By the Numbers: Strengthen Your Public Library Marketing

All marketers claim that their product or service is the best. Words and phrases like leading, highest-quality, and best service tend to appear in marketing copy at a staggering rate. How can everyone be the best? There must be a better way to persuade people that they should support and advocate for your public library, right?

Well, actually, there is. With facts.

Show me the proof. Thats what your community wants to know when you say that the library adds tremendous value to the local economy and lives of its citizens. You and your staff witness every day the results of your efforts. You inherently understand the value and so do many of your regular patrons. But, there will always be a portion of your community members that only see the library as a line item on their tax bill. Yet, they still benefit from your services by a healthier economy and a more educated community.

Fortunately, we do have impressive proof of the value that libraries offer to the public. Incorporate these facts into your marketing and advocacy materials, and use them frequently as talking points when speaking to community members.

  • According to an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) national formula, NJ libraries helped over 49,000 residents get jobs in 2011.
  • More than 47 MILLION visitors were welcomed in New Jerseys public libraries, indicating a strong demand for public libraries.
  • New Jersey public libraries were well used with an active membership of 4.4 million cardholders. Each NJ library cardholder checked out an average of 13.5 items in the year.
  • New Jersey residents had over 33 million items available to them at NJ public libraries and checked out nearly 61.5 million items in one year, saving them $1.845 BILLION, which could in turn be used on other goods and services.
  • New Jersey public libraries provided free internet access to its residents through the use of nearly 8,800 PCs which would cost about $8.7 MILLION to buy. These PCs were used 10.4 million times. If the customers had used these computers for one hour at commercial providers, they would have paid about $12 per hour, or $124.8 million statewide.

For more statistics to use in your marketing, download our Quotable Facts About New Jerseys Public Libraries.

About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.