Marketing anything is about building relationships. For libraries, making a personal connection is extremely important, because it leads both to advocacy and increased usage of services and products.
You can have terrific knowledge management or ILS technology, but if the content your platform allows you to search and retrieve isn’t quality controlled, it really is a GIGO situation – “garbage in, garbage out.” Clearly ongoing curation is critical, but with increasing pressure on library staff size, do you really have the option of dedicated practice specialists or SMEs who can spend a large part of their time on it?
There is a solution: involve your end users in curation with social functionality that allows them to rate, comment, tag, like, share, or suggest alternatives. Who better than a practice expert, a departmental leader, a finance guru, or an IT helpdesk Ninja to assess the quality and currency of what’s in the organizational database(s)? The trick is, it MUST be easy for them, and that’s why you need an ILS or KM platform with social capabilities. And don’t worry, KM solutions with social built right in, like Inmagic Presto, ensure that you can manage permissions so that things don’t become a content curation free for all. You are still in control, but you are partnering with your colleagues in a unique and powerful way. Never mind “return on investment;” think about “return on partnership.” What is it? More foot traffic, more research requests, advocacy, engagement with practices or departments – and increased usage of your great content.
You aren’t asking people to take on more work; you are giving them a venue for thought leadership, reputation building, and a tangible contribution to the knowledge ecosystem. Crowdsourced curation takes expertise generally shared in hallway chats and makes it visible and tangible, with tools that you have provided. By enabling your colleagues to shine while you achieve your content curation objectives, you are building a relationship – making the personal connection that is one of the tenets of Sticky Marketing.
Special librarians increasingly work in virtual settings; there are many free tools to create online resources to information and work virtually
Skills for special librarians include tuning out to avoid burnout; disconnecting from work, taking time every day to revitalize energy and enthusiasm
Skills for special librarians include using the Universal Design for Learning framework to develop meaningful training for users of special libraries
Skills for special librarians include leveraging statistics from a request research management system to demonstrate value and organizational impact