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Friday, October 29, 2010

Marketing and Promoting Library Services

"In today's competitive environment, libraries face an increasing challenge in reaching out to both their existing and potential users. What used to be a relatively remote concept in the library profession, marketing and promotion is now one of the essential tools for libraries to their outreach efforts. Some possible questions then would be the relevance of marketing and promotion to library services and the most effective methods to employ."

Source of information: email from Professional & International Relations, National Library Board, dated 18 Oct 2010

With the assistance from Goethe-Institute, the Professional & International Relations, National Library Board invited Ms Barbara Lison for Professional Talks Series today.

Ms Lison is Director at the Public Library of Bremen in Germany, with her invaluable experience, her sharing and on the value and importance of marketing and promotion in public library is very stimulating.

Here is the details of the talk I attended today:

Topic : Marketing and Promoting Library Services
Speaker : Ms Barbara Lison
Director, Public Library of Bremen, Germany
Date : 29 Oct 10, Friday
Time : 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Venue : Possibility Room, Level 5, National Library Building

LAS Professional Development Scheme (PDS) Points: 46

Barbara Lison is the Director at Public Library of Bremen, a position she has held since 1992. She is responsible for a library system with nearly ten different units. During the last few years, her main professional issues were the modernisation of the Public Library of Bremen and the project for a new Central Library.

Having held several professional positions, she has been very active in library policy and development on the level of the European Union having taken part in different European Union projects. She has also been engaged in the activities of German national and European professional library organisations. Over the past couple of years Ms Lison has been working for the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Goethe-Institute as an expert for library affairs.

In this afternoon session, Ms Lison shared the process of marketing and relate it to library and information services in Bremen, Germany. "Libraries nowadays evolve in an everchanging environment with competition from various fronts, it is paramount that libraries and librarians are equipped with an understanding and appreciation for the value and importance of marketing and promotion in any type of library or information centre."

She also identified various considerations when selecting specific marketing or promotion methods for use within Bremen's Public Library context.

As I was curious about the Maccot cartoon (Brementown Musicians) used in the presentation, I was lead by Ms Lison to visit the following audio story in flash:

Brementown Musicians
As I never read the story of "Brementown Musicians" before, this interesting audio story allows me to patch the hole of my unknown world.  At least, now Bremen Town is linked to Brementown Musicians (Chanter: the Donkey, Anciano: the dog, Songe: the cat and Belement Chanticleer: the rooster).

After the talk, I just visit the websit of "Bremen Public Library" at

I like the quotation below the address: "We link our community to the world; past, present and future" and I find some interest and unique contents on the home page with the following links:

Community Heritage Online Databases

•Bremen Obituaries
•Bremen Cemetery

Bremen Obituaries at
"Obituaries from The Bremen Enquirer. 11,883 records entered as of 11/17/2008. We have completed all years prior to 1997..."

I think the library have a unique community database which is not common to me who are in Library and Information service for years. 

Well, I think it is not our way of "Marketing and Promoting Library Services" at the present moment, yet it may be a good reference point as our Nation is looking at the needs of the "Silver Ages". Maybe it is something we can consider as the service will be well appreciated by the Library users.

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