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Library New Year Checklist

hand-1030574_1920-1Happy New Year, librarians! Preparing your library for the year ahead is one of the most hectic (and exciting!) times for many. Between tying up some loose ends on your yearly plan and continuing your day-to-day duties during some of the busiest months of the year, you may not have had the time to think about your library’s New Year’s resolutions for 2016. Luckily, we’ve made you a checklist of 10 resolutions to get your wheels turning to help you start the year off strong.

  • Reach new sections of the community. The library has evolved dramatically over the last few decades. The problem? Many potential visitors don’t know that. It might be time to target those individuals who may not be so familiar with all of the services your library can offer.

  • Update your makerspace. Makerspaces can be a great way to draw new patrons to your library. If you have the room, 2016 might be the time to consider adding a 3D printer. Not only do they offer fantastic learning opportunities, but they’re a hit with younger and older crowds alike. You never know: somewhere in your community may be the world’s next big inventor, so give them the resources needed to get started!

  • Add to your digital resources. Having a large digital archive will help you attract new patrons to your library this year. An extensive collection can help you set yourself apart from other libraries and is a fantastic way to get people involved without physically stepping into the library.  

  • Update your website. If you can’t remember the last time you updated your website, you might be due for a top-to-bottom cleanse. Go through every page on your site and make sure everything is up-to-date and ensure that the site copy is compelling. You never know who could be reading up on your library!

  • Update your social media. Most of your patrons are on social media. If you don’t have an active presence or have an erratic posting schedule, you could be missing your audience. Consider designating a member of staff to manage your social media to connect with your patrons and stay ahead of the curve.

  • Develop a marketing plan. At the beginning of every year, you should plan on carving out a few hours to track your yearly goals and objectives and to set timelines. With just one meeting, you can help ensure your progress is smooth sailing for the rest of the year.

  • Connect with schools and local businesses. Schools and businesses are some of your best allies. However, these local opportunities are often overlooked. Reach out this year and help them tap into your library’s resources.

  • Plan new events. Community events can help you draw new patrons to your library, and help current patrons get even more involved. Events are also a great way to start the conversation with your community to see what innovations they most want to see in the new year.

  • Diversify your resources. There’s always room to add new resources to your library and reach a wider range of potential patrons. Examples may include diversifying your audio/video collections or adding foreign language resources.

  • Develop your budget. Your vision for the new year comes at a price. Fortunately, sticking to a strict budget will not only help you create realistic goals for the year, but having a well-defined monthly spending plan will give you peace of mind (and wallet).  

We hope our New Year’s checklist will help get your library up and running for the new year. For more ways you can leverage your library’s resources this year, check out our presentation: Rethinking Today’s Libraries: Putting Your Resources Front and Center to Attract New Patrons.

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Lindsay Mullen
Written by Lindsay Mullen

Lindsay Mullen is CEO of Prosper Strategies, working behind the scenes to support the Mango team's world of lovable language learning. A language aficionado herself, Lindsay oversees a team of marketers fluent in public relations, content development and strategy (and they speak some German, French, Spanish and Chinese as well.)

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