Tips and Instructions


Read instructions on this page before starting the modules OR use the Frequently Asked Questions to find the best place to start for specific library marketing topics.


FAQs: What and why?

What IS marketing?

Why market in libraries?

What works in Ohio libraries?

FAQs: Marketing plans, audits or research?

What is the market planning process?

What's a marketing Audit?

Why is market research needed to find out what customers want?

What's in a marketing plan?

How is marketing evaluated?

FAQs: Best promotions and products?

What are the "products" libraries market?

Which promotion strategy works for a specific product, program or service?

What are good ideas for publications, displays, and signage?

What promotions work in Ohio libraries?

FAQs: Value of public relations, press releases, branding, Friends groups?

Are public relations part of marketing?

What are "image & branding"?

What's in a good press release?

How can Friends and advocacy groups help?

FAQs: Web marketing design, usability, accessibility?

What are advantages of marketing on the web?

What's the planning process for web marketing?

What web design works for marketing?

How can web marketing work for all users?

Training Links

More Ohio library training:
Orientation for New Staff and
Ohio Reference Excellence on the Web
from Ohio Library Council.

  Ohio Reference Excellence - ORE on the Web, from OLC    New Staff Orientation module from OLC

Ohio Library Council: Educational Opportunities

E-Learning Clearinghouse from WebJunction

Ohio Library Council
Marketing the library balloon logo.

Image is from Miami Township Branch Library, Happy the Clown! Great marketing and public relations.Module Overview Module Planning Module Product Module Promotion Module Internet Module Ohio   

NEW! Recertification contact hours
NEW! Trends
NEW! Marketing resources
NEW! Bibliographies, basic resources
Copyright and usage
Glossaries, marketing terms
Tips for trainers
Module descriptions
Goals and purpose

What's new in library marketing?
Library 2.0, social software, online communities, more library users! New marketing trends and resources:

Consider when planning to market: more than half of Americans visit libraries! Young generations are most likely to visit to solve problems.
A good market plan will consider where users go for information.
Online communities continue to grow, affecting user expectations and offering new marketing opportunities.
How do libraries use Library 2.0? News, ideas, resources, blogs

New Ways to Market
Planning marketing, services, and web sites
Promotions, advocacy, public relations
Market Segments: Generations and Diversity
Technologies and trends for marketing and market research
Resources - bibliographies
Good places to start for resource links about library marketing. Also see list of new links and trends, on this page.
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Resources - Glossaries
Suggested for definitions of marketing terms


Contact hours for Renewal of Ohio Public Librarian Certification are approved for this tutorial. OLC’s three online tutorials qualify for recertification under Category C: Self-directed Continuing Education Activities. The Orientation tutorial may be credited for 3 contact hours. ORE on the WEB and Marketing may be credited for 6 contact hours each. All three online programs include a Certificate of Completion. Librarians who wish to use the online classes for recertification credit should download the certificate, print it, have their supervisor sign it to verify the course has been completed, and include it with their recertification application.


The purpose of Marketing the Library is to introduce Ohio public library staff to marketing concepts, emphasizing the process of preparing a marketing plan.


1. New hires who have completed the OLC Orientation.
2. Staff new to marketing.
3. Those needing a review.
4. Trainers.
5. Anyone interested in marketing in Ohio libraries.

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Description of the Modules

One-page summaries of Modules 1-5 are found on the review pages of each module: Overview, Planning, Product, Promotion, Internet. Module 6 illustrates marketing concepts with Ohio examples, and supplements the instructional material of the other modules.

Module OverviewStart with an overview: What is library marketing? Why do libraries need to market? What's a marketing plan?
Summary or Intro.
Module PlanningPlanning is the key! Are market plans & market research needed? What's the process? How are plans developed?
Summary or Intro.
Module ProductProducts users want: What "products" do libraries market? How do users decide what products are valuable to them?
Summary or Intro.
Module PromotionPromotion strategies: What are the best promotion strategies? What works best for different services?
Summary or Intro.
Module InternetInternet marketing: What role does the Web play in marketing libraries? What works best for marketing?
Summary or Intro.
Module OhioOhio library marketing: How do public libraries in Ohio market and promote products?
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The FAQs

  • FAQs (frequently asked questions) lead to specific pages within the modules, pages that are the most requested by site visitors. The FAQ links provide appropriate alternate entry points for visitors looking for information on a specific topic.
  • The recommended FAQ "answer" pages have content that explains a specific marketing concept.  Based on individual needs, trainees can then choose to continue to the next page of the module, use suggested links to a related page, or investigate an appropriate external resource. This encourages multiple paths through the training content.

