Who are the users and non-users and what should libraries do to enhance public libraries’ services?
These questions were part of a study of the German library association in 2011/12. The research studies around the US-campaign “Geek the Library” were analysed before the German study was set up. In 2012, OCLC initiated an expert team to meet and discuss the situation of public libraries and the potential of the campaign as a useful means for communication.
Library directors and managers of the library associations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland looked at current and future challenges of the library market, the needs of the users and non-users and reviewed former or ongoing public relations campaigns. They then evaluated whether the US library campaign “Geek the Library” would help to raise awareness for public libraries in their countries. The expert team came to the conclusion that the financial situation of public libraries is similar to and as difficult as the US situation. A better consumer perception of library services would help to improve the argument for library funding.
The expert group had a resounding affirmation after presenting and discussing their conclusions with more than 100 library directors in October 2012 on the Library Directors’ Congress. They saw great value in the US campaign and assumed that a transfer of the unique approach would work. The heart of the campaign to let people talk about their passion and how libraries help them to live their passion will now be used for a German awareness campaign. The American “I geek...” turns into “Ich bin...Freak”.
OCLC in Germany has prepared the communication tools for local communication packages and for a national platform, including a campaign website, social media pages and a “library online cockpit” to download communication materials. The Public Libraries of Graz (A), Baselland (CH) and in Germany Leverkusen, Mettmann und Sömmerda are testing the concept in a pilot test until January 2014. Have a preview look on the BiblioFreak website.
For further questions contact: Elisabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at +49 (0)6324-9612 4213