Quotes, Transfer Students and Marketing

Again, no I don’t think I can tie these three ideas together. But who knows? Let’s try…

First up, this great list of the top 10 quotes of 2008 by The Yale Book of Quotations. Quick warning, if you are not into politics, or do not have a good sense of humor, you probably won’t find these funny or amusing. But I think they are hilarious, though scary. I mean, check out quote #4. And people at my work are worried about buying an extra toner cartridge. Oh, the irony.

Okay, moving on to something that is near and dear to all of our hearts in the academic world: trying to be inclusive of all the members of the student body. So why do I bring this up? I just read this great article on forgotten transfer students. I think that it is great that some universities and colleges are finally realizing that they need to help transfer students too and not ignore this part of the student body. I especially think of my own institution where “native” students must take an information literacy course but the course is not required for transfer students. I helped co-teach an instruction session on information literacy this summer and one of the students, who was a transfer student, came up after the session and said how helpful it was and how she thought it would be great to have a required course. We have an optional course that transfer students can take but not a course designed for them. Perhaps my school is too small to actually have a dedicated course as such, but surely the library could become more involved and proactive about making the transfer students feel at home. Just a thought.

So how would the library reach out to not just transfer students but the whole community? Take a look at this article on marketing by using Web 2.0 applications. Yes, I know the dreaded word “marketing.” Really, it isn’t a bad word and doesn’t mean you are selling your librarian soul to the big, bad capitalistic corporations of the world. Really, I’m serious, I am so sick of people in my field downplaying or being negative about marketing in the libraries. Marketing is a survival strategy, one that we need to perfect in order for people to perceive us as being relevant (we know we are relevant, but others need to perceive us as being relevant). Okay, off my soapbox now.

This article on marketing in a Web 2.0 world is great because it re-emphasizes that Web 2.0 is all about social connections and that by allowing customers, users and/or patrons (we can have a discussion about the choice of terms used in library discourse and their relationship to power later) to have control over a certain portion of your website and interact with each other, they actually become invested in your services and resources. Everyone wants their voice to matter and wants a way to interact with others. Humans, even librarians, are social creatures, to varying degrees. I think the library is an idea place to let people have a forum to discussion issues, ideas and *gasp* books together in an online world. Seize the positive in the messy, info-overloaded world and let’s market together!

And, the last fun bit of fluff for the day, check out The Best and Worst of Everything from BusinessWeek. Another end of the year list that is interesting and not all doom and gloom.

So tying everything together: Web 2.0 marketing is vital for companies, including libraries. Libraries could use Web 2.0 applications to reach out to transfer students in order to create a welcoming space that they could “own” at their new place of higher education. You could start a discussion around the Best and Worst of Everything from 2008 on a blog or wiki and of course link to the best quotes of 2008–because who doesn’t like a good quote? Okay, I think I’ve now tied everything together.

Enjoy your Tuesday!