Marketing Today’s Academic Library by Brian Mathews


I am eager to get my hands on a copy of Brian’s new book. I think it may be a perfect fit for use in LIS768. I was glad to see his reflective post about the process: (emphasis mine)

I am very grateful that ALA didn’t pressure me to write a 2.0 or social technology book. It would have been a disaster. While those elements are included in the text, the scope is much wider. I worked (struggled) on and off for 2 years on this project. It is very personal. Writing a book is very draining. You feel vulnerable—or at least I do. I spent so many mornings up at 4am gulping down Jone’s Soda, trying to get the words right. This book is really my personal handbook, my personal approach. I feel like I am in a defensive position now, waiting for all the bad reviews to come in. (I’m sure the annoyed librarian will hate it.) Oh and just a note, if you’re looking for a nice cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers approach to marketing, this isn’t the book for you. In fact, in many ways it isn’t a marketing book at all, but a vision for public service. Here is the final paragraph that really encapsulates the spirit:

The academic library can become a place for experiences. It is not just for research and reflection, but also for creation, collaboration, design, and display. The library functions as a workshop, a gallery, a museum, a canvas, a stage, a lecture hall, a platform, a case study, and a showcase of student work. The future of libraries isn’t simply about digitizing all of our collections, but rather, it is about providing, encouraging, and staging new types of learning encounters. Instead of using marketing to try to persuade students to use our services, the library becomes the natural setting for academic activities–an environment where scholarship happens.”

I am happy we have good folks like Brian actively working to create this vision of the library of the future.