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Promoting Acquisitions & Services in a Library Media Program

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

If you are a school library media specialist, then you work hard to update your collection and offer services to your community. This lesson discusses what you can do to promote your acquisitions and services.

Why Promotion Matters

Wanda has been a school library media specialist for ten years, and she feels really comfortable in her position. Lately, though, Wanda has been feeling like her library is at a bit of a plateau. The same people visit every day, and no one seems to pay attention to the behind the scenes work she does to keep her collection up-to-date and invigorating.

Wanda realizes that she needs to pay more attention to promotion, or letting people know what is happening in her library and encouraging them to visit. She wants to promote new acquisitions in her collection as well as inform patrons on the variety of services offered and events held at the library.

Promoting to Students

First, Wanda thinks about how she can promote the library successfully to younger students. She finds that the best way to promote new books and other materials is by creating dynamic and exciting library displays.

On bookshelves throughout the library, Wanda circulates new acquisitions that are thematically similar. She makes signs and decorations to draw the children's attention to these displays, and she finds right away that younger pupils become more interested in reading and checking out these new materials.

Wanda also makes visually appealing bulletin boards in her library that inform students about library events and services. She also hangs a bulletin board in the entry hallway at her school with color photocopies of the covers of some of her new acquisitions.

Promoting to Colleagues

Wanda also wants her colleagues to have a sense of what is happening in her library. She finds that when it comes to promoting the library's resources to rest of the school staff, it is best to align the library's services with their curriculum and instructional goals.

Wanda starts sending out a weekly newsletter to remind her colleagues of new acquisitions that are relevant to their units of study and highlight the different technology and research services she offers in the library.

She finds that her colleagues respond well to the newsletter. Wanda also focuses on keeping her library website up to date with acquisitions and services that are relevant to current units of study and teaching and learning initiatives at her school.

Promoting to Families

Wanda wants families to be in touch with her library as well, and she knows that library use will increase if families are more aware of and invested in what is happening at the library.

She starts maintaining a blog on her library website, and she updates the blog about once a week with an entry about how students have been using the library and what the library has to offer. Wanda is careful to maintain students' confidentiality and privacy on this blog.

She is also mindful that not all families at her school have equal access to digital technology, and they do not all read in English. Therefore, she sends home a monthly paper newsletter translated into Spanish that contains updates on acquisitions and services as well.

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