for building community support via strategic information and communication
ongoing communication with patrons
through letters or brief weekly or bi-weekly emails. Messages might
include program information, announcement of new books or materials;
information about library closings or thank you for their support or
involvement in the library. Software products exist to help you maintain
regular contact with your library patrons.
product possibility: Constant
a note to new parents
congratulating them and reminding them about the library's resources
for parents and children. (Data on newborns can often be obtained
through local hospitals or newspapers.) See a sample
new baby letter.
- Send a letter
to new residents welcoming them and inviting them for a tour of
the library. Here are some related resources:
- Create formal or
informal ways to collect input from patrons
(suggestion boxes, patron interviews, focus groups, surveys etc.)
PR activities: newsletters,
web site usage, mailing lists, making use of Access and PowerPoint.
an annual report to the community
to show the community contribution the library has made throughout the
year. Post it on the library's website and mail a copy to all residents,
as well as, to local and State officials.
a newsletter to the entire community.
Use it as an opportunity to educate and advertise the library's services.
Include a tear-off section to solicit more Friends, Trustees, and volunteers
for the library.
a sign outside the library listing activities.
Something on it may attract the attention of new community members and
it gives the overall impression that a lot is happening at the library.
a monthly/quarterly letter from director to
library patrons on the library's website. Talk about some
of the upcoming events happening in the library or new materials/services
that are available. Use it as an opportunity to connect with patrons.
Here is an example.
library programs on external town, community and media online calendars.
If "reader boards" with movable letters exist within your
community, inquire about posting library events on them also.
interesting testimonials from library patrons.
Consider asking patrons for feedback online and inside the library through
personal conversation and library signage. You might ask, "How
Has the Library Helped You? Please give us feedback." You can later
use the strongest testimonials on your website and in marketing materials.
You might include them under a heading, "Here's What People are
Saying About the Library."
public access TV to promote the library and educate the community
about the services available. Be creative, don't just read information
about what the library offers in a lackluster fashion. Consider a skit
or a humorous advertisement.
posters up throughout your community
about "What's Going on at the Library." Include photos.
library users to "Tell a Friend" about the library.
You can have signage and bookmarks
available a few times a year to encourage this friend-to-friend promotion.
new residents to the community.
Find out who is new
by contacting your town. Send these people a "Welcome Letter"
with information about the library. Invite them to come to the library
for a tour and to obtain a library card. Supply them with a "Welcome
Bag" containing community information, if possible.
library information at commuter train stations.
flexible in scheduling programs and events
to allow a mix of people to attend.
holding programs at locations outside the library
such as community centers, church halls, parks, schools, or businesses.
a newsletter or advertising insert
focused on "what the local library can do for you." An insert
in the local paper might work well.
View Additional Strategies
for Growing Community Support
toolkit was created on behalf of the 2005-2007 Getting to Yes (GTY) project.
GTY is funded by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded
to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library
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