Business Reference in Public Libraries
June 21, 2003
Small Business Inc.: Part II
Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County
Promotion = Success
- What patrons want
- Highlight your small business collection
- Foster partnerships/network in the business community
- Share information and resources
- Develop a rapport with patrons so they will become repeat customers
- Population in serving area---1.75 million
- Total circulation PLCH---14.4 million
- Size of business collection---248,000 vols.
- Library card holders---48%
- G&B reference questions---140,000/year
- Downtown residents
- Downtown workers
- Surrounding neighborhoods
- Area organizations
- Business community
Need for Small Business Programs
- Increased demand for small business info.
- Job market shift
- Availability of funding
- More awareness of success in entrepreneurship
- Prove your value--Take the risk!
- Opportunity to promote your collection
What do patrons want?
- Small business financing help
- Write business plan
- Market research
- Competitive Intelligence
- Business forms & licenses
- Management/Personnel issues
What we offer at PLCH
- Small Business 'resource table'
- Small Business brochure & Website handout
- Entrepreneur Express workshop
- Market Research workshop
- Public display shelf
- Rich collection of circulating materials
- Community referrals/networking
- Programs we partner with local agencies
How do we reach the right segment?
- Promote at reference desk
- Promote over the phone
- Advertise with easels in dept. and at exits
- Advertise on the elevators
- Promote on PLCH web site and dept. links
- Advertise on listserves
- Pass out flyers to all small business patrons
- Keep flyers in display racks around PLCH
- Send flyers out to all branches to post
- Send flyers to area organizations
- Advertise in local Downtowner paper, local daily & weekend newspapers, Business papers, radio stations, local & cable tv stations, community press, Cincinnati Magazine
- Create partnerships by networking with area groups & organizations to develop collaborative programming--- multiple promotion!!
- Call or email personal contacts in your community to promote upcoming events
- Maintain regular rapport—information sharing
- Look for opportunities to blow your horn!
- Train staff to be aware of new books added to collection, useful reference sources, and knowledge of upcoming small business programs
- Encourage outside agencies to leave materials
- Create an electronic newsletter to advertise events
Promote some more!!
- Try to attend outside programs, and then promote your next event
- Invite an organization to give a program at your library—an opportunity to display and promote
- Offer to give your workshop at a branch library
- Co-sponsor programs either at your library or another location in your community and promote
- Tell patrons to spread the word, bring friends
- Outreach is vital to library's future
- Keep patrons coming back
- Acquire new patrons through outreach and promotion
- Get in the habit of reading materials about ‘marketing library services'
Small Business Inc.: Designing and Promoting Small Business Programs for the Public
Business Reference in Public Libraries Committee, ALA Annual Conference, June 21, 2003
- Birkas presentation
Disclaimer : This publication has been placed on the web for the convenience of BRASS members. Information and links will not be updated. Posted 18 October 2004.