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Getting the News Out: Promoting the Library with an Email Alert Service Sharon Giles and Gary Clopton UT Southwestern Library October, 1999.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting the News Out: Promoting the Library with an Email Alert Service Sharon Giles and Gary Clopton UT Southwestern Library October, 1999."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting the News Out: Promoting the Library with an Alert Service Sharon Giles and Gary Clopton UT Southwestern Library October, 1999

2 Getting the News Out: Promoting the Library with an Alert Service Developing the idea: l issues, research, basic concepts, content, means of distribution, format, and staff involvement The alert service: l and web versions Promoting it: l Launching it; methods of publicity Evaluating it: l Success measures; survey results

3 Developing the Idea: Why ? Advantages: l Easy distribution l No materials cost l Timeliness l Ability to use URL links to librarys home pages l Way to obtain feedback from the client Disadvantages: l Impersonality l Perception of unsolicited as spam l Not always read l Lack of universal access to l Requirement of a distribution list

4 Developing the Idea: A Marketing Team Initiative Survey of what other libraries do: l Web newsletters Format: HTML or PDF Content l Listservs l Means of soliciting subscribers l One newsletter: UTHSC San Antonio

5 Developing the Idea: The Librarys Strategic Plan Develop a product compatible with objectives: l Develop information products... l Create easily accessible mechanisms for client input l Develop a staff of campus-recognized experts... l Develop a virtual library... l Offer educational experiences… l Increase primary clients' usage...

6 Developing the Idea: Basic Concepts Library-wide brainstorming session: l A timely, proactive form of marketing l Use of permission marketing l Venue for responses to client suggestions l Not just an form of Information Times, the Librarys print newsletter

7 Developing the Idea: Determining the Content Already created news items: l Class announcements l Articles from Information Times l Answers to client suggestions l Web features Items created for the alert service: l Timely events announcements l New product/service announcements l Tips on existing products and services

8 Developing the Idea: Means of Distribution Electronic distribution lists: l Mass broadcast l address books l Client databases, such as circulation systems l Contact databases l Listservs Moderated, with no automatic bounceback

9 Developing the Idea: Format l Frequency: weekly or monthly, etc. l Viewer limitations: plain text, enhanced, or Web-enabled l Listserv limitations l Style: Text, links to Web pages or a combination l Length: Brief or lengthy, no. of items l Name: same as the Listserv? l Simultaneous Web version?

10 Developing the Idea: Staff Involvement l Editors: Sharon Giles & Jon Crossno l Marketing subteam l Listserv moderators: Jeff Perkins and outside IR staff l Contributors: various l Registrars: Richard Boriack l Web form/Cold Fusion programmers: Karen Harker and Gary Clopton

11 Info-Library: Version Presenting the version:

12 Info-Library: Web Version Presenting the Web Version:

13 Promoting Info-Library: Launching It l Publicity at the Library Showcase: In conjunction with National Medical Librarians Week, Oct l Initial subscriber base: Names from signup forms at the Library Showcase Names from Internet Users Survey Library staff

14 Promoting Info-Library: All Means Possible! l Word of mouth l Postcard mailing l Bookmark l Signs l Checkbox on registration form l Library Showcase l Article in Information Times l campaign l Web form for subscribing l Link to Whats New on home page

15 Evaluating Info-Library: Basic Questions Factors determining success or failure: l Number of subscribers l Feedback from staff & clients l Facilitating the strategic plan l Responses to an survey

16 Evaluating Info-Library: The Survey Do you find Info- Library valuable to you? l Yes 74% l Sometimes 24% l No 2% Results: l 54 responses tabulated l Base of 860+ subscribers at the time of the survey l Response rate: 6.3%

17 Evaluating Info-Library: The Survey Features found valuable: l New Library resources and services announcements 91% l Tips on using library systems and resources 61% l Special events announcements 59% l Library and Internet class announcements 59% l Tips on Internet sites of medical interest 52%

18 Evaluating Info-Library: The Survey Desired frequency: l Weekly 45% l Every two weeks 35% l Monthly 20% l Quarterly 0% Preferred format: l version 92% l Web version 8%

19 Evaluating Info-Library: The Survey How did you find out about Info-Library: l Home page 17% l By 50% l Word of mouth 20% Suggested features: l Book list

20 Evaluating Info-Library: Conclusions Survey conclusions: l Perception of the service as valuable by clients l Items valued most by clients consistent with strategic plan l Option to go biweekly? l Option to alternate with book list?

21 Evaluating Info-Library: Conclusions Personal observations: l More time-consuming than first estimated l Great practice for your writing skills l A vehicle for staff development and communication l Personally recommend considering such a service for your library


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