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Targeted Marketing
Winter 2004

Across the Board | Winter 2004 | Topic: Targeted Marketing
The Mid-Hudson Library System's Quarterly Newsletter for Public Library Trustees

Maximizing Your Library’s Efforts

Libraries serve everyone, which is why marketing and publicity are so important. One message won’t appeal to all segments of your community at the same time. Batch Targeting is an approach to marketing with a target group inmind. Through batch targeting you break down your overall target market into manageable segments, such as one specific age group (e.g., seniors) or demographic trend (e.g., new residents). Following are specific suggestions to help you with batch targeting.

Reaching Out to New Residents. Lots of legwork has been done for you already regarding this target group (don’t you love to hear that?). The Reaching Out to New Residents Project of the Mid-Hudson Library System was created in response to the overwhelming data we found during our 2022 Project. (The 2022 Project gathered information about trends that will have an impact on the
Hudson Valley over the next twenty years.) Data showed that there has been a major influx of new residents to our region. In fact, four out of the five counties served by the Mid-Hudson Library System have experienced population increases greater than the New York State average of 5.5 percent. (For more details about the impact of new residents on the Hudson Valley, general trends likely to have an impact in our area, and tools to help libraries address these trends, visit

Pilot Libraries’ Suggestions. The ten target libraries of the Reaching Out to New Residents Project piloted a variety of activities designed to help new residents. To find out what new residents wanted libraries contacted their county’s Real Property Tax Office and requested a list of homeowners who had moved to the area within a particular time frame. There is usually a fee to obtain this list, consisting of a set-up charge and a charge per number of mailing labels run. The cost varies but is likely to be between $50 and $100. Helpful Tip: Get more than one set of labels to use for future mailings. Use them to announce your library fund-drive, summer reading program, community events, et cetera. For more information about using the Real Property Tax Office as an information resource, go to
Another technique used was a Library Card Survey. Survey cards were placed at the circulation desk and given to each new cardholder. View the survey online at
It helped to place signs on the outside of the library building with an inviting message: “The Library Welcomes New Residents.”
Offering specific programming for new residents, such as an orientation to the library and its electronic resources, finding area restaurants or an introduction to municipal services turned out to be a great way to snag new residents. Visit the MHLS EZ Library Program Database for more ideas: (Note: Type “new resident” in the keyword box and a list of new resident programs offered in member libraries will appear.)

The most successful component of the project was the creation of "New Resident Resource Kits" tailored to each library and its community. Bags designed for the project were packed with information such as:

To see what other libraries have included in their kits, go to Target libraries felt that the "New Resident Resource Kit" was so well received that all ten have decided to continue offering it using local funds.

“Helpful Links for Living in the Hudson Valley,” a web site developed by MHLS, is a perfect resource for your library to use when reaching out to new residents. Included are links to general information such as resources for moving, commuter and travel information, daycare providers, travel directions and local services information, job information, local history links, town links, volunteer information and voting resources. Access this site at

Targeted Programming: Suggested Programming for General Target Audiences. Using library programs throughout the year to reach specific segments of the population in your community can translate into a boost in support for your library. To get you started the MHLS Marketing and Programs Advisory Committee brainstormed a list of programs that would appeal to senior citizens,
families, speakers of languages other than English, small business owners and men.

For more ideas check out Tools for Transition: and the MHLS EZ Library Program Database at

Talk the Talk. Create easy-to-remember sound bites about your library. These little tidbits can make a big difference when someone is considering how to vote on a library issue, make a donation to the library or become a library volunteer. To create a context for your library’s statistics, for example, use the Value of Circulation Formula and the Value of Programming Formula. By calculating the value of your services you can present that value to the public and other key decision makers in dollar terms—which makes good sound bites. This method is less humdrum than citing circulation statistics or reporting the number of people who walked through the door.

Value of Circulation Formula
2003 Reported Total Circulation x $20 (average cost of library item)
= Total Value of Items Lent to the Community
Value of Programming Formula
2003 Reported Attendance at Library Programming x $8 (average
price of a movie ticket) = Money Saved for Families and Residents

By engaging in targeted marketing you can expect your efforts to be more cost effective and timesaving. Targeted marketing helps position your library as the specialist’s place, making it indispensable—a dream position in any community.

A Selection of Resources from the MHLS Professional Collection

Trustee Success Story Recognition Award Winners. The 2004 Trustee Success Story Recognition Awards were presented at the MHLS 45th Annual Meeting, which was held at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Friday, November 19th. Trustee Success Story winners exemplify admirable public library trustee qualities and have demonstrated, in different ways, what it takes to make a library viable, vital and visible in our communities. Winners from each of the five counties served by MHLS were awarded $200 for their libraries.

COLUMBIA COUNTY Paul Johann, Valatie Free Library.
For his years of service and instrumental role in the library’s successful 414 referendum with the Kinderhook Library; the establishment of the Val-Kin Council, promoting cooperation
between the two libraries; and a large preservation project involving the library’s photograph collection.

PUTNAM COUNTY Karen Baumann, Putnam Valley Library.
For her help in the coordination of several building improvements; development of a town-wide newsletter; development of the library’s Long Range Plan; expansion of the library’s
fundraising efforts; for the encouragement of better communication with the local school district; and for the recent coordination of the library’s participation in the second annual “Town Day” in July.

DUTCHESS COUNTY Richard Taylan, Hyde Park Free Library.
For his role in initiating a successful collaboration with the Mid-Hudson Teacher Center to increase library advocacy, funding and community outreach.

ULSTER COUNTY James Simmons, Town of Ulster Public Library.
For his efforts to attain a sound financial base for library funding; increase library staff and services; expand and acquire a new building; and increase and improve electronic services
to meet the growing needs of the community.

GREENE COUNTY Patricia DeLucia & William Conine, Heermance Memorial Library (Coxsackie).
For their role in helping the library attain Special District status; encouraging professional development for library staff; advocacy efforts for the library on both local and state levels; and serving as role models for existing and new board members.

Advocacy Call to Arms
As many of you are aware this has been a tough year for library funding on the state legislative level. We are facing a serious struggle in 2005 to maintain adequate System funding from New York State. We hope that you will respond to our Advocacy Alerts in the coming months, because legislators need to hear from you, member library trustees, about how System services help local libraries. We need you to step up and speak out on behalf of System funding. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do on behalf of libraries.


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