The Modules

  • Material on most pages is followed by an exercise. Links, photos, and other supplemental information are in the right sidebar.
  • A review and quiz follow Modules 1-5. Module 6 has examples of the concepts using Ohio library marketing ideas.

Self-Pacing: Work with Your Supervisor

  • If you are completing this training for your library, discuss your plans to complete the modules with your supervisor or the person who will review exercises and quizzes with you.
  • Work through one module at a time. Do the exercises. Let it sink in. Work through the module again if everything is new, and you need more time with the material. Go to the next module only when you feel ready. If you need a quick glance back at an earlier module, use the links in the left sidebar or at the top of the page.

Where to Start?

  • Work through all modules in order if you're new, or jump to the modules you need as a refresher.


  • The modules have unique names and colors. Use left sidebar menus within a module and use the navigation bars at the top of the page to change modules.
  • Side menus have arrows to indicate pages, and "you are here" page names are provided at the top and bottom of module pages.
  • Use the Site Index to see a list of all module contents or to find your way back to a specific page from an earlier module.
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Supervisor tips

1. Get an overview of the material before assigning any modules.

  • Read module review pages for a summary of each module, then decide if your trainee needs to complete all modules. Needs won't be the same for all trainees.
  • After reading the review pages or scanning the modules, you can determine if you want to coordinate the module material with other training or supplement it with information specific to your library.

2. Consider the trainee's learning style.

  • Does that person learn things quickly and absorb a lot of new material in a short time or does the person need to learn a little bit at a time to thoroughly grasp new ideas?
  • Does the trainee work best alone or should a co-worker be assigned to answer questions and provide support?
  • Does the trainee have enough experience to work through the module to the end or will it be best to have the trainee check with you at intervals that you determine when you read through the exercises?
  • If you are unfamiliar with the trainee's learning style, suggest that they do the first module without a specific time limit to find out what pace will work the best for them.

3. Consider specific training needs and how you would like to use the modules.

  • How many? Do you want your trainee to do one, two, or all of the modules? This depends on your knowledge of the trainee's skills, your expectations and needs, and the time available.
  • Over what period of time? Very new employees may take longer or have more questions about basic library procedures. Each module can be scanned and read in an hour, but to visit the links, do the exercises, and absorb the material will take much longer. It will be a better training experience if the trainee isn't expected to cover the material of one module at one sitting. Completing all the modules may work better if done one per week, or every other week.
  • In what order? All six modules work well in sequence, but you might have a special need for assigning them in a different order.
  • For specific concepts only? FAQs on this page link directly to a module page that covers the concept involved. Trainees can then choose to continue to the next page of the module, or use suggested links to another page or outside resource.
  • At what level or learning track? Someone who already has experience may just need a refresher and would not benefit from the exercises. You might ask that trainee to scan the contents of the necessary modules and discuss with you the review and quiz sections only.

4. Participate in the training.

  • Your trainee is requested to ask you throughout the modules and exercises how the presented concepts work specifically in your library.
  • At the end of each module, the trainee will complete a quiz to give you along with the completed module exercises. There are no answer sheets for the quizzes. Answers can be found in the modules, except for questions with answers that are specific to your library. It is recommended that you allow the trainees to treat the quizzes as "open book" tests for immediate feedback and reinforcement.
  • Discussing the quizzes with the trainee is your way to assess whether or not the trainee is ready to go on to another module or needs to review.
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Copyright, credits, and permissions

Instructional content copyright OLC 2000-2008. Photos, graphics or images not credited to a specific library are copyright Deana Noack. Photos of libraries are the property of the respective credited libraries. Contact Ohio Library Council for permission to make any changes in printed or downloaded pages.

Marketing the Library was created for web-based staff training in Ohio libraries. The project was commissioned by the Ohio Library Foundation with financial support provided by the Drew Carey Fund and appears on this web site through a cooperative agreement with the Ohio Library Council. Project consulting for original development, annual updating and revised content, instructional design, and web design by Deana Noack Web Design, edited by Jennyann Noack.

Libraries featured in the Ohio module (Euclid, Massillon, PLSJ, WCPL) responded to a call for ideas. Thank you for your materials, outstanding efforts, and cooperation! Other library ideas and links were a result of Internet research, with a follow-up request by email for permission to use any photos. Sites were chosen to fit the concepts of the modules, on a random basis, to get an assortment of libraries around the state.