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Building Bridges to Business OLA SuperConference Friday January 30, 2009 Session #1316 Ann Andrusyszyn – Manager of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications.

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Presentation on theme: "Building Bridges to Business OLA SuperConference Friday January 30, 2009 Session #1316 Ann Andrusyszyn – Manager of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building Bridges to Business OLA SuperConference Friday January 30, 2009 Session #1316 Ann Andrusyszyn – Manager of Fundraising, Marketing & Communications Anne Dorsey – Business Librarian

2 Overview Why What How Do It Evaluate Repeat, Repeat, Repeat Ten tips

3 Why Make Business Connections? Show value – more than recreational Do the give before the ask Raise awareness Help reach municipal goals Positioning in the community Social capital Etc.

4 What do businesses want? Products and services that help them work more effectively & efficiently Kept abreast of news/trends in their sector Relevant, reliable and accurate information Save time Higher profile Demonstrate social responsibility Community involvement

5 What can libraries provide? A bridge between information, technology and business users Specialized collections and reference Access to business/market databases User education Programs Networking opportunities Resources for making informed decisions

6 How To Target SWOT Strategy Do It!

7 TARGET Identification of Business Connections What does your library want to achieve? Then identify targets Business directories Top business lists Business associations Networking groups

8 Research! Research! Research! Local newspapers and business publications National newspapers, periodicals Business databases Chamber of Commerce Business Centres Career centres Local business network groups Economic Development Office

9 SWOT Strengths Prepare a list of your strongest selling features Create a list of major achievements State how this is different from similar organizations Explain the distinctions

10 Assets of Public Libraries Widely available Accessibility High credibility Neutrality Broad range of informative services and support Economic reach Social capital Early adopters of information technology Experience in partnerships – natural partners Robust networks – gateway to world libraries; with government & community organizations Local and networked information resources

11 SWOT Weaknesses Promote the librarian vs. promote the library Geographically remote from businesses No clearly defined mission statement, goals or objectives Lack of awareness – the notion that libraries are for kids and seniors

12 SWOT Opportunities Know who you serve – understand the demographics of your community, particularly the business community Understand how you fit into the picture Partnerships Economic downturn=library upturn

13 Libraries: Key to Economic Growth Study released by the Urban Institute 4 key areas including – small business resources and programs lower barriers to market entry Local economies in rapid transition as move from manufacturing and service industries to information and idea industries Strategy is to keep a vibrant base of small businesses Mix residential, commercial & cultural activities to make creative cities – a la Richard Florida A paradigm shift – from passive recreational reading and research to active economic development agent

14 SWOT Threats Lack of management and/or board support Stereotype No need – all that is needed is on my computer (negators) No or low budget Previous negative experience

15 STRATEGY Board and staff buy-in Strategic Plan Develop deep understanding of the businesses Build relationships Sustain relationships Outreach/In-reach Business materials Take Aways Displays Your story Business Programs Embedded in community

16 Outreach and In-reach Synergy Make others aware of business resources Highlight collections, including electronic Create relationships with business professionals Future funding resources Outreach should lead to in-reach

17 Tell Your Business Story Shape messages that resonate Never underestimate the WOW factor Need several infomercials in your kit Tell a success story Need a tagline!

18 Do it! Get out the door and get started Low hanging fruit Join Chamber Attend events

19 Do it Book-talk at networking events Look for ways to demonstrate the databases outside the library Dedicated business pages in the library newsletter – consider a theme approach Write articles and book reviews for local business publications

20 Building the Relationships It takes time and effort to develop Its not a quick fix or source of funding – two way street with realistic expectations What are the main challenges your business faces and HOW can the library help? What changes or additions in resources/programs would assist your business? Deposits/withdrawals

21 Sustaining the Relationships Thank you ALWAYS Follow-up – report back -updates Re-introduce yourself No one-off attendance Go back and ask again if another opportunity Focus on helping businesses get what they want Create a one stop shopping experience

22 Sell! Sell! Sell! Your Library Information Internet access Meeting space Business reference sources Research database Search Expertise Talk benefits, not features Keep it current

23 Best Practices Know your resources – particularly business databases Promote resources not typically considered part of library Remember in-house training for staff Clear guidelines Program proposal & evaluation forms Embrace virtual services that deliver info to users desktop etc. – streamline One size does not fit all Connect with other business librarians Dear Reader business reads Listen! Listen! Listen!

24 Very Important! Barrie Public Library provides programming to enrich the knowledge and experience of our customers, and cannot be seen to support any one business over another. To this end, we ask that you agree that you not promote your own business or product and do not recruit clients. Please sign the following statement. I agree that in providing information to the customers of Barrie Public Library for this library sponsored programme, I will not promote my own business interest or recruit clients. I may make some mention of my company in introducing myself and my qualifications, but I will not solicit business in any way. Date:____________Signature: ______________________________ Staff signature: ______________________________

25 Top of mind ….. Its not a Google world Economic Downturn = Library Upturn They dont know what they dont know Business needs – not library needs Tipping Point Need to reclaim our roles as an information source Never underestimate the power of using your librarys name Expand your walls

26 Evaluation Evidence Based Librarianship Business impact what changed for the business? Library impact Sponsorships Donations Increased usage

27 Peer recognition of success Requests from other libraries Invite to sit on Boards/Committees YouTube Invitations to speak Opinion sought

28 Repeat …… … as necessary! As often as possible

29 Top Ten Tips You Can Start Now! Learn the lingo Create pathfinders Create bibliographies Infomercial Value story - impact Booktalk! Book Review Connect! Network! Follow-up! Join Chamber, BIA Offer tours (such a misnomer since its really an info session) Best foot forward

30 Thank you for your time Questions? Comments? Ann Andrusyszyn (705) ext Anne Dorsey (705) ext

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