Just a head’s up: I’m in my last semester at Valdosta State University to get my Master’s in Library and Information Science Degree. Which means its big paper writing time. And my big paper is on the confluence of marketing and community building. So, a lot of the books that I review over the next few months might be slanted towards those subjects. Sorry in advance if you find that as boring as it occasionally is.
Anywho, that’s where this latest book comes in. I’m trying to find support for the idea that while public libraries are ostensibly for everyone, public library marketing can’t be or it will be completely ineffective like a Metapod verses Metapod battle. So I ordered all the books like the good little scholar I am, and the first one I finished was Creating Your Library Brand by Elisabeth Doucett. It is, somewhat unsurprisingly, about creating library brands. I’m here all week.
But seriously, Doucett takes readers step-by-step through the branding process, assuming that they have next to no knowledge about marketing. Which is good, because a lot of people in smaller libraries may not have a Blue’s Clue. She goes from the initial idea, through getting stakeholders on board, the design process, and how to use it once you’ve got it. Every section ends with an activity so that you can get better about what she’s talking about.
Overall, the book is pretty solid, but considering what I do for a living, it was mostly stuff I already knew. Did give me quotes and considerations for my paper, so that’s solid, and it’s something I can see recommending to other people. And I did appreciate the section where she talks about working with a graphic designer because a) she strongly recommends in like four places that you hire a graphic designer and not the boss’s niece for your logo and design work and b) she tells you to leave them the fuckity fuck alone and don’t try to micromanage them. Both solid pieces of advice.
Clocking in right at 100 pages, it reads quickly and doesn’t overreach its original mission. This isn’t everything you need for marketing a library in one stop–this is just the branding. It kind of glosses over resistance to branding ideas. While Doucett acknowledges that there may be resistance and that you need to get people on board with the idea and ask for input and all these things, moving with any sort of reasonable pace in the typically very conservative world of public library management seems to be asking a bit much. So I imagine this book has the potential to be disheartening to those who want to change the world but don’t have the authority to change the toner in the printer.
As far as LIS books go, this was readable, informative, and covered its ground well.
JMF Rating: 7/10
‘Til next time,