As marketers, we are always talking about branding. Beyond conveying a consistent look and feel, branding is about defining what your library represents - who you are to your community. And that isn’t defined by a cool logo. Its defined by by what you do and how you do it. “Cool” always starts with the soul of a library.
I saw a post in ALA’s Facebook Group, Think Tank, by a librarian from Saline County Library. She was sharing information about how her library offers a service called “Book a Librarian” as a way to offer an hour of uninterrupted time with a patron. When I followed up and visited their website I loved what I saw.
Their core mission to serve, connect, educate and entertain provides the framework for the entire site. Each section demonstrates how the library is achieving their promise to the community through programs, products and services.
Here’s some other things I liked about this library. Notice that I said library, not website. That’s because when you come to this space, you feel as though you are at the library rather than a separate web entity (yes, that’s what branding is all about folks!)
- l love the simple look. Easy to navigate and focus is on upcoming events, news and new material. Simple and clean.
- Love that the director’s name is on the site and easy to find and offers phone numbers and email. Mind you they also have all the managers and PR coordinator listed too. I know that seems like a no brainer but I can’t tell you how many libraries make it almost impossible to get ahold of key people. They even provide contact information for the teen and children’s librarians in the teen and children’s section. Make you think they want folks to know who they are.
- Love that they are partnering with community organizations.
- Love that they are looking for volunteer to teach craft classes and offer a stipend! Love that.
- They’ve picked bright colors for their branding and carry it through out.
- They use pictures of their staff and patrons and have fun with images. It would be neat if they had a link to a Flickr gallery or some other gallery online.
- They've taken the time to think about how to tell people about their online resources
The library encourages its patrons to give their time and talents towards benefiting the library. Through the volunteer program, patrons have the opportunity to assist in the everyday workings of the library including helping with crafts, organizing and shelving materials and book processing. Artisans and craftsmen eager to teach a class for patrons interested in a new hobby or craft are encouraged to offer their talents to the library. After completing the craft class application, a committee will decide which submissions to accept, and accepted applicants will be notified for scheduling. Each accepted applicant will be awarded $100 to teach two (Herzfeld Library in Benton & Boswell Library in Bryant), two-hour classes and the supplies, within reason, will be provided by the library.When I visited their Facebook page folks were using it as a platform to ask questions like when are they open, can they still sign up for summer reading. BTW, the summer Reading question was first answered by another patron- love that!
They didn't need a tons of bells and whistles. I think this library has does a great job defining and delivering its promise to their community.