A research conducted to highlight the current methods use to promote the library collection and assess their effectiveness.
Research has been untaken to assess the current methods used to promote the library collection and to analyse the effectiveness of these methods. The literature has shown that effective promotional methods can increase efficiency, awareness of and the use of the library’s collection. Promotion is one of the elements in marketing which uses persuasive information that targets potential users, it keeps the product in the minds of the customer and stimulate the demand for the product. Baker and Wallace (2002) show how the use of marketing techniques can promote the library collection in today’s high tech competitive environment. The application of such techniques has assisted the School Library and Media Center (SLMC) to effectively promote the collection. The main methods are personal contact, public relations, the use of well designed library publications, displays and the use of electronics tools. In addition to the present promotional methods used others have been examined to assess their effectiveness. The collection encompasses the conventional print and multimedia resources as well as the digital collection that is available to meet the needs of the user community and if publicized effectively will capture the target group attention.
The target group comprises of all registered patrons as well as potential users. Included are the reluctant readers, remedial students, those with special needs, the administrative staff, principal, vice principal, head of departments, all teachers and support staff. The resources to be promoted are;
• Printed resources- books, magazines, periodical, catalogues, newspaper clippings
• Electronic resources- CDs. DVDs
• Digital collection- databases
2. PROMOTIONAL METHODS THAT ARE CURRENTLY USED
2.1 PERSONAL CONTACT
The use of personal contact is an effective means of encouraging the patrons to use the collection. Baker and Wallace support the use of Readers’ advisory as staff members use personal influence to promote materials. Although this method contains personal biases it has proven to be effective because the staff knowledge of the collection enable them to make suggestion of materials to meet the patron’s needs. The use of book talks is another method that reinforces personal contact since “librarians see themselves as links between patrons and materials” Dilevki and Magowan (2007 24). It is suggested by Nottingham (2003) that the maintenance of a staff recommendations’ display will encourage selection since most readers are browsers. Personal involvement is required to engage in the use library awareness programs.
2. THE USE OF LIBRARY AWARENESS PROGRAMS
• The Celebration of library week once a term is a promotional method that the library currently uses. The activities are geared to promote the collection, they consist ;
a. Traditional story telling which is done by a staff member or a teacher. These folklores are documented and shelved in a Special Collection of local and regional works. Students are encouraged to borrow these books to read more about the folklores and to use local materials in their studies.
b. Book talking of award winning books which is usually accompanied by the showing of a DVD of the books. This method proves very effective for it persuades and convinces the listeners to read these books.
c. Competitions which are used because they stimulate interest and participation. The collection is used to get information for the competitions. Rewards are given for use of the collection and appealing book talks on a particular genre is encouraged.
d. The visit of a local author which normally generates much excitement. This promotes a specific section of the collection and through...