Register Today For MALF’s Friends Marketing Tune-Up Clinic

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Posted by jim

“Marketing” may be one of the most misunderstood words and concepts in the English language. High on the list of misconceptions is that marketing is all about sales when, in fact, it’s actually about service. Phrased another way: Marking is about finding out what potential users want – then telling them that you can provide it for them.

34-347394_clip-art-marketing-icon-drip-room-hd-png.pngNonprofits disregard marketing at their peril. Every organization markets, regardless of mission and activities, and whether leaders realize it or not. Your logo, your website, and your brand’s reputation all relate to marketing, so it’s smart to be strategic about them.

When seen through this broader “lens,” it becomes abundantly clear that no library or Friends group can afford to be lax with its marketing efforts! With that in mind, we hope you will join MALF on Wednesday, April 6 (12:00-1:30 p.m. Central) for a special “Friends Marketing Tune-Up Clinic.” Our first webinar of 2022 will be led by Kathy Dempsey, the self-proclaimed Accidental Library Marketer and an acknowledged expert in the field.

KDempsey-search-engine-shirt-1024x768.jpgAbout the Speaker. Among other bona fides, Dempsey is the editor of Marketing Library Services – a post she has held for 28 years and counting. Published by Information Today, MLS is the longest running publication of its kind, delivering cases studies and how-to articles for professional and accidental marketers in all types of library settings. In 2005, Dempsey parlayed her hard-won experience into a specialized consulting firm, Libraries Are Essential.

Library practitioners may know her best as the pen behind The Accidental Library Marketer, a book-length crash course primed to “put you on the fast track and avoid the pitfalls that ensnare marketing amateurs” (according to the book’s foreword).

About the Webinar. MALF conceptualized this first-ever Friends Marketing Tune-Up Clinic in  direct response to questions and requests we regularly field from Friends of the Library. Groups in Minnesota are at different stages in their own marketing journeys – and some may not even be consciously on one – but several interrelated concerns consistently rise to the fore.

Dempsey will address those areas and more on April 6. Click here to reserve your spot – and to pre-submit your own queries for the speaker’s consideration. Be sure to RSVP before Monday, April 4.

National Library Week Runs April 3-9

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Posted by jim

April brings with it one of the best opportunities all year round to celebrate and promote our public libraries. National Library Week, coordinated by the American Library Association, runs April 3-9, 2022.

Appropriately enough, given the above news about the timely Emergency Connectivity Fund, this year’s theme is “Connect With Your Library.” Among the myriad ways libraries are vital and valued today, they are a matchless nexus point for community connectivity – both inside and beyond the building’s four walls.

ALA has helpfully provided an online primer on ways that Friends, staff and other library boosters can make the most of National Library Week. Read it here. Remember, something is better than nothing. A well-timed social media campaign or well-placed op ed letter can really make an impact!

Direct any questions you may have on National Library Week to ALA at campaign@ala.org. (If you’re a planner, you might also want to mark your calendar for next year’s dates, as well: April 23-29, 2023.)

Funding Opportunity: ARPA Technology & Connectivity Grants

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Posted by jim

According to the state's Office of Broadband Development, 91.8 percent of Minnesota households have access to wireline broadband service. While high as a national average, that statistic also underscores how pervasive the “digital divide” remains in Minnesota. Courtesy of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), our libraries today have an historic opportunity to take a big step towards closing that remaining gap!

ARPA-square.jpgAmong many other priorities, ARPA is providing a one-time boost to public institutions eligible for the FCC’s e-rate program. This includes public libraries. Through the so-called Emergency Connectivity Fund (“ECF”), libraries can receive no-match-needed funding to cover full costs for mobile hotspots, modems, routers, laptops, tablets, and other technology to bridge the digital divide.

Please make your library aware of this special reimbursement opportunity, as well as the so-called EFC Solutions Toolkit recently released by the American Library Association to assist in the application process. (As public charities, Friends of the Library themselves cannot apply. However, volunteers may lend behind-the-scenes support. See the EFC Solutions Toolkit for examples.)

Applications for this round of support will be accepted starting in April, with a firm deadline of Friday, May 13.