January 28, 2022

Marketing Pro Discusses Public Libraries in New Forbes Blog Post

David Vinjamuri, someone with a lot of experience in marketing/branding, an adjunct faculty member at NYU, and a blogger/columnist for Forbes has posted,“Why Public Libraries Matter: And How They Can Do More”.

This is the second article in a two-part series by Vinjamuri on public libraries.

A Few Comments

1. I 100% agree with Vinjamuri about the challenges the volume of independently published books create for both libraries and readers in a world where it’s easy to create fake reviews. Systems must be put in place to help with credentialing of authors (especially with non-fiction) but also to help decide if the ebook is one a library wants to include in their collection. Costs are one thing but libraries are also about building collections (or are they?) and making choices specific to meet the needs of a library’s users.

2. While Vinjamuri focuses on ebooks I think it’s essential that public libraries also spend the same amount of time  (and money) focusing on other resources and services. Books and eBooks are only part of what’s changing. On a related note, just yesterday ALA President Maureen Sullivan mentioned the public library as a place for community members to self-publish.

Another role that libraries and librarians have is that of a research assistant and trainer. These days the importance of digital literacy skills (everything from Google searching, to best apps for… to judging online info credibility) need primetime attention.

The same goes for developing local collections of open web resources. In other words, maximize knowledge about and usage of the wonderful free content available online. I talk about this here.

3. As I’ve mentioned several times in the past, are we thinking about what “all you can read services” (aka Netflix-like) will mean for ebooks in libraries are we move forward? While a one-stop “we have access to every book every published” service might not be happening anytime soon there are companies (not to mention Amazon.com) working towards building or expanding these types of services. I do think we will see more Netflix-like services for ebooks, very soon, that provide ebooks for specific interests (like Safari) and user groups.

Not long ago I regularly borrowed DVDs as well as music CDs from my local library. Now, for a small amount of money (free in some cases) access a lot of content without having to use the library. Will this happen with ebooks too?

4. What is most exciting about David Vinjamuri’s series of posts is that someone from outside of the library world, a marketing expert no less, has written about library’s (positively) in a publication read by a wide variety of readers.

For years many have discussed and worked hard on library marketing issues. Let’s hope Mr. Vinjamuri and along with some of his colleagues in the marketing and branding world’s will continue to share their thoughts about these essential issues.

Direct to David Vinjamuri’s “Why Public Libraries Matter: And How They Can Do More” (via Forbes)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.