It’s midway through the school year, so it’s a good time to share the exciting things that have been happening in your library with your stakeholders. In my school library, I do that through a newsletter that I send out each quarter to faculty and a weekly newsletter that I send to our library internship team. If you are looking for a way to communicate your successes and promote your collection and programming, a newsletter can be an effective marketing tool. If you already regularly send a newsletter, it could be time to consider some new features. Here are some tips for beginning or refreshing your library newsletter.
Know your audience
Each of your stakeholder groups probably wants to hear a little something different, so consider adapting your newsletter content to the right audience.
What I do: I send a newsletter to faculty and admin once per quarter, but am exploring how to expand to students and families through either a newsletter or other social media. Since my main audience is faculty and admin, I focus on library data, research instruction ideas, and new library books that teachers can use for prep or recommend to students. Sometimes I use my newsletter for policy reminders, too.
Make it attractive
Use a design program like Canva, Smore or Mail Chimp. Remember that attractive design doesn’t always mean complex formatting and use the tool that works best for you. This article outlines some design principles to consider in a newsletter.
What I do: I use Smore. While there can be a fee depending upon how you use it, the free version has been able to meet my needs this year. It’s super easy to use and the results look like you’ve spent more time on the design than you have.
Give the audience tools they can use right away
Adding reading lists, lesson plans, and collections of helpful articles or websites keeps your audience reading because they know that your newsletter is immediately useful and relevant to their lives.
What I do: In each edition of my newsletter I’ve started an “Instructional Corner” where I share the handouts and information about successful lessons I’ve taught in the quarter so teachers can either use the resources themselves or have an idea of the kind of library lesson I could come in to teach.
Keep it fun
Attach a game, contest or giveaway to your newsletters for an element of fun and an incentive to read. Teens and adults alike enjoy prizes, so this is a good idea no matter the audience of your newsletter.
What I do: I ask trivia questions in my weekly newsletter to our library’s interns and use ARCs, leftover swag or the occasional treat as prizes.
How do you regularly communicate with your library stakeholders? What newsletter features does your community like to read? Share in the comments!