Are your tabletops or bathroom doors bare? You could be wasting prime marketing real estate.
Marketing can be tough in any library, but in a school library, where we are often solo librarians, it can be particularly difficult to fit it in. Here are three easy and cheap ways to market your school library and let everyone know about the fantastic things you’re doing!
People come in and out of a school library all day long, whether for classes, events or some study time, but posters on doors and walls can get lost in the noise. A table tent puts your ads right in front of them at the table where they sit. A table tent is simply a piece of paper — preferably cardstock — with ads on each side, then folded in half and sitting on the table like a tent.
I use Google slides to easily create images that are the right size to fit on a half sheet, and download them as an image. You can use the same ad on both sides or have two separate ads. Insert the images into a document and rotate one so that both images will be right side up when you print and fold. After folding, I tape a small strip of scrap paper to the underside of my tent to keep it nice and upright as it sits on the table.
When people think about creating email newsletters, they think they need tons of information to fill it up. But the truth is, people will be more likely to read it if it’s not very long.
You can send out a newsletter as often as you like — weekly, biweekly, monthly, quarterly. Just be sure that you’re consistent. Make sure to include lots of pictures, as they add visual interest and can also speak more to what’s going on in the library than your words ever could.
Here are some ideas of things to include. Choose some to include each time or switch out your information based on what you have:
- Calendar of events
- What you’re currently reading
- New books
- Tech tool (use AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning for ideas)
- Pictures of classes and events in the library
- Shout-outs to teachers using the library
- Library resource spotlight
- Video tutorials
- Forms and surveys
Two great tools for creating email newsletters are MailChimp and Smore. MailChimp has a number of templates that are free to use indefinitely, and it gives you quite a bit of room for personalization. However, more options means it can take more time to put together. Smore doesn’t give you as much room for personalization and only gives you a limited number of free newsletters, but it is very easy and intuitive to use and has special educator pricing. Smore also has an Educator Hive where you can search and see what other educators have done with their newsletters. Both tools will give you analytics so you can keep track of what's popular with your audience.
If you’ve ever found yourself reading the ads on the back of a restaurant bathroom door, then you know the power of a captive audience. So why not place your ads on the back of the school bathroom doors?
Use page protectors to make it easy to change out your blurbs. To keep things simple, you can re-use content from your table tents or print out your newsletter. If you don’t want to print in color, print on a colored paper to make the sign stand out.