Library Marketing Bibliography: Looking beyond Library Literature

Librarians are good at marketing, which is clear from a mere glance at the ACRL Library Marketing and Outreach page on Facebook. The new Library Marketing Journal that is accepting submissions now and promises to be a hard-core addition to what librarians can learn from each other.

In addition, the 
ALA’s Libraries Transform Campaign is a comprehensive set of tools for library marketing. The ALA put a lot of money and effort into this campaign and it shows. If you want to see how to do things the right way at the campaign level, pull this material apart. (You can also find out how to participate in the campaign by making social media videos, press releases, and using their graphics.)

There are several non-librarian-authored sources that can help you figure out how to market your library’s services.  Here is a bibliography of sources have influenced my thinking over the years.

The Copywriter’s Bible

Learn about the history of advertising and how to write prose that dazzles and convinces.


An email marketing platform for libraries that comes with templates and how-to articles.

Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types

One of the most enduring and accurate personality tests. You might imagine what the type of your intended target is and work from there.

The Ape in the Corner Office

People are like monkeys. Facebook’s success is to me exhibit A of this fact. The way people behave "inside the building" impacts business and the marketing "product" an audience sees.


AdAge is a bible of the ad industry and highly entertaining. Although a lot of what you see is expensive to produce, you can steal concepts to market your library when you have no money.


If you are political or have a distaste for marketing, you will love this. AdBusters has  satirical ads that are framed as "culture jamming." I am sure most of the people who read it have some connection to the ad industry. That’s what my gut tells me.

Hubspot Blog 

Hubspot makes a platform for corporate marketers. The people at this company are masters of digital marketing. Their enterprise software helps marketers track how people have interacted with the company through time (in person or online), and provides "landing page" and email functionality. You can also get a lesson in Inbound Marketing process on their blog. This concept includes the idea of attracting Web visitors who don’t type your organization's name (nor a book title, in the case of a public library) into Google. You also can get familiar with content marketing and email marketing here. The 
How to Create Personas blog post is a great place to start on the Hubspot website. (You can also read one of my posts on creating personas for libraries.)

New York Times  Marketing & Ads Topic Page
They have a way of simplifying things and stay clear of horrible marketing jargon.

The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious, C.G. Jung

People are living out “archetypal” scenarios which are not unique to a given individual, says Swiss psychologist CG Jung. Archetypes are a way of thinking about the dramas human beings play out. As I see it, marketing is about drama and finding a way to participate in people's narratives. This is a stretch, but I really like this book so why not include it?

Harvard Business Review
It's Harvard, for God's sake.

I suggest setting up a 
Slack team-messaging account and sharing sources like these among your peers. They are good conversation starters.


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