Public libraries increasingly rely on marketing to publicise programs and services and counter perceptions of irrelevance.  Effective marketing can overcome misconceptions, raise awareness and attract new audiences. Increasingly, marketing efforts do not come from a single department; they need to be organization-wide.  

Last updated: July 21, 2014

Competency:  Employs a variety of marketing and promotional tactics to raise awareness of the library and its programs and services  

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Acts as an ambassador for the library in every interaction
  • Creates posters and handouts for programs and events
  • Develops print and online newsletters, designed for target audiences
  • Designs and creates displays
  • Liaises with community partners to raise awareness of the library and offer library support for community initiatives 
  • Organizes open houses and tours.  


Competency:  Understands and applies marketing theory and practices

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Understands the basic principles of marketing and how they apply to library services
  • Conducts research to assess marketing landscape and to determine current position among similar organizations/ businesses 
  • Uses multiple formats and channels to communicate with library users, potential users and other stakeholders
  • Stays current with communication tools and media sources used by target audiences 
  • Understands the library's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges
  • Conducts periodic reviews of the community for opportunities to align community needs with library services
  • Identifies, analyses and prioritizes target markets and audiences, and determines how best to promote those library services that can effectively serve each target audience. 


Competency:  Develops, implements and evaluates an ongoing marketing plan for the library

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Engages in ongoing dialogue with target audiences, including users, potential users and library staff
  • Sets measurable marketing goals and objectives, including brand strategy, based on the library board’s key messages
  • Creates graphics standards, style guide, and consistent print and electronic visual communication standards
  • Develops consistent promotion and distribution strategies to meet the marketing goals and objectives based on the analysis of target audiences
  • Creates relevant communication policies and procedures in collaboration with administration and with other departments 
  • Provides marketing training (how to talk to media, how to promote services, etc.) for library staff as appropriate
  • Implements the marketing strategies, maintaining records and clear communication with staff and stakeholders
  • Evaluates the effectiveness of the strategies and revises as necessary.

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