14 January 2020

Just in case you missed it, the December 2019 issue of the Illinois Library Association Reporter includes an article about the My Library Is... campaign. The article gives some practical tips on things every library can do to tell their story more effectively. For example, when is the last time someone advised you to "think small?" It might be just the advice you need to start telling your story, rather than worrying about how much time it will take or whether your story is important enough to tell. The article gives you a few tips on how you can take small steps and get started.

Another effective way to start telling your library story is to tie it into something you are already doing. For example, most us want to develop friendly relationships with the people we work with. In the course of building those relationships, you can also slip in a word or two about your library. This can be especially effective for those who work in academic, school, or special libraries. When you're talking with someone from your school or company, ask them about their interests or challenges and see if you can slip in a word or two about what your library has that might be of interest to them or that can make their lives easier. 

Another way to tie telling your story into something you are already doing is to use word-of-mouth marketing. For example, when someone compliments your library, thank them and ask them to spread the word to friends, family, colleagues, other students, etc. Takes less than a minute!

The ILA Reporter article also includes real-life examples of how different libraries have put these tips into action, including Illinois Prairie Public Library District, Marist High School Library, and Quincy Public Library. 

We'd love to know whether you have tried any of these tips or if you have other advice any library can use to start telling their story more effectively. Share your comments below.