Lisa of Libraryland has a great post on February 9 detailing her marketing approach to get the word out to people. In it, she talks about the "personal touch" - actually walking up and inviting people to be part of whatever effort you are hoping to engage people in.
It's always a surprise to me when staffers assume "everybody knows" about a youth program. Sure we have handouts; media PR; posters; sometimes flyers to the schools; Facebook and Twitter. But that still doesn't mean people are aware of what we offer. Even frequent library users, with busy lives and multi-tasking minds, miss out on our info stream.
We saw this again and again over the past few months while we were delaying our winter storytime start until we had hired our new librarian colleague (Hi Brooke!). We made sure we had plenty of passive programs planned - the Smart Cookie Club in January and "Book Bundles - Storytimes in a Stack" (learned from Amy at Show Me Librarian blog) in February.
Lately, I've encouraged staffers to engage more with parents who are reading to their preschoolers in the library and ask them if they are part of our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Club. We have been registering many more kids into the program because of this personal invite. The parents are pleasantly surprised and appreciate hearing about this DIY program.
A little up-selling never hurts and always helps. So let's get out there and start those conversations with our customers!
Image: 'Little secret' http://www.flickr.com/photos/20722444@N00/224674200 Found on flickrcc.net