Getting the Word Out About Online Resources


How does your library promote its online databases, content services, and educational offerings like classes and test prep programs? Most of the time it’s just a link on the website, and maybe a brochure or bookmark sitting on a desk somewhere.

For teens to really benefit from these resources we have to go a step further and do some targeted marketing.  Let’s look at five examples of online resources and identify one obvious promotion opportunity and one that is a little more targeted.

Language Learning 

Yes, the foreign language teachers might be interested in these, but so might the youth minister in your community that plans international mission trips.

Online Tutoring

You’ve got the word out to parents,  but what about the coaches? They have access to kids who need to keep their academics at a certain level but are very busy and are often not the kids you see in the library after school.

Test Prep 

You’ve sent information to the high school guidance office, but don’t forget organizations like the Urban League that do college tours and might welcome you to do a quick introduction or at least pass out materials.

Content Delivery (Overdrive, Hoopla, etc.)

I’m not sure we promote this stuff enough to teens other than trying to get them assigned reading when all the physical books are checked out. Maybe we think they already know?

Think about times when teens travel or might be away from the library for a while like Spring Break and summer vacation.  I would have loved access to library ebooks and magazines those nights when it was my turn for cabin duty working summer camp, and I bet teens spending a couple weeks at Grandma’s might too.

Classes (GaleCourses, Lynda etc.)

It seems obvious that homeschooled or other teens in non-traditional schooling might take advantage of these courses. However,  the beginning of summer might be a great time to promote these to all teens, especially those that are too young for a job.

What Next?

Make a list of five specific resources that would be useful to teens in your community and brainstorm a couple potential audiences for each one.

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