August 04, 2007

craigslist @ your library?

The conservative librarians' approach to library promotion: if the idea won't reach lots & lots of our potential audience, we don't do it.

With the new world, 21st century, Web 2.0, Internets(sic), etc., we need to change this thinking. Instead of trying to reach lots of people, how about efforts to reach SOME people? I'm doing that in Facebook -- I've "met" a few students there, and that’s good. Didn't cost me anything, I was there already, and I made it known that I was in Facebook to be contacted if folks wanted to. Some did. Most don't.

Today my husband discovered craigslist, which made me think: What about using craigslist to promote library services?

There's a section called "Services" and another called "Events" -- what if we listed our upcoming classes in one or another of those spots? Most of our classes are free ... public library classes are presumably open to the public ... and listings on craigslist don't cost anything!

I've poked around & found some examples:
* Origami @ your library (in El Cerrito, Calif.)
* City-Wide Friends of the Boston Public Library Book Sale
* People using the library as an office: Homework Help- $15/hour-Highlands Ranch Library
* Someone promoting an art exhibit in the Vancouver area: Artwork at Poirier Library July 2007 - Oana Cretu

This wouldn't get all of our potential patrons, or even a lot of them. But I bet it would get some who otherwise wouldn't know about our fabulous free databases, our reference assistance, our audiobooks, our classes on using the Web, our chess clubs, our Dance Dance Revolution, our game nights ...


maura said...

Very cool Stephanie.
Thanks for doing some investigative research. I like craigslist, I fould my apartment and roommates there, and have utilized the marketplace as well.

I might have to try this as another venue for advertising our computer classes!

Hillary said...

Yes, great idea, Stephanie! I actually just brought this up at my library's PR committee meeting and I'm going to start listing events on CL, too. I miss all you MA librarians!