New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Gift Ideas for Library Lovers

For many of us around the world, gift-giving holidays are almost here again. With them comes the question, "What can I give to the library fans and librarians in my life?" If you don't want to give another reading lamp or bookstore gift certificate, I have some fresh suggestions for you!

Since this blog is about library marketing & promotion, I especially want to suggest gift ideas that support and fund library-related organizations. Spending a little money with them will not only make your gift recipients happy, but it will also support good causes.


SantaThing uses this great photo on its site.
Do you know the term "Secret Santa"? That's when you give a gift anonymously (nobody knows who the "Santa"/giver is). If you like this idea of sneaky fun that does a good deed, check out SantaThing 2012 from LibraryThing.

The site explains: "The idea is simple. You pay into the SantaThing system (choose $15, $20, $25, $30, $35, or $40). You play Santa to a LibraryThing member we pick for you, and choose books for them. Someone else (secret!) does the same for you. LibraryThing does the ordering, and you get the joy of giving AND receiving books!

Sign-ups close Thursday, November 29 at 4pm Eastern time. Shortly afterwards, we will tell you who you are matched up with by sending a profile comment and you can start picking books. So get the details here now!
Picking closes Thursday, December 6th at 12pm Eastern time. As soon as the picking ends, the ordering begins, and we’ll get all the books out to you as soon as we can."


For all the body-art fans on your list, consider getting this 18-month calendar of tattooed librarians. It costs $21 + $5 shipping. The Youth Services Section of the Massachusetts Library Association took on this project, and profits go to MLA. Learn more about it, see some photos & videos, and observe how the group is promoting their product here, on its Facebook page. Then, order it here.


This Week In Libraries is the world's first internet talk show for librarians. TWIL's Dutch hosts, Jaap and Erik, interview library thought leaders and post each week's episode for free. Their mission is to make inspiration and innovation accessible to all library workers around the world.

Donations of any amount more than $1 may be made, in any world currency, via PayPal at the show's fan-created Tumblr site. Help keep this ground-breaking show on the air!


Hurricane Sandy Recovery Donations

The New York-based advocacy group Urban Libraries Unite has created a "Sandy Children’s Book Relief" wish-list via Powell's Books online. This makes it easy to order the book(s) of your choice, in any price range ($5 and up), and have them shipped to the library that needs it. You may qualify for free shipping too.
The Suffolk Cooperative Library System in New York state is accepting donations to help its own staff members who suffered major personal property / home losses due to Hurricane Sandy. Online donations in any amount more than $1 are greatly appreciated.
The New Jersey Library Association has set up a way to donate in order to help its many coastal-area libraries rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Once damage assessment is completed, NJLA will distribute the funds among the libraries that need it most. You can contribute either online via credit card or PayPal, or by mailing a check.

At this online store you can order t-shirts, stickers, buttons, mugs, tote bags, and lots of other items, all designed with your favorite library sayings and pictures. So if you need an iPhone case that says "Party Like a Librarian," a hat that says "Librarians Against DRM," or even pajamas that declare "Casanova was a Librarian," this is the place. All profits go toward advocacy efforts.


Here's another online store with fun sayings on fun items. Want a onesie, some buttons, or a mug with attitude? These products declare to all that librarians are "natural language search engines" and that this is "the profession of the over-educated." 


While I know everyone can search Cafe Press on their own, I had to add one more site because it's the one that offers one of my favorite designs: The multi-colored, Google-like logo that says "Librarians" instead. I loved my t-shirt so much that I made it the cover of my Libraries Are Essential Facebook page.

Brown Bag Design Studio's Cafe Press store has that design on many items -- even in Spanish! It also has lots of others you might enjoy. Other designs say "What happens in the library stays in the library" and "Librarians love Obama."


The Library Resources Group is offering a series of whimsical mugs, posters, and notepads that center on the cartoons from the Great Moments in Library History 2013 calendar. This is a for-profit vendor, but that doesn't make the items any less funny.


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