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Pecha Kucha—Conversation Face-Off


The program explained that Pecha Kucha is Japanese for the sound of conversation. The program indicated the ground rules for this fast-paced series of presentations. Each panelist had just 6 minutes and 40 seconds to take a stance about some strategy or technique in libraries. As Greg Schwartz described it – this was “presentation magic.” As Rebecca said, the format forced them into clarity.


Rebecca Jones on planning frameworks: “I learned about planning from my farmer Dad and from Peter Drucker – 0.0 technology dudes.” They showed an ability to bring clarity to planning—it’s about knowing your current situation is, knowing what you want. Clarity on what, who, how, why and where. Drucker’s advice came from his book, The Five Most Important Questions. Be clear on the answers to those questions. Why do plans get derailed? Get those “buts…” out of the picture, she declared! Practicality, planning, and persistence pays off.


Stephen Abram on trendspotting (weak signals from the future) – how do we know what is coming next? He predicted our crappy economy a year and a half ago when he analyzed the signals. Which is affecting the election more – the debate and ads … or the YouTube video, “I can see Russia from my porch.” YouTube of course. In the 2008 Olympics, Yahoo got higher ratings than NBC. Adults are now playing online games—definitely a signal of the times. Are you ready for mobile? Phones are replacing laptops (oh, oh…).


David Lee King on “The Librarian… Is the Product.” We usually don’t see librarian and product in the same sentence. Libraries really do have a lot of products. What product should we be selling? Amazon sells books better than we do. Search results come from Google. Maybe we should sell ourselves—and promote ourselves—better than we do now. “We are the value-added super heroes behind the stuff.” Google may answer the question, but librarians IMPROVE the answer. We’re the ones that hold the library together. YES!


Nancy Dowd—“A Marketing Manifesto, A Foundation for Planning”

I will call them by name if I can—client, patron, customer… (member is better, according to a follow-up conversation with Dowd and Abram)

I will be transparent in my marketing – honest conversation. I will listen.

I will no longer support the silence of silos – call someone if they’re doing it better.

I will support innovation. Try, fail, try again and again…

I will make demands on my vendors. If their products aren’t easy to use, bye, bye.

I will honor all choices of communication tools

I will embrace diversity – even Republicans in my library!

I will act GREEN.

I will find the “me” in my library – be authentic

I will measure the right stuff – am I reaching people?

I will market to voters – so I can get funding

I will tell stories – stories that will matter and create an impression


Nancy was voted the best/favorite presenter by the audience.

Paula J. Hane
News Bureau Chief, Information Today, Inc.


Marketing Mania in Track B

I’ve been spending my time in the marketing track today, and good ideas and tips have been flying.

The morning began with Nancy Dowd, marketing director of the NJ State Library (and my blog partner over at The M Word). She discussed 10 trends that can give your marketing a "second life," such as relating to people with stories, listening to customers and letting them run the conversations, and promoting your green-ness. She’ll be posting her slides on The M Word soon.


Then the crowd heard Aaron Schmidt and Sarah Houghton-Jan do a really useful tag-team presentation on making your web site more useful, findable, read, and used. They told the crowds about tons of websites where librarians should register their own websites so surfers and searchers can find them. And most are free & easy — you can’t beat that!

They’ll be posting their talk as well, and this dynamic duo has a related article coming out in the Nov/Dec issue of Marketing Library Services soon.

One of the afternoon speakers was Geert van den Boogaard, who discussed digital marketing at DOK, the Library Concept Center in Delft, the Netherlands. Geert wowed the crowd with things DOk does, such as greeting people via Bluetooth connections as they enter the building, and screencasting messages within the building on a Wii platform.

One thing that van den Boogaard emphasized was one of my own main marketing points: First, understand your patrons and what they want. That idea should be the foundation of all your marketing and promotion.

~Kathy Dempsey


Online Marketing in Public Libraries

 I moved downstairs to the online marketing session. Lauren Stokes, Las Vegas-Clark County public library, starts off with blogs. There are staff blogs and patron blogs. She finds she gets better feedback from the staff with the blog format. Read me Vegas is book discussion blog, with Tuesday Trivia and Random Thursday. Tie databases into discussion. Librarian’s Brain is for patrons. It has tutors, games, tips, lesson plans.

To promote the collection created site called Books, Movies & More. Use BookLetters for CMS. Circulation is up. Materials put on the revolving list immediately become popular. Looks to me like a plug for push technology.
She’s also got a data challenge game. Covers website evaluations and comparisons; asks questions about databases and search strategies. Thre’s another one about The Great Gatsby. Petstacular and Neon’s Brain Blaster are other information literacy games.
Now it’s a computer switch to Geert van den Boogaard from DOK, Delft, Netherlands. His topic is "Connect to people in a library." He’s an industrial designer. Library Concept Center has listening chairs with combination of music. To market effectively, must understand audience. DOK Agora project has large multimedia screen in library. The idea is for people to tell their own story, have their own exhibition. Publish the best stories in the local newspaper. Digital Art is a project for the art library. Put LED screen in classroom and put different digitized art work up every day. Then compare digitized version with real one. Narrowcasting system used at DOK serves as in-house information system and directional signage. It runs on Nintendo Wii. DOK uses Bluetooth to greet users walking into the library with a picture, if patron has activated Bluetooth connection. They’ve got a FlickR photostream.
Yes, DOK both stocks books and prints books. They have rights to the art works so they can use. Want patrons to see something new every time they enter library. They build it, then see what people think of it.
Marydee Ojala