I recently found a worthwhile post over at Eduhacker called “Marketing and Market Research for Digital Library Collections.” It focuses, somewhat obviously, on how you get information about the digital library that you have so lovingly cultivated out to potential patrons. Unfortunately, Eduhacker points out that that simply having a website isn’t enough – you don’t necessarily have a physical space in which to cultivate interest with established patrons of a brick-and-mortar library.
I think that the major issue that emerges in regard to this article is how we make the great deal of time spent developing robust metadata and interfaces, worthwhile. How do we get the word out to patrons? How do we give our digital libraries a shout out?
Last semester, I did some extensive research regarding Search Engine Optimization, which is a great tool for marketing libraries, as it makes users at home aware of what is going on. I think that social media and blogs are under-utilized as well; I follow UNC-CH’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, so I learn not only about upcoming events, but also about historical holdings and digital materials. I think that UNC-CH Libraries have it right: we can’t sustain the “share knowledge” mission possessed by most librarians unless we adapt and take advantage of what users do and see in their everyday lives.