I’d love it if you subscribed to the new blog – you can subscribe by clicking here – and there’s a Twitter account too, @libmarketing, which you can follow here. If you want to spread the word about the new website on Twitter (for which I’ll love you forever!) here’s a ready made click-to-tweet link to it.

About The Library Marketing Toolkit book itself

The Library Marketing Toolkit will be published by Facet Publishing this Summer (probably 20th of July in the UK, and slightly later in the US / Canada. Stateside it will be distrubuted and marketed by Neal-Schuman, who’ve just been bought by the ALA). It is aimed at public libraries, special libraries, academic libraries and archives, and is extremely practical in nature – ideas you can apply right away to market your library more succesfully.

The best part is, it has 27 fantastic case studies from really amazing people and libraries from the UK, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. Contributors include organisations like the British Library and the National Archive, New York Public Library, University of Cambridge, JISC – and amazing individuals too: see the Contributor’s page of the Toolkit website for details of all of them.

You can order it direct from Facet, or via Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada etc. As mentioned in the previous post, a free chapter is available for download, here (PDF).

We have one advance-copy review so far, a great one from Nancy Dowd, the vertiable QUEEN of marketing libraries!

Ned Potter’s  book will help any library succeed in creating a community that is aware and engaged in its library. He has written an easy to follow tool kit targeted at the specific marketing needs of librarians that is sure to become a favourite resource for anyone involved in marketing a library. There are case studies from libraries around the world that will inspire you no matter whether your library is large or small. You’ll love this book!’ - Nancy Dowd, Author of ALA’s Best Selling Book, Bite-Sized Marketing

- thewikiman

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The Great Library Stereotypometer!

19 Jul

Okay here it is… After EXTENSIVE RESEARCH (I asked people on twitter what they reckoned) I proudly present (and then immediately duck behind the nearest sofa) the Great Library Stereotypometer – a new, up-to-date, piercingly accurate and entirely NON-SERIOUS look at library stereotypes!

library stereotyes

Click to view the original full-size on flickr

As the caption says, click it to view full-size. Feel free to use it anywhere. Don’t take it seriously. (Seriously.)

More to add? Why not create your own! :)

- thewikiman

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