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Marketing the Library


Public Relations/Marketing | Publicity | Volunteers | Library Displays | Outreach | Programming | Booktalks | Expecting the Unexpected | Bibliography

When interviewing the Head of Youth Services at Matteson Public Library on the subject of library publicity, one can learn some history about this subject. This individual explained that it was not always necessary to issue publicity about programs because in years past there were more stay-at-home mothers who were looking for programming. There was more of sense of these people seeking out the library and the services it offered. Also, at that time there were not so many other organizations, such as a Park Districts vying for peoples attention. Once Park Districts enter the picture, newsletters became popular along with such features as cable TV publicity. Later, outreach to schools began, then web page information, electronic mail updates and cable information notices became new vehicles of publicity for libraries.

Here is a definition for publicity. Publicity is what is communicated about an organization in the public news media. Attempts are made most of the time to generate positive publicity through stories in the news and public service announcements. The more common methods are issuing press releases, holding news conferences and sponsoring an event. Below are listed websites, books and a checklist to help you begin to generate publicity for your library services and programs.


Guide to Writing Successful Press Releases

This site will provide resources to help you write better press releases. In addition, it will help you to also promote new websites. Both of these tools are effective in any type of promotional campaign.

Internet Info Scavenger

Learn how to create a more productive website to promote your library. Included are ten website marketing tips that can help promote programs.

Press Release Writing Tips

This is a useful website to learn about press release writing tips. The site supplies ten essential tips of writing a press release and includes a sample press release.

Senior Corps Tech Center

Learn about the strategies for effective press releases. You will discover how to create a catchy and interesting press release.

Using a Character for Library Publicity

Discover a "new source for information" that could answer just about any question imaginable. This source was used as a publicity tool throughout Iowa City.


Campaign Strategies and Message Design: A Practitioners Guide from Start to Finish, by Mary Anne Moffitt (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1999). Learn about producing publicity to promote a strong organizational image. A place to look for a stronger presentation of your services and products.

Complete Guide to Internet Publicity: Creating and Launching Successful Online Campaigns, by Steve OKeefe (New York: John Wiley, c2002). In this book you will learn about the details in planning, designing and implementing an effective campaign to draw increase visits to your website.

The Complete Guide to Publicity: Maximize Visibility for Your Product, Service, or Organization, by Joe Marconi (Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Business Books, c 1999). This book addresses all aspects of planning and executing a successful publicity campaign. Current information is also provided on using electronic tools as part of your organizations publicity efforts.

Creating Newsletters, Brochures, and Pamphlets: A How-To-Do-It Manual (How to Do It Manuals for School and Public Librarians, by Barbara Radke Blake and Barbara L. Stein (New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, Inc., 1992). Learn how to develop well-produced newsletters, brochures and pamphlets that are ideal information sources for library users and staff.

Teens.Library: Developing Internet Services for Young Adults, by Linda W. Braun, (Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 1999). This book offers guidance for a novice and knowledgeable librarian or school media specialist. Learn about the steps to take in developing websites for teens. What a great way to help to promote your services and resources for teens.


Use or modify this actual format used in Youth Services at Matteson Public Library to produce a monthly report to the Director and Board of Directors. A monthly report can be a publicity tool to promote your efforts internally.








     Title Requests




     Computer Use





Grand Total




     FlyersPress Releases



     School Visits

     Visits to the Library

     Gifts and Donations from the Matteson Public Library





For specifics on this report, contact Carole Petro at

A newsletter takes a little time but it