Today at the library, we sent four librarians, including myself, to the Metra station to set up a table, and let people know about our eBook collections. We have started to realize that we spend a lot of time, a lot of money, and a whole lot of grief building up these collections, but do people really know they exist?
This is where outreach comes into play. I think you could probably argue that the majority of your community does NOT know that you have eBooks and yes, this includes the people that already have library cards. We helped over 57 people in just two hours. All of them had library cards already. Only 2 people knew that we had eBooks.

Never forget to get outside of the library. Just because you put up a sign, or add something to your newsletter, doesn't mean that you have done your job promoting. Here are the simple steps:

  1. Determine where you want to go (coffee shops, commuter train stations, and grocery stores are all great options)
  2. Contact the location and ask for permission
  3. Determine who will go to the location, and what materials they will need (tables, chairs, eReaders, internet access, hand-outs, etc.)
  4. Verify with your location 1 week and the day before you go
  5. Go to location. Be happy. Be a rockstar. Promote the library and all the wonderful things you provide.
  6. Keep stats, and report back to your library about all the lovely people you helped.
  7. As my good friend and co-worker Gwyn Stupar would say, have a piece of cake. That was hard work! You earned it!



06/22/2012 9:46pm

I would also add to consider wind if you will be outdoors. We had a table at the local farmers' market several years ago and couldn't keep our sign up. We also had to have things to weigh down our handouts.

Ryan Johnson
06/27/2012 9:31am

This post has inspired me. I'm astonished that I haven't tried something like this before myself, when it seems like such an obvious step to take. Thanks for the tips!

07/02/2012 9:38am

Thank you for the comments!

Something a co-worker mentioned too is speak with your maintenance department about transporting tables and chairs to the location. It definitely makes getting in and out a lot easier!


Leave a Reply