Rose discussed library events for Rutgers Day in April 2009. She said the libraries will use two locations for our events, Alexander Library and the Art Library. Events include a Library Showcase which will be geared towards both the Rutgers community and the general public. Information about the libraries and our services will be distributed; which specific information has yet to be determined. Special Collections will feature a genealogy workshop and an ongoing exhibit featuring materials from former United States Senator, Harrison Williams. Tao added that the East Asian Library hopes to hold an open house which may feature photographs from the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, along with a showcase of rare and unique materials.
Alexander Library may be designated as a “Lecture Zone” which will be used for talks by faculty authors. Helen Pike, a part-time lecturer at SCILS and author, will be giving a talk. She may do this at Alexander Library or another one of the University’s designated Lecture Zones.
Phyllis Gottlieb in University Relations contacted Harry. She asked if the Libraries could place bookmarks for Rutgers Day at the Circulation Desk. She also asked if we could put an ad for Rutgers Day in our internal publications. Both of these suggestions were endorsed. Additionally, she asked if a link to the Rutgers Day page could be placed on the front page of the Libraries web site. The team discussed the merits of this and deferred a decision until the January meeting when it is expected the Rutgers Day web site will be more robust.
Harry discussed comparative stats from the Center of Research Libraries (CRL) to determine if the promotion of the resource by the Marketing/PR team had impact. In the time period prior to promoting CRL 165 requests were made from Rutgers. In the time period after the promotion 293 requests were made. Also, the variety of the requests increased. Harry cautioned that, as he was advised by Judy Gardner recently, some of this increase may be attributable to the implementation of new interlibrary loan software (Iliad) starting in Sept. 2007.
Michele is developing on a story for the front page of the Libraries web site promoting Early English Books Online (EEBO). Michelle will work with Kevin Mulcahy. She expects to have a draft ready by February 1, 2009.
Professional quality brochures already exist for EEBO. Harry attached a label on them pointing to the Libraries website where EEBO can be accessed. These brochures will be distributed to a few libraries liaisons and placed in the graduate student center on College Ave.
Several external marketing experts were consulted about methods to integrate the new RUL brand into the Libraries culture. Harry had a conversation with Jeremy Epstein, a professional marketing consultant. Mr. Epstein suggested that periodic audits testing the validity of our brand characteristics would be valuable. He also suggested internal recognition programs for Libraries’ faculty and staff whose behavior reflects our brand promise.
John and Harry met with Bob Provost, Marketing Director for the Star Ledger. Mr. Provost reiterated that brand is behavior driven and internal behavior must reinforce the brand. Staff must “walk the talk”, especially to those folks who respond and connect with the brand promise. He suggested engaging Library personnel in determining the best way to communicate the brand. We should demonstrate how their input shaped the brand. He suggested looking outside the box for alternative ways to see the brand being experienced and capitalize on them.
Harry met with the Marketing Director for UJA/Metrowest, Shelley Labiner. Among her suggestions: (1) External publications should validate our brand. (2) While pushing our brand out to the larger University community, faculty may be a good place to start. (3) Determine ways to make the brand more memorable, perhaps through unique artwork or humor. (4) A brand needs a particular presence for people using remote access to our services (ie: Libraries web site).
Based upon these consultations the team discussed specific ways to promote the brand. Harry distributed signs with our new slogan (“The place to go when you need to know!”) and asked everyone to post them in their respective work areas. Harry also suggested everyone add the slogan to their email signature. The team thought simple surveys and feedback on a local level would be valuable. Daphne and Michelle volunteered to develop a draft survey, for consideration by the Marketing/PR team. Harry said we are already incorporating brand characteristics into our external publications. The team thought posting feedback on the web site from users which acknowledges library staff who positively demonstrate our brand strengths was also a good idea.
Theresa Kirby, who works with Jeanne Boyle, shared some thoughts on encouraging feedback on the Libraries website which will support marketing efforts. Picking up on the team’s idea of using surveys in getting brand feedback Theresa suggested any survey should be brief with incentives for completion. They are valuable for providing quick insight into opinions. She also indicated a tool for web based surveys will be demoed in February. Additionally, allowing for comments on the web site offers us a constant stream of feedback.
Rose attended the User Services Council meeting to discuss encouraging feedback. Devising a method to gather suggestions, either online or at the Circulation Desk, is considered a good idea. It was decided to track the regular questions received for 30 days to see what patterns emerge. Interviewing two department supervisors was also recommended. Harry will compile a list of departments and ask each member of the team to briefly interview two supervisors, to find out which questions they receive most frequently from users.
Through June 2009 the team decided to meet on the last Thursday of the month at 2:30. Therefore, the next meeting of the Marketing/PR team is scheduled for Thursday, January 29.