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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The other side of MySpace: Media-based Marketing

Recently I presented the Worcester Public Library MySpace page in a CMRLS workshop dedicated to social networking. I found, in preparing for the workshop, that MySpace is a great way of reaching out to a generation saturated with media, and an unexpected way to train our minds to think outside the book. When we are already providing outreach, entertaining toddlers in storytime and performing over-the-top services for those in our communities who are in need...we need to stop complaining that no one appreciates what we do, and go advocate for ourselves! This is where MySpace can be one of the tools to ease our pain.

How many of you are drowning in flyers? Is this the most effective way to reach our patrons? With Myspace, you can post the exact same flyer where the patrons are: on the Internet. In order to advocate for the heavy use WPL gets, I have posted photographs of the long lines at the Circulation desk and added articles about the value of the library to our blog. Much like a web site, I have an RSS feed (see blog "Getting Your Tech On") to the EventKeeper list that continually updates our calendar of events.

There is plenty of room to incude our contact information, hours and mission statement. We are also using this virtual "real estate" to promote our databases, text reference service, Wi-Fi, new books, and of course programming for our blessed teen population.

We are doing this with design, we are doing this with pictures, slideshows, with video, with links, share clouds, apps, and widgets.

Tomorrow, I will be attending Basic Audio Production with Rick Levine. We will be integrating podcasting in the near future.

The thing about advocating for the library...for *our* libraries, is that no one will do it for you. We need to go forth and advocate! We need to use any tool, any media necessary. We need to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, "You go grrl!"

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CMRLS Regional Reference Center, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq, Worcester MA 01608