Yesterday I spent the morning (8.30am-12pm) fronting a table on Church St, Bellingen (across from the cafes) selling our online resources to passes by for Crazy Market Day.
Unfortunately, where we were set up was no a high traffic area. I was led to believe that there would be more stalls and more people but there was only one other stall - and I don't think that person was happy because they were probably told the same thing.
Regardless, I had about 20 people stop and have a chat about our online services such as Zinio eMagazines (I note that they have changed the interface of the platform again - without warning. This constantly happens to me when I give our users a one-on-one demo - the interface is changed and I look like I don't know what I'm doing - why do they do that??), OneClickDigital downloadable eAudio Books, and more. But those two were the main one's I was selling.
What surprised me (well actually it didn't that much) was that a lot of our library members and regular users did not know that we had these resources. One of my staff asked did we have posters up about it - and I said yes we do but people don't seem to read posters all that much, nor signage for that matter. So how do we successfully market these resources?
I must add that we also do regular newspaper articles, Facebook promotions and of course, make it prominent on our webpage. But I believe I know where it is failing - the on sell!! When the library user comes to the desk for assistant or returning or checking out resources - that is where the marketing should happen. And I know that it doesn't always happen!
Staff may be enthused for a short time while the resource is new and fresh in their mind, but then it just doesn't remain something they think about. It can be said about our online databases too. Often we will check our catalogue for information and say "I'm sorry but we don't have anything on that topic" without going the next step.
If our staff don't promote it then how do we expect our library members/users to know we have access to these resources. And sometimes the staff don't promote it because they are not confident in using the particular resource. So then it becomes a training issue - but then sometimes the training is provided and they still don't think about it or take responsibility in making sure they know how to use the resource.
This leads into this weeks #anz23mthings ANZ 23 Mobile Things Thing 6: YouTube and Screencasts.
My library service currently does not have a YouTube channel and this is due to the fact that we have limited staffing resources. I don't believe it is because the staff don't have the skills to do it - it is more of a lack of staff and a lack of time.
I have been a YouTube user - as in I watch videos - for some time. I mainly watch music videos and the odd library related clip that someone has referred to in a blog/twitter/facebook post. I have never made a video, mainly because I've never had any reason to.
But in my other job as a TAFE teacher, I have used other libraries/librarians/library staff YouTube videos as a resource for students to watch to learn about particular things. So I can understand their use as a tutorial tool.
I also refer my library users to the online video tutorials for the online resources I discussed above. I especially find the videos for Ancestry.com useful as I have not had reason to do a lot of genealogical research so am not fully aware of the total capacity of Ancestry.com. I suppose the videos for Ancestry.com are more like Screencasts then actual videos, as they capture screen shots as the presenter is demonstrating how it works.
As next week is catch up week for #anz23mthings, I may have to play around with the "making a video" concept. Once again I will be relying on my work tablet and having the time to play around with it. For me it's always about having the time.
This morning I had a quick look through the favourite videos that have been selected by other #anz23mthings participants. There are some good one's there and I do wish I had more time to follow This Week in Libraries, and even though not video related, a few of the #blogjune participants have listed podcasts that they regularly listen to. And of course, when I go to find them to provide links to them, I can't find them. Sigh!! Whoop - found one - thanks to @ALIASydney for their list of podcasts.