#94 Flickr

Flickr is well known to most, it’s one of the better photo storage and sharing sites.

It has some very nifty features including the ability to create custom goods from your photos (promotion), create quality photo books and upload video clips.

One of the little touches is the ability to add notes to photos. These are not the same as tags, but are ‘hotspots’ on the photo itself which give you information when you run your cursor over them. Sounds dull, but have a look at this labelled photo. If you imagine parts of a book, parts of a web address, parts of your library etc, you might begin to see the potential for this tool.


#76 Sell Yourself

Sell Yourself

Like the issue of publication, this is an issue that tends to split librarians. Should we yell and shout about the good things we do?

Well, yes is the simple answer. This doesn’t have to come across as a bragging exercise. There are many ways to sell yourself without making a big issue of it.

Some activities self-register such as anything you publish on the web including blogs, websites, links databases, book reviews etc. You can also highlight your successes and the robustness of your day to day activities via annual reports which can include stats, user comments and outcomes of projects. User surveys can also provide you with raw materials to highlight the success of the services you provide. Keep a CPD record to show how you, as a professional, are constantly developing.

If you’re doing it well, you should let them know that!

#75 Get Published

Get Published

I think there are many reasons why you should publish your views, opinions and accomplishments. I am also aware that there are many librarians for whom this does not come naturally.

It is fairly easy to get published. If you have a strong opinion about a current issue, or want to highlight an innovative service that you provide, you can send an outline to the editor of a clutch of library centred journals. Failing that, you can blog the information globally, or locally within your own institution.

Why publish at all though? Isn’t it a bit precocious and pompous, if not even vain? Well, that’s for the audience to judge, but it can be a useful exercise for the following reasons:

  • it’s good CPD
  • it lets you express your opinions and thoughts, which are as valid as anyone else’s
  • it raises your profile
  • it can raise your institutional profile
  • it can raise librarians’ profile generally
  • it gets you involved with a wider professional community
  • it’s fun

Isn’t that enough reason?

Information Scotland

CILIP Library & Information Update

CILIP Library & Information Gazette

Library Weblogs

#71 3D Displays

3D Displays

It can be fairly easy to create an interesting 3D display to promote a new batch of books, or stock you’re trying to create interest in. For example, a new batch of Michael Hardcastle books might inspire a mannequin based display with football kit and other football paraphernalia. With the help of your Art and PE departments, this should be fairly easy, but it can be trickier for other topics.

Useful places to look for free or cheap materials: bookshops, book suppliers, publishers, cinemas, video rental outlets, charity shops. It’s amazing what you can find, and what some outlets will happily part with, particularly promotional materials.

#27 Promoting Reading

Promoting Reading

This is one of the most basic tasks for librarians, yet also one of the most difficult. If this task is undertaken properly, it is time consuming, difficult, heavy on the imagination and often frustrating when you hit a brick wall.

Without a doubt, personal contact is the best way to promote reading. If a librarian is genuine in their fondness for the medium, talking about books, discussing authors and plots, issuing recommendations are by far the most effective.

Enthusiasm is infectious, and most pupils will react positively if they know the librarian is interested and making a tailored recommendation for them.

This activity should take up a lot of your time, and can be amongst the most enjoyable tasks you undertake. It ties in with a lot of other activities you undertake, and can be encouraged, promoted, publicised and formalised as you would any other activity.

The link below takes you to a mindmap of some reading promotion related issues; no two librarians will follow the same path, so just go for it!

Reading Promotion Mindmap

#20 Displays


Displays can make a huge difference to your library. There are many potential reasons for setting them up:

  • Promote new stock.
  • Promote clubs and societies.
  • Promote pupil achievements.
  • Promote school events.
  • Display photographs from trips and special days.
  • For fun.

Try and get your materials for free.

You can often get bookmarks, posters and display items from your local bookshop. Write to the publisher.

Speak to teachers; can they supply materials they would like displayed?

Ask pupils and parents to lend or donate items.

An attractive display will always attract new faces into the library, as well as entertaining your core clients.

A typical display might consist of large colour posters related to the books on display, with bookmarks, badges, keyrings or similar on offer for pupils to take away.

Do not leave displays up for too long! They lose their impact after a short period of time, ands should be withdrawn at a preset time, or even sooner if they become tatty and worn.

Some nice ideas here.





Bookmarks are very easy to make. It is also a lot cheaper to make them than to buy them from an external source. They will not be of the same quality, but they are disposable goods…
Using software such as Microsoft Word or Publisher, you can create a template which is easily adjustable for different designs and subject matter.
In Publisher, for example, you can set up multiple columns and insert standard text boxes with your school name etc, and image boxes.
After you’ve decided on a theme, it takes little time to find pictures and alter text accordingly. Cut and display them, and you’re in business.
To avoid copyright issues, it’s worthwhile to invest in a collection of copyright free photo and clip art. There are several excellent collections on the market for about £20-40 for hundreds of thousands of pictures.
The quality of your bookmarks depends on the quality of your printer, and the quality of the card or paper you use to print them.

Promotional Bookmarks
Once you’ve created a template for bookmarks, it’s very easy to adapt them for promotional needs.
If you’re holding any kind of event in the library, create bookmarks to publicise the details.
You might also use them to promote new titles in your library, clubs and societies, services, websites and intranets that you contribute to, library sales items, and so on.
Bookmarks can also be highly effective for entertainment value: football team crests, general trivia, literary trivia, jokes, pop trivia and quizzes.

Bookmarks: Examples