School Librarians: What’s Our Sales Pitch?

If you don’t follow the insightful blog of Meredith Farkas (you should!), then surf over and read her latest post in which she discusses the need for librarians to have better preparation and training in sales and marketing.  While she is speaking to academic librarianship, I believe this idea definitely applies to school librarians, too.

How many times do we lament that our patrons and teachers don’t really comprehend the wealth of resources and services we have to offer in spite of our best efforts to promote them?  Most school librarians I know would also say collaboration is the number one challenge they face—perhaps if we had some kind of training in marketing and sales techniques, we might feel and/or be more successful in those efforts?

What do you think?  Should school librarians receive some kind of required training Meredith discusses in her blog post?  Do you feel you might be a more effective librarian if you could receive some training in sales and marketing?

3 thoughts on “School Librarians: What’s Our Sales Pitch?

  1. Yes, I read that today too! It seems that we all have the same or similar issues to deal with, whether we work in schools, public libraries or universities. There is something here about the fact that, as a profession, librarians have not been good at advocacy, marketing or whatever we want to call this. Most people still think of us as “nice ladies” who stand around with a date stamp or who tidy shelves! This is our profession’s fault – there has been the perennial row on our UK mailing list about professionalism. As long as we don’t speak out about schools hiring inexperienced, amateur “librarians”, then they will continue to do so. After all, if teachers and headteachers have never met a good, professional librarian, then they don’t have any idea what they are missing, do they?

    http://librain.edublogs.org/2009/03/31/having-a-break-needing-a-change/

  2. So true! Maybe if we were equipped with those marketing/sales strategies, we might be more effective in our efforts to reach out to our patrons. It is still vague in my mind, but I feel that all teachers should be required to take a course on information literacy in the undergrad training—not only would this class build up their knowledge about copyright, social scholarship, search strategies, and authoritative sources, but this would be the perfect vehicle to discuss collaboration and what the media specialist can/should do for them as teachers! Do you know if there is such a requirement for teacher training in the UK?

    Thank you for reading my post! I appreciate your insights!
    Buffy

  3. How I wish that UK teachers would have this kind of training! So many have no idea what we are talking about. Many of us have tried to get time on teacher training courses, but with no luck.

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