Target the staff, then target the market : how academic librarians can successfully reach the minds of new generations of students

Mei Chun Louisa LAM, Colin STOREY, Teresa TO

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (invited)

24 Downloads (Pure)


This paper discusses the essential prerequisite for a state-of-the-art academic library in marketing and promoting its services today and into the future: library staff with particular personal and professional attributes. Using the experiences of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and City University of Hong Kong (CityU) libraries, the authors describe in what practical ways library management can prepare and support staff to market the library product effectively.

Libraries are facing unprecedented change. Two trends in particular are highlighted in this paper, since they directly affect the physical and virtual usage of libraries: First, there is a new generation of computer-literate young people who always resort to the Web for any first, and indeed last search for information. Second, this generation seems to have developed new study habits, and is now more interested in sharing together in an interactive and informal environment.

To be able to adapt continuously to the changing environment and attract new generations of readers, library staff members not only need to offer a wider range of facilities, but also need to engineer a fundamental change in their approach to service delivery. Librarians need to be effective and proactive in marketing. It is posited here that marketing is not the same as publicizing; it is not simply telling their communities how good their libraries are, and hoping people will come. The right people are crucial in making any implementation a success. Professional librarians and library assistants need to be recruited and promoted to ensure the future place of the library in the hearts of its community of readers. Library management needs to work hard at supporting outgoing and lively staff in this profound cultural shift, by developing and honing their marketing skills. In focusing on ever-evolving interaction with, and surveys of, users, in constantly re-engineering provision, and learning from service outcomes, any library will secure its place and its brand-name as a dynamic learning engine for both its readers and its staff.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLibrary Management and Marketing in a Multicultural World: Proceedings of the 2006 IFLA Management and Marketing Section's Conference
EditorsJames L. Mullins
Place of PublicationMunich
PublisherK.G. Saur
ISBN (Print)9783598220326
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Event2006 IFLA Management and Marketing Section's Conference - Shanghai, China
Duration: 16 Aug 200617 Aug 2006

Publication series

NameIFLA Publications
PublisherK.G. Saur
ISSN (Electronic)0344-6891


Conference2006 IFLA Management and Marketing Section's Conference


  • staff development
  • library management


Dive into the research topics of 'Target the staff, then target the market : how academic librarians can successfully reach the minds of new generations of students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this