Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Ball State Libraries Hold Successful Marketing/Communications Conference for Librarians

Design a Blueprint for Communication: Strategies that Work!, a one-day conference on Tuesday, September 25, 2007, hosted by Ball State University Libraries, provided 24 librarians from around Indiana with a unique opportunity to learn more about the hottest marketing and communication topics libraries are facing.

The conference provided six sessions with information relating to strategic planning, using research data, managing the library’s brand, connecting with customers, programming as a marketing tool, and improving print publications.

“The excellent roster of speakers attracted a wide range of librarians from both academic and public backgrounds,” said Susan G. Akers, Marketing Communications Manager, Ball State University Libraries.

Dr. Melvin L. Sharpe, professor emeritus in Ball State’s Department of Journalism, engaged the audience with a discussion on strategic planning and how to use research to determine the needs of one’s audience. Dr. Becky A. McDonald, assistant professor in public relations at Ball State, discussed the difference between public relations and marketing. Susan G. Akers presented information on creating a library’s brand along with a short session on targeted marketing and writing creative copy.

Maria Blake, Director of Communications and Community Relations at Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library (IMCPL), discussed the practical applications of public relations in her talk cleverly entitled, “If You Build it, They will Come—Not!” Many attendees were interested in hearing about the public relations challenges related to IMCPL’s Central Library expansion and building project which ran more than $50 million over budget and ran two years behind schedule.

Emily Hankley, Adult Program and Product Development Specialist at IMCPL, discussed the importance of creative programming in the library and specifically toward connecting with adult visitors. Paula Balensiefer, Community Relations Assistant and Graphic Designer at Anderson Public Library, teamed up with Becky Brewer, who works in information services and adult programming at Jackson County Public Library, to illustrate design do’s and don’ts. Becky holds the distinction of being named as co-winner of ALA’s “Best in Show Newsletter” award last year.

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