Friday, January 13, 2012

Promoting e-Resources

E-resources - databases, online sources, online learning, whatever you want to call them - are a big part of most libraries today. In many libraries, a large portion of the acquisition or collections budget are given over to e-resources, and libraries then (try to) proudly display and promote these sources.

However, this promotion doesn't always work the way it was hoped. Sometimes the message just doesn't reach the people (or the right people). Other times the message doesn't create the impression it needs to. In short, promoting e-resources is difficult, but definitely worth the effort.

The Northern Lights Library System (NLLS) maintains their own excellent blog for librarians. Just under a year ago, they wrote a two-part feature on promoting e-resources, and upon discovering it, I wanted to share from it.

"The idea behind promoting E-Resources to our library managers is that the more familiar you are with them, the more likely you will be to use them yourselves and recommend them to your patrons"
This point is well taken, and being 'familiar' with e-resources doesn't just mean knowing their names. The post goes on to suggest that some library systems quiz their managers to make sure their knowledge is up to date - a key part of helping patrons understand the sources. Of course, managers could also quiz their own staff, or staff could quiz the managers.
The post also suggests "To promote it, you may want to make sure there’s a short cut to it on your public computers. While in the site (using Internet Explorer, not Firefox), right click with your mouse." Many of you may already do this, but the advice is worth repeating.
From my own experience in libraries, I've seen some that include signs or posters in various parts of the collection that point the patrons to e-resources that complement the items in that part of the collection. I've also heard from patrons who found such schemes to be very beneficial.

To sum it all up, there are a great number of ways to make sure that your patrons are getting the most they can out of e-resources, and it may involve promoting them in ways you hadn't previously considered.

The post from the NLLS blog:

Part 1:
Part 2:

1 comment:

  1. On this note, there is a webinar on Canadian Points of View Reference Centre on January 18. Although Terra has already sent out an email about this, any interested library managers can also contact me about signing up for this online training.

    ~ Beth Norris