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Brave and Bold Library Product Promotion

October 16, 2007

Why can’t librarians talk like real people? We use complicated terms that make it hard for our customers to understand us. Often times our services are presented in such a cold, hard manner that it would be difficult for anyone to find them appealing.

We know this. We laugh about it (even though it may not always be funny). We really do try to leave librarianese behind, mostly unsuccessfully.

And how about in our promotional pieces? Do we write press releases and fliers specifically for our target audience? Can we relate, in words, to teens as well as seniors? How often to we use humor to make a truthful point?

At the McCracken County Public Library this week we agreed to a new slant for promoting a product. As part of a new partnership with an amazingly exciting online newsletter here in town, ilistpaducah has posted on their blog encouraging parents to suggest the library’s free Live Homework Help to their kids and teens.

Some have called Reclaiming Cocktail Hour: Online Homework Help! cute. It does make me grin. But will it prompt some parents to encourage their students to visit the library’s internet branch and log in? I imagine it will.

Read an excerpt from the post and see for yourself –

“It’s 5 p.m. You’re all settled in with your post-work-a-day refreshment, feet propped up and, boom. The questions begin. “Mom, I don’t understand how to factor polynomials — can you help me?” Or, “Dad, I don’t get diagramming sentences — can you show me how? In Russian?”

First of all, the last time you encountered a polynomial, you were wearing polyester. And the only two words of Russian you know are vodka and caviar.”

Ever read a library product promotion piece like that before? Not me…!! But do not stop here… please go on over to and read the rest of it if you want to relate to innovative marketing.

So bear with us here while we hold our breath and wait to see how this new slant is received. Then we will know just how much we really do understand our own community and how brave we can be…!!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Katie Clark permalink
    October 18, 2007 11:54 am

    I think that will definitely catch people’s attention. I love it!


  1. Uncontrolled Vocabulary #16 - The real thing you’re going after | Uncontrolled Vocabulary

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