How to increase library usage and attract different audiences

Libraries are always looking for innovative ways to bring new people through the doors. Imagine that you could delve further into your users by analysing their behavioural trends and delivering library resources to suit. How? Through curating programs, collections and resources based on your audience’s behaviour. It sounds complex but it's really not. Let's take a look.

We know how much Australians love to travel over Christmas and New Year's, therefore the challenge becomes connecting the dots between your library offering and what the community wants.

A recent study showed that Australians are spending less on Christmas gifts and spending more on holidays. Roy Morgan released additional research revealing which domestic destinations in particular appealed to Aussie families. Highlighting that locations with the highest appeal have plenty of outdoor activities, are near the beach or a large metropolitan.

The top 10 destinations for Australian families are: 

  1. Melbourne, VIC
  2. Surfers Paradise, QLD
  3. Sydney, NSW
  4. Great Ocean Road (Victoria to South Australia)
  5. North Coast of NSW (Forster, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour)
  6. Brisbane, QLD
  7. Blue Mountains, NSW
  8. Thredbo, Perisher/Smiggins, NSW
  9. Hobart, TAS
  10. Phillip Island, VIC

 

So with all this useful information, how can you bring more people into your library?

Programs

Consider what type of programs you could implement which would be interesting to the holiday maker audience.

Think...

  • Providing deals and suggestions on where to book travel locally.
  • Workshops to show the best apps, tips and tricks for travel.
  • Workshops to show the best apps to best take photos on smartphones.
  • Travel themed book clubs.
  • Travel tips and suggestions on the best holidays for families.
  • Destination Guides.

Engagement

Get your audience involved in the programs by encouraging them to join the conversation in some way. That may be through:

  • Sending newsletters via email to your database notifying them of travel programs.
  • Creating an online discussion.
  • Posts on social media pages about information, guides or tips that encourage conversations.
  • Set up a travel and holiday themed area within the library which makes information easily accessible to this audience.
  • Frequently post interesting updates and facts on social media platforms to keep your audience engaged.
  • Run competitions to boost engagement, for example submitting the best holiday photo awards.

Travel_1.jpgY.jpg 

Image Source: Pinterest

Resources

Collate information on things that will be useful for families or children relating to the topic of choice, so in this case.

  • A Family Survival Kit that includes books, music, DVDs, and games.
  • Create travel Playlists for music by staff and invite readers to add theirs.
  • Create top 10 lists of music, holiday spots, cameras, and must read books.
  • Create Pinterest boards of holiday topics or destinations and share these.

 

Travel-pinterest.png

Source: JaymeBarrett

 Promote!

With all these great programs, engagement ideas and resources, you’ll need to let people know about them. This goes hand in hand with engagement. Once you promote these great initiatives you may find you've tapped into a whole new audience due to the shareability of the content you've created. 

  • Seek partners who would be interested in your information or programs – local schools, parent communities, travel partners.
  • Work with partners to cross promote through personal, social media, email and online channels.
  • Promote these activities and themes on your webpage or social channels and within the library.

 

33-place-to-promote-your-business-online-facebook3.jpgSource: Wix

This is simply one example of utilising your users behaviour to your advantage. But there are lots of opportunities throughout the year. Travel/ holidays is a great one as it is broad and there are so many elements you could talk about. It is just a case of finding out what make sense for you and your users, then tie it into your library's engagement and marketing strategy! 

 

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