Vol.10-22   6.1.10

Time to Talk Up Summer Reading

The June 2010 Word-of-Mouth Marketing topic is an easy one! Summer Reading Programs for all ages - children, teens and adults. As this is something libraries usually focus on at this time of year it isn't necessarily "one more thing" to do but hopefully something that will be a little bit easier to do this year!

Children's Program: Make a Splash - READ!
Teen Program: Make Waves @ Your Library

For Children & Teens:
Summer Reading is a critical element of continuing education for school children during the summer months. Libraries that offer reading programs help children and teens bridge the learning gap that can occur from June to September. Summer Reading at the library helps reinforce good reading habits in a safe, friendly and fun environment, to help build a strong foundation for literacy and reading comprehension among young people. Statistics also show that children who participate in the summer reading program during the summer months retain more of what they have learned from the previous semester and have less difficulty adjusting to the new school year come fall. Summer Reading at the library provides the exciting "package" wrapped around reading that will help keep kids engaged in the process and the library for years to come.

Adult Program: Water Your Mind - READ

For Adults:
Summer Reading marks the time when life slows down and we have permission to relax with a good book. Help connect adults in your community with the joy of reading for pleasure this summer.

For the whole Family: Summer Reading is not just kids' stuff anymore! The whole family has a chance to participate in summer, library events. With household budgets being tight and many families choosing to stay local for summer vacation, the library will be an even bigger draw for family entertainment and socialization. The library can help make the "staycation" experience more enjoyable by providing materials, programming and special events that every member of the family can benefit from!

To support this month's WOMM topic there are a full complement of materials for you to use at midhudson.org:
- Importance of Summer Reading
- Poster and talking points
- Three sample newsletter articles including "Top 10 Reasons you should join the Summer Reading Program @your library"
- Sample press release
- Web graphics
- Reading List Brochure
- Flyers for promoting summer reading to parents and educators
- Summer Reader Software Fact Sheet
The 2010 Word-of-Mouth-Marketing Experiment from the MHLS Marketing & Program Advisory Committee puts into motion the idea that by focusing on "selling" one product/service/idea to patrons, per month, System-wide we will increase the impact of the message.

MHLS Announcements
WOMM Works: At the May 2010 MHLS Board meeting MHLS Coordinator for Library Growth & Sustainability, Rebekkah Smith Aldrich, reported on the 2010 Word-of-Mouth Marketing Experiment to date:

- Hudson Valley Reads, January's focus, saw 116% increase in subscribers during the month members focused on telling patrons about it. The number has continued to rise since then…

- Downloadable Audiobooks saw increases in users and checkouts in the 70% range in the month of March and since then those numbers have risen drastically - since March the average daily checkouts have doubled and there has been a 400% increase in new patrons!

- Practice Tests - April:

So keep up the good work! WOMM is working!
All staff should feel proud of the work they have done and the impact they are having on quality library service throughout the System. Because of their efforts more patrons are receiving services that make their lives better, easier and richer. Let's keep this up and fine tune how we go about this - if you have ideas to improve the WOMM Experiment talk to your county's representative to the MHLS Marketing & Program Advisory Committee (http://midhudson.org/mhls/committee/advisory.htm) or contact Rebekkah at rsmith@midhudson.org or x 239.

Professional Development
Reminder - the Recruiting & Managing Volunteers Effectively workshop is coming up soon on Friday, June 18th at the MHLS Auditorium from 10:00am - 3:00pm. Learn recruitment, interviewing, management and evaluation techniques to help make your library's volunteer program work for you and for your volunteers. There is a $10 fee to attend for member libraries. Please register online at http://calendar.midhudson.org

Marketing, Advocacy & Funding
The Mary Bobinski Innovative Public Library Director Award comes with a $1,200 prize and is given to a public library director who during the past two years developed or implemented an innovative program leading to an increase in financial support and/or usage of their library by:
- Demonstrating the value and importance of their public library to community leaders and local government officials.
- Enhancing the image of the public library through an innovative public relations program publicizing the resources and services in multiple media formats.
- Developing new programs and services to attract users and non-users.
- Evidence of success would include the following:
o Increase in library usage through such measures as circulation figures, attendance statistics, library cardholders, etc.
o Increase in financial support in the regular budget and/or in gifts and contributions from the community.
Nomination Form and supporting documentation must be submitted to the NYLA Office by August 30th. http://www.nyla.org/content/user_4/Mary%20Bobinski%20Award.pdf You must be a NYLA member and attend the Annual Conference to receive the award.

The Phoenicia Library just ran a lovely program, the "Little Library Card Art Show and Sale." Community members created art out of old catalog cards which were put on display for the public to view and to purchase. All proceeds benefitted the library.

Administration & Management
The New York State Cultural Data Project (New York State CDP) is a "powerful online management tool designed to strengthen arts and cultural organizations." Organizations enter financial, programmatic and operational data into a standardized online form and can then use the CDP to produce a variety of reports designed to help increase management capacity, identify strengths and challenges and inform decision-making. They can also generate reports to be included as part of the application processes to participating grantmakers (like the Berkshire Taconic Community foundation and the NYS Council on the Arts!). This emerging national standard enables participating organizations to track trends and benchmark their progress through powerful reporting tools. Benefits of Participation: Learn more at http://www.nysculturaldata.org

PAGE 3: 2010 Word-of-Mouth-Marketing (WOMM) Schedule

PAGE 4: June 2010 Calendar: http://calendar.midhudson.org/

Member Libraries are welcome to submit items of interest and job openings to the MHLS Bulletin: bulletin@midhudson.org. The MHLS Bulletin is available on line at http://midhudson.org/bulletins/main.htm.