Marketing Libraries: Adopting Marketing Strategies in Nigerian Libraries

Marketing Libraries: Adopting Marketing Strategies in Nigerian Libraries

Ajigboye Olamidipupo Solomon
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1598-4.ch008
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Library marketing is a relatively new concept in Librarianship in this part of the globe; therefore, this chapter looks at what librarians think about Library marketing in terms of the new terminology, such as the use of customers instead of patrons to address their user; by explaining the paradigm shift from the orthodox librarianship to the modern one. The chapter explains in detail what library marketing is all about, what the library should market, the types of marketing strategies that can be employed in the library, and finally maps out all the marketing styles that can be adopted for a successful library marketing mission.
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A quick look at the Five Laws of Library Science as it is been used in Library Management today will reveal another place where marketing should be seriously deployed – The Library. According to Dr. Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan (1892–1972) he argued that library organizations must accommodate growth in staff, the physical collection, and patron use. This involved allowing for growth in; the physical building, reading areas, shelving, and in space for catalogues, but the growth he never envisage was that libraries would go digital with increase in virtual buildings, reading areas (that has extended to the back of our houses, farms, hospitals etc.), shelving has become organizing digital collection databases in digital libraries and collections have extended to selectively populating the databases of library repositories with top ranked necessary electronic materials whilecataloguing emerges as metadata creation. The patrons been the only component left do not also maintained his Ranganathan’s view but has become more equipped with state of the arts Information Technology Gadgets ranging from IPods, Palmtops, Personal PC, Mobile Phones etc. for ease of accessibility of information resources for their use.

In the orthodox library it sounds strange to mention marketing because the thought that comes almost immediately one hears the word marketing is profit and it is therefore anathema for a non-profit organization like the library either public or private to engage in such activities as marketing. In recent times as a profession, we have long wanted to help people and we have focused carefully on providing information, but we have not paid such close attention to the details that can actually make or break us.

To complicate matters further, the electronic world, in whatever form it eventually takes, brings a whole new set of enterprises—information architecture, web design, content selection, changes in writing requirements, new elements for organizing the content, etc. The very concept of a physical library may or may not hold, but the mission is still the same - connecting content and customers through access and service. It is important to imbed marketing into this new enterprise from the beginning and not as an afterthought. Let us not repeat our historical mistake. –Soules, 2001.

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