This year, at the Ontario Libary Association Super Conference, I presented Ad/Lib’s Library Marketing Year in Review for 2017. It featured library marketing that caught my eye or was recommended to me, while other content was solicited directly from a variety of libraries across Canada. The goal of the presentation was the same as the website: show off great ideas and provide inspiration. I’ll be sharing the content of that presentation over a series of posts. Content presented in no particular order. This third and final part is continued from Part I and Part II.

Regina Public Library

In 2017, RPL rethought their social media strategy to focus more on customer stories, and to talk about library services and initiatives in a way that the customer can relate to.

Colleen Hawkesford, Manager, Marketing and Communications at RPL describes one recent promotion: “…we developed videos to promote Family Literacy Day that showcased real young customers sharing their favourite stories, as a way to promote participation in this initiative and encourage families to read together.”

“…we started regular photoshoots of customers having fun at the library, using our resources and enjoying our programs and we plan on exclusively using these “real” shots in our marketing, as opposed to stock photos (in a way, we are moving from fake to real).”

“…we are moving away from talking about the specific content of individual programs and services, toward emphasizing the experience customers will have. For example, Foodie Film Night (local restaurants and food places offer samples and [appetizers] before and after a food-related film screening) focused not just on the film title being shown (as in previous campaigns) but emphasized it as a unique, affordable approach to dinner and a movie/date night.”


Vancouver Public Library

Thanks to Maria Jose Hernandez Cos, Graphic Technician at VPL, for providing the information below.

The Reading Tree

The Reading Tree is a children’s book with a goal of promoting literacy among Vancouver families. The book includes tips and information for parents on how to start enriching their babies’ and kids’ development through literacy The idea took inspiration from Toronto Public Library’s “Let’s Get Ready for Reading Guide”

“The project received a City of Vancouver award during its city-wide, staff recognition awards. It was written by one of our Children’s Librarian, Els Kushner, and illustrated by a local illustrator and artist, Dianna Bonder. Books were placed at doctor’s offices and given away for free at VPL library branches.”

Instrument Lending Library

“The Instrument Lending Library launch was a campaign promoting the addition of more instruments to the collection. The visual material was striking and helped bring people in, excited about the new collection. Both the initial opening and the subsequent launch of the addition of instruments included addresses by local celebrity musicians (Sarah McLachlan, Hedley, Mother Mother) and performances from students at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.”


“#GetBooked is a campaign VPL has been running on and off since 2014 to promote our ebook collection. It included transit system advertisements and postcards that were handed out at SkyTrain stations.”

Victoria State Library

I had the pleasure of seeing Victoria State Library CEO Kate Torney speak at a library conference in 2017. She spoke about the incredible re-envisioning happening as part of the appropriately named Vision 20/20 campaign. This campaign involves a massive fundraising effort and a significant re-imagining of the existing space:

  • Create 40% additional public space to accommodate our ever-growing number of visitors, researchers and students
  • Redevelop existing public spaces, making them more accessible, adaptable, modern and innovative
  • Introduce fresh services and experiences to breathe new life into our heritage assets and extraordinary collections

The video below does a wonderful job of describing this vision:

Visit the Victoria State Library’s Vision 20/20 website for more details (website snapshot captured below for posterity).

Invercargill City Libraries

2017 saw the social media team from New Zealand’s Invercargill City Library nail the viral post better than just about anyone. They did it with a mix of creativity and humour. Two standouts include this IFLA International Marketing Award Winning entry, a Keeping up with the Kardashians homage:

…and the idea that I wish I had thought of, Librarians Read Mean Tweets:

Some other good ideas…

The above cool ideas were spotted on the ACRL Library Marketing and Outreach Interest Group page on Facebook.

This library has a directory for topics people might be embarrassed to ask for. from r/mildlyinteresting

– Fin –