Guest blog post by Cathy Hammer
The Public Libraries Marketing Working Group has recently had a bit of a ‘refresh’. The meeting before last the group held a facilitated strategic planning session – looking at what the group should focus on, what it could be achieving for the professional development of the participants and for the contribution the group could make to NSW public libraries. Some clear themes emerged and these will shape future meetings. Our most recent meeting was held in Hawkesbury Library in Windsor.
There was a good feel to the meeting – I think the planning from the previous meeting had focused and energised the group. It was also evident that we had drawn in many more participants from west of Sydney than at previous meetings, likely due to meeting at Windsor, and this contributed to the positive atmosphere. There was a good number of participants for the session – more than 20 representatives were in the room. The meeting was also the first for the group to run using ‘Blue Jeans’ technology which allowed remote participation via video link. From the room, we could see six people joining us in this way, but I believe there were a few more who may have been a bit camera-shy and so weren’t seen on screen!
The meeting was run with a series of shared case studies of social media marketing success stories presented by libraries from Parkes, Shoalhaven, Broken Hill and Blue Mountains. Three of these presentations were delivered via Blue Jeans which worked really well. As well as the general engaging with different social media channels to promote libraries, the presentations covered the fun – Librarian Rhapsody featuring the Shoalhaven Libraries staff - to the very serious with the Blue Mountains coordination of the Twitter response to the bushfires in 2013.
The round the table sharing at the end of the meeting is always inspiring – it showcases how libraries reach out and connect with the differing interests of their communities through their events programs.