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Tips for Reaching E-Book Readers

Post by Nancy Dowd
Posted January 17, 2013 in

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January is an ideal time to expand your outreach to e-book readers. With the holiday season over, many people in your community will be learning to use their new e-readers, computers or tablets. Chances are they don’t even know your library loans e-books. According to a report released by the Pew Institute last month, Reading Habits in Different Communities, 63% of people surveyed said they didn’t know libraries even loan e-books. The report also indicated that people would welcome help learning to use all the features of their e-readers. 

Consider offering help for choosing and using e-readers, downloading free books from the library and finding enjoyable books. 

Depending on your resources, you could offer workshops, create book lists or provide links to online training information.  If budgets and staffing are an issue, consider partnering with a local organization to host the workshops, train a few volunteers to provide one-on-one sessions or feature an instructional YouTube video on your computers.

You’ll want to promote your services through multiple channels- online, print, email and social media.  Since you are responding to a need that is impacting everyone in your community, it’ll be important to get the word out through your local media and community partners as well.

Here are three things to keep in mind when you promote e-reader services:

  •  Build a targeted email list

We suggest you create an opt-in list on your website as well as provide sign-up lists at any programs and at the circulation desk.  Keep people posted about classes, outreach opportunities and new e-books.

  • Cross promote your services and resources

If you’re helping someone use an e-reader, let them know the e-book titles your library offers. Don’t worry if you don’t have a huge selection of e-books. People who read e-books still like print, so promote everything you have, including audiobooks!

  • Look for mutually beneficial partners

Go beyond the traditional partnerships with community organizations. Your free workshops would be of great value to stores that sell e-readers; why not ask to set up an outreach area at the store? Consider going to local coffee shops, airports or any place people might be using their e-readers.

—Nancy


Nancy Dowd is product lead for LibraryAware, a new marketing service from NoveList, a division of EBSCO, and co-author of the book, Bite-Sized Marketing, Realistic Solutions for Overworked Librarians.