I’m a creature of habit, so I’m continuing the tradition of posting an end of year blog post (see 2008, 2009, and 2010). It’s actually really useful for me to look back and see what I did each year. So, what has 2011 involved?
My MSc Econ dissertation titled ‘Strategic marketing in academic libraries: an examination of current practice‘ is now available on Aberystwyth University’s open access repository.
I know a number of people said they were interested in viewing it so I’ve included the details below. I have also added it to my publications page.
Strategic marketing in academic libraries: an investigation of current practice
The purpose of the research is to investigate strategic marketing in academic libraries, incorporating elements of organisational orientation, strategic planning, and processes and procedures to support these.
Aims and objectives
The aim of the research is to build on existing literature, extending the knowledge of current practice in a relatively unexplored area within UK academic libraries. The objectives of the research are to identify key considerations for strategic marketing in academic libraries; to critically evaluate current theory on the subject; to explore current practice; and to formulate recommendations of best practice.
A mixed methods approach was chosen, using survey and case study strategies. An online questionnaire was used identify trends in current practice, whilst telephone interviews enabled more detailed exploration. A geographical sample, university libraries in the West Midlands, was chosen due to convenience. All nine libraries were invited to participate; one chose to opt out whilst one did not respond. This resulted in seven libraries participating in the questionnaire, with five of those also participating in an interview.
The key considerations for strategic marketing in academic libraries emerging from the literature included market orientation, marketing planning and customer relationship management. Results showed that though market orientation is seen as a useful approach for libraries, the topic is relatively unfamiliar to librarians. Responsibility for marketing
planning varied across the libraries interviewed, though all but one utilise groups to bring experience from different areas of the library. All participating libraries have some form of marketing plan and engage in customer relationship management activities, however formal procedures and embedding into service planning was not evident.
Strategic marketing in academic libraries is of clear relevance to today’s economic situation, and the research highlights the need for raising awareness of such issues and considering implications and barriers to practice.
EDITED TO ADD: This is likely to be my final blog post before Christmas this year, so I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! If you feel like doing something fun over the festive period, why not enter the Festive 24 Things 2011 quiz?
At Online Information 2011, I presented in one of the European Librarians Theatre panel discussions. The discussions are hosted by EBSCO and SLA Europe and bring together librarians from different parts of Europe to discuss a topic and the experiences within their country. My session, ‘Everyone is talking but is anyone listening?’ focused on social media. It was chaired by Sara Batts (see tweet below), and my fellow panelists were Katrin Weller and Dennie Haye.
— Sara Batts (@Batty_Towers) November 30, 2011
I think the panel discussion flowed well – there was largely agreement across the board on a number of different factors, suggesting that libraries across Europe are at a similar stage with social media (the panel had representatives from UK, Germany and The Netherlands). There were some really interesting examples from my fellow panelists – one example of Yammer being used for internal communication (in an international organisation with staff dispersed geographically), and one example of Facebook being used by a University before students arrived to help answers queries and help them begin to make friends.
The main messages I took from the session were that libraries and librarians should experiment with social media to see what works, and should aim to understand more about their users as no two libraries will use social media in the same way.
You can see the tweets from the session at the #elt2011 hashtag (thanks to @WoodsieGirl and @EBSCOUK for such comprehensive tweeting!) and there is a write up of the session on the SLA Europe website.
As mentioned before, I decided to get information for my section of the discussion via a brief survey – many thanks to those who gave feedback. The main themes emerging from the results of this are shown below. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s coming up to the holiday season, and I know a number of people are considering getting a Kindle. There have been quite a few questions on Twitter and interesting conversations with both Kindle owners and those thinking of getting one. I noticed however that some features of the Kindle that I mentioned were unknown to some other Kindle owners, so I thought I’d share a few tips about the way I use my Kindle that you might not know about.