Did you know March is National Reading Month? Around the country, libraries and schools are celebrating in full swing by hosting fun events, contests, and book spotlights. All this buzz around reading and literacy presents a great excuse to amp up your library’s promotional strategy. Engaging patrons of all ages can be a challenge, though - especially when it comes to promoting unique e-resources like Mango.We’ve got you covered with these helpful tips.
Get your staff talking.
When your patrons have questions about your resources, the first place they go to is your trusted staff. Depending on the age of the person asking, they might have different needs or interests that your staff should consider when offering assistance.
Mango isn’t just for grown-ups. In fact, it’s widely known that language learning for children is highly beneficial for early brain development. Get the young ones involved by recommending fun introductory courses such as Pirate, or let parents know about our partnership with Little Pim, an online language learning system designed just for ages 0-6.
Since they often come to the library seeking help with school assignments, train your staff to point them towards e-resources that cater specifically to local high school students. Teens love our Romantic Introductions courses such as Italian Language Love Affair, where they can learn flirty phrases to impress their friends. Another huge hit is our Spanish Texting specialty course - we bet you can guess why.
It can be tough to fit all the college courses you want into a single semester. Help your hardworking students keep up their language skills with courses such as Legal Spanish, Business English (for non-native speakers), or a religious course like Biblical Hebrew. Remind them to download our Mango App for easy, on-the-go practice between classes.
Parents can help their kids out with math and science homework, but French homework? Not always a guarantee. Make language learning a family affair by encouraging parents to try out Mango. They’ll be able to learn alongside their kids and practice conversation - talk about an awesome bonding experience.
With retirement often comes a desire to travel, or pick up a new hobby. Why not make it Mango? Make it a priority to engage your library’s elderly patrons - the age group with the time and the desire, but sometimes a lack of connection to the right resources.
Embrace multiple channels of communication.
It might seem obvious at first, but this could be your library’s single most important strategy for reaching patrons of all age groups. While technology is certainly one of the most popular ways to spread the word about resources like Mango, don’t underestimate the power of the more old-school tricks. Flyers, brochures, posters and newspaper articles are great for targeting those who aren’t as social media savvy, and you can distribute them all around your community for maximum visibility.
Not sure what they should look like? Never fear - our trusty Mango Market is here for you. We’ve got everything from ready-made banners to bookmarks, calendars, and even desktop backgrounds. Make language learning a focus for all ages at your library by placing these items in different areas, such as the children’s room or the after-school study lounge. This will ensure that everyone from parents to teenagers and young adults get the message about Mango loud and clear - even when they’re not online.
Partner with community organizations that cater to different age groups.
Collaboration is at the core of any library. It’s one of the many things your patrons love about you, because no one knows how to engage the community better than a group of dedicated, language-loving librarians. Your challenge? Put on your networking hats and link up with diverse local organizations that attract specific ages. For example, if you’re looking to increase Mango usage among K-8 aged children, sports clubs and elementary schools are great places to start. Chat with teachers, parents, and club leaders about encouraging language training in young children. They’ll probably be just as excited as you are, and they can provide you with some best practices from their own experience.
To engage older populations, consider reaching out to senior community centers or residences. The American Library Association suggests implementing collaborative educational programs for elderly adults, such as free computer training, to increase the use of e-resources. Another option is offering a resource delivery service for those adults who cannot travel to the library in person. We believe that anyone who wants to learn a language should be able to, and that’s why we’ve designed Mango to be completely self-paced and user-friendly - regardless of age.
Keep your online brand up-to-date.
For a library, building your initial online presence is only half the battle. What can be even more challenging is making sure your website, social media, and blog stay as fresh as possible. This can mean weekly (or daily) maintenance, but we promise - it’s worth it.
Why put in so much effort? Patrons of all ages will look to technical outlets for information on your resources, and they’re going to want answers quickly. Make it as easy as possible for them by featuring a new e-resource each week on your library’s home page, accompanied by a relevant tweet and a Facebook status update. Excited about a fun specialty course Mango’s offering, like St. Patty’s Day Irish or Legal Spanish? Start up a monthly language spotlight on your page, challenging patrons to complete the course for the chance to win a prize. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can invite bilingual speakers in to present short talks or lead language engagement sessions at your library. Keep your online promotion fresh and interactive, and your tech-savvy young students and adults will thank you.
Host family-friendly events.
Language engagement sessions don’t have to be just for adults. In fact, we think it’s more fun when the whole family gets involved. Throw a regular “world language night,” where kids and parents can participate in interactive group activities like Caterpillar or Pictionary. At the end, remind attendees that your library offers Mango for free - kids will see how fun it is to learn a new language, and parents might just pick one up for themselves.
Whether 5 years old or 75, a love for language and culture knows no age. Employ a multidimensional promotional strategy at your library, and ensure that Mango shines as your premiere language e-resource. Want some more tips on how to showcase your awesome offerings? Download our white paper with insights from today’s top librarians. Happy promoting!