Back to school

08Nov12

I recently did a presentation for the Marketing class in the library and information technology program at Red River College. I’m not the only library technician speaking to students: Shaunna Mireau’s post on Slaw references her visit to Grant MacEwan University. It’s great to have an opportunity to share our knowledge and experiences with students.

I divided my presentation in two – marketing the library, and marketing the librarian. I spoke mostly about my first job after graduation, where I set up and managed a career services library at a university. I consider that job a classic marketing failure: even though I had a great product which should have been highly used, it was in a lousy location  and there was limited support from the administration. 

I learned a lot from that position, and that’s why I spoke about it in class. In a solo librarian position, it’s important to have your clients connect you indelibly with your resources. For me, that means recognizing that I am the most valuable resource in the library. It also means doing a lot of self-promotion. If you don’t have the right personality, it’s not the right career for you. You have to be a self-starter, curious, continuously learning and open to change.

I love having the opportunity to speak with students in the program. At the end, instead of asking the students for questions, I asked them questions: what forms of marketing had they seen in libraries they either worked or volunteered at, and was it successful or not. I was impressed with their observations, knowledge and enthusiasm: it bodes well for this profession.

~ Karen

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