New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

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

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

20 Years of Work, 20 Reasons to Subscribe To Marketing Library Services Newsletter

MLS across the decades: 1988, 1994, 2009
 I feel like celebrating! It's a big anniversary for me: I've been editor of the Marketing Library Services newsletter for 20 years now!

I started this job on May 3, 1994. Back in the 90s, you didn't often hear the words "library" and "marketing" together. Most librarians didn't have to do much marketing or promotion because libraries were people's main access points for information. But the internet was a game-changer. Once the public's access to the web became widespread, and reference transactions declined, the concept of marketing libraries slowly became more accepted. (Although some still thought of "marketing" as the dirty "m word.")

At first, there were very few M.L.I.S. courses or other opportunities for librarians to learn about marketing. There still aren't as many as there needs to be. But since 1987, there's been the Marketing Library Services newsletter. In honor of my 20 years at the helm ...

Here Are 20 Reasons You Should Subscribe:

1. To avoid budget cuts, it's vital to understand how to convince stakeholders of libraries' value.
2. MLS is packed with case studies that explain successful tactics and strategies.
3. New personal subscription price: $69.95. That's 30% off the regular price!
4. The editor is an expert in library marketing, not just in editing publications.
5. Every "How-To" section walks you through the process of accomplishing something great: launching a brand, promoting an event, making a video, building an email list, etc.
6. MLS is the only serial that concentrates specifically on library marketing, promotion, PR, and advocacy.
7. MLS has content for all types of librarians: corporate, public, K-12, academic, & special.
8. There are no ads; it's all reader-supported.
9. There's subject-specific coverage from many major library conferences, adding value for those who can't attend.
10. MLS has readers and contributors from around the world, so you get a diverse view of library marketing.
11. Why spend hundred$ of thousand$ of $$ on collections, but spend nothing to learn how to promote them and guarantee their usage?
12. MLS concentrates on practical, useful articles, not theory.
13. The "Interviews With Marketing Masters" section lets you learn directly from some of the most successful people in the industry.
14. Articles are short, easy to digest, and useful to both beginners and experts.
15. Great ROI: By learning to do better marketing and promotion, you can save more than enough time and money every year to cover the cost of MLS.
16. MLS isn't indexed in Library Literature or included in any full-text databases, so you've got to subscribe to benefit from its uber-useful articles.
17. MLS can make you better at your job, so you can make your library more successful!
18. MLS enables you to benchmark your own work against what others in the field are doing.
19. MLS news alerts you about grants to apply for, contests to enter, and free webinars to attend.
20. Promoting the library is every employee's responsibility.
They're reading MLS in Russia! 

What Real Subscribers Think:

“I love the newsletter. At each library I move to, I always make sure we have a subscription. Thanks for all the great information it contains.”
~ Cindy Weir, BA, M.L.S.
Owen Sound & North Grey Union Public Library
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

"Librarians across the nation should all stand up and thank Kathy Dempsey for her commitment to keeping our field alive. She really understands how important it is for us to toot our own horns and market our services and programs to the fullest. The MLS newsletter combines the best tools and methods from corporate marketing and adapts them to meet our unique needs as community and literary centers."
~ Melissa Chiavaroli
Staff Librarian, Adult Services
Seekonk Public Library
Seekonk, Massachusetts
The first issue I edited, 1994

MLS Is for YOU If:

+ You've never taken a marketing course.
+ You feel like you're flying by the seat of your pants.
+ You don't have time to dig for how-to info.
+ Your library doesn't have a marketing plan.
You don't know how to respond when people say that libraries don't matter anymore because everything's online now.
+ You want to show your administrators examples of others' success stories, so they'll let you try something new.

So, Why Not Try Out MLS?

Check out Tables of Contents at the homepage:

Get subscription details and prices:

Take advantage of the new Personal Subscription Rate:
($69.95 for U.S. customers, must be mailed to home address)
Call Customer Service at (609) 654-6266 or email them at

Place organizational orders online:
(pricing varies by region outside the U.S.)

So, Happy Anniversary to Me! I've dedicated my career to helping libraries stay funded and open. I really love what I do, and I'm looking forward to another 10 or 20 years with Marketing Library Services


Scot Sterling said...

20 years. Wow, I never realized. That is an impressive track record. We can all do with a little more "m" in our library awareness! Congratulations and thanks so much for being at the forefront of library marketing and sharing what you know with the rest of us!

Rebecca Jones said...

You convinced me... I've been thinking about subscribing for the past few years and can't pass up the discounted rate for this year.

~Kathy Dempsey said...

Great to hear, Rebecca! Please pass along the offer to your colleagues.