Finding Out Who is New in Your Community

Reaching out to new people in your community is a proactive way to increase support for the library. Instead of waiting for new patrons to walk through your door, you can take a few extra steps to increase the likelihood that they will visit by inviting them. Here are some steps for identifying new people and making contact with them.

Step 1

Option #1 - Contact your County's Real Property Tax Office and ask for a list of new homeowners within a specific period of time. (the last year, the last 2 years, the last 3 years etc...)

- There is a fee for obtaining the list. (This usually includes a setup fee and a charge per number of labels run.) The cost varies based upon the criteria you select, but it likely to be between $50 - $100.
- You may wish to get more than one set of labels to use for future mailings. They might be used to announce the library fund-drive, summer reading program, community events etc.

A few things to consider:


Option #2 - Identify new residents by purchasing a list from a list brokering company.

- Search online for a mailing list company, such as AccuData.
- Purchase a list of "new move" addresses based on zip codes associated with your area.

Note - You have to purchase a minimum number of records when purchasing this kind of list, otherwise it is not cost effective. For this reason, it may be worthwhile for a group of libraries or the County Director's Association to purchase the list as a group buy.

Step 2

Use the list to mail a personalized letter.

-You might wish to compare the list to your patron database, in order to weed out people who have already obtained a library card.

- Send a Welcome Letter from the Library Director. Here is a sample to get you started. Be sure to print it out on your library's letterhead. Consider including a library card registration form, upcoming program announcements, Friends information, a request for volunteers, flyer for Helpful Links for Living in the Hudson Valley website, a Get Out of Fines Free card etc... If you'd like to send along a small gift with your letter, here are a few to consider.