October 11, 2016

Newsletters we love

It’s one-twelve in the afternoon. Your readers have just finished their lunch and are popping over to their email accounts for a brief respite before getting back to their daily grind. What are they hoping to find? Something funny? Something interesting. Something…free?

We here at NoveList won’t pressure you to be funny, but we know libraries are full of free and interesting books, movies, programs, e-resources and more. And we also know that you offer newsletters through services like LibraryAware. The question is; how do you communicate free and interesting to your readers? As they’re scrolling through their post-lunch drowsiness, how does your library newsletter become the one they open and then how do you get them to click your links?

Our customers make some awesome newsletters. If you’re looking for ideas, start with some newsletters we love.

Durham County Library’s Graphic Novels and Comics newsletter

Librarian and graphic novel fan Patrick Holt created a graphic novel newsletter. It’s one of the best library newsletters we know of. What makes it so awesome?

  • It’s personal. Patrick introduces himself to his readers and uses both his words and his self-portrait to create an immediate connection.
  • It’s targeted. Between the self-portrait, header images, and content, Patrick makes it clear that he knows his audience and he shares their interest. More importantly, he cares about enough to point them to graphic novel and comic happenings at the library and beyond.
  • It’s whole-library advisory. Patrick uses the space to promote books, events, and e-resources.

Indian Prairie Public Library’s #LibSocial newsletter

As librarians, we know it’s important to get folks in their 20s and 30s interested in the library. Indian Prairie is a great example of how to make that happen.

  • It’s a mix of serious and fun. Last month, Jez advertised a Hamilton sing-along which I’m still wishing I could’ve attended, but the library knows being an adult isn’t all fun and games.
  • It’s eye-catching. Jez’s newsletter includes bright colors and a clear message.
  • It’s whole-library advisory. Indian Prairie isn’t just promoting events, they’re promoting books too.

Jacksonville Public Library E-newsletter 

We’ve looked at two examples of newsletters aimed at a specific library audience. Jacksonville Public Library’s newsletter is a great example of how to tell the whole library story.

  • It’s vibrant. The colors and images communicate that Jacksonville Public Library is as energetic as the community it serves.
  • It’s packed full of information. There are “Did You Know?” snippets throughout the newsletter, adding an extra bit of personality -- and reminding the reader that libraries matter.
  • It’s connected to the community. With partner events, art shows, and a high school graduation, Jacksonville is demonstrating just how big of an effect its services have. 

Looking for more ideas? NoveList hosted a webcast in May on library newsletters with Leah Sewell from Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library and our own Nancy Dowd. If you missed it, the recording is still available and there’s a lot of good information packed into that hour.

Jennifer Lohmann is a Sales and Marketing Specialist at NoveList.


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