Meeting the Modern Marketing Challenge in Libraries

Note: Supporting materials are included below the video box, including a link to the slides and chat log.

This webinar was broadcast live on January 31, 2018.

Session Description: In today’s libraries, marketing is everyone’s job. Yet, many librarians don’t know what modern marketing is and the preconditions for marketing success. During this year’s Charleston Conference, Charleston Briefing author Jill Stover Heinze convened a lively discussion about these topics in her new book, Library Marketing: From Passion to Practice. The session made clear that many of us share deep concerns and unresolved questions about what adopting modern marketing means in a library context.

This webinar will extend the Conference conversation, sharing an overview of the Briefing’s main themes, and revisiting the topics and ideas that were most pressing for session attendees, including:

  • Understanding how marketing, strategic planning, communications, and assessment relate to one another and what that means for how library staff should think about their roles
  • Why focusing only on ‘telling our story’ misses the mark, and doesn’t guarantee patrons will listen
  • What segmentation is and how you can efficiently reach patrons in new ways by innovating how you approach your user base

Jill will be joined by Northern Kentucky University’s Dean of the Library, Arne Almquist. Arne successfully implemented a marketing orientation at Steely Library by modifying its organizational structure to better accommodate marketing as a circular, holistic communication process. Arne will share what has worked and what merits further refinement as his library put these marketing principles into practice.


Matthew Ismail, Director of Collection Development, Central Michigan University Libraries; Editor in Chief, Charleston Briefings

Matthew is currently Director of Collection Development at Central Michigan University. He worked at the American University in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates, from 1999 to 2006 and at the American University in Cairo, in Cairo, Egypt, from 2006 to 2011. Matthew is the Editor-in-Chief of the newly-launched series Charleston Briefings: Trending Topics for Information Professionals. He is also on the Editorial Board of Charleston Insights in Library, Archival, and Information Sciences and works periodically with Against the Grain. Matthew published a biography of the Egyptologist E. A. Wallis Budge called “Wallis Budge: Magic and Mummies in London and Cairo” (Glasgow, 2011) based on years of research in the archives of the British Library, British Museum, and Oxford University.


Jill Heinze, Director, User Experience, University of Virginia Library

Jill is the Director of User Experience at UVA Library where she manages a team of web developers and user researchers to nurture positive user relationships in both physical and virtual environments. She began her library career as the Undergraduate Services Coordinator at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). While there, she became an invited speaker and writer on the topic of library marketing, earning recognition as a Library Journal Mover & Shaker for her efforts. After her tenure at VCU, she entered the private sector as a competitive intelligence analyst, also taking on roles as a marketing analyst and account director, while remaining active in the Competitive Intelligence Division of the Special Libraries Association. Today, Jill is thrilled to bring her library, market research, and analytical skills to her passion for connecting users with libraries. Jill holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from The Ohio State University, a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Certificate in Marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Arne Almquist, Associate Provost for Learning Sciences & Technologies, Dean of the Library, Northern Kentucky University

Arne Almquist has served as a library administrator and technologist for over 25 years, first at the University of North Texas, and more recently at Northern Kentucky University, where he has been Dean of the Library since 2001. In 2006, he served as NKU’s Interim CIO, while continuing to lead the library.

Arne has long had an interest in advancing user and administration perceptions of a library’s value by improving its ability to tell its story through better marketing. While today’s librarians see the value of marketing, they often narrowly define it as a process of advertising or PR. Arne sees marketing as a holistic communication process, which involves determining user needs, or, as importantly, perception of needs, and then building awareness, and measuring success at meeting needs. This reduces or eliminates the necessity of persuading users to make use of a product or service for which they do not perceive a need.

Arne holds a Ph.D. and a Master of Science degree in Information Science from the University of North Texas, as well as a Master of Fine Arts and two Bachelor’s degrees in Music from the University at Buffalo. Arne Lives in Union, Kentucky with his wife and a menagerie of animals including fish, birds, and cats.


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