Special Libraries Association

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Member Voice: Marketing Corporate Libraries for Success

My name is Cory Hutchinson and I am a librarian at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Orlando, Fla. Our current marketing strategy includes many innovative ideas and I wanted to share them with you in the hope that you take them, improve them, and share them with me.


Team Meetings

My colleague, Kate Vilches, and I started our marketing campaign by contacting vice presidents within our company to request short, face-to-face meetings with them to discuss how library services positively impact their departments’ financial results. We discussed how outsourcing information gathering to librarians was more efficient and cost effective than using scientists or engineering and reminded them that part of their budget funds the library so they were, in effect, paying for services and not using them. We requested they share this information with their department directors and managers to incentivize them to accept our requests to present at their staff meetings. At those meetings we gave presentations tailored to that team’s specific information needs, highlighting related library services. Five years later, we are still holding these meetings and find them to be an extremely effective way to create new customers.


Eureka Streams

Promoting some of the research and activities we support on traditional social media is prohibited due to proprietary or classified information regulations. Luckily, one of our other Lockheed Martin businesses, Information Systems & Global Solutions, created an internal Twitter-like social media platform called Eureka Streams. Employees and teams can create profiles, follow each other, share links to items of interest, use hashtags, and collaborate on projects in a space that allows for the discussion of proprietary information (classified and third-party proprietary information is still prohibited). Using Eureka Streams allows us to increase awareness of upcoming events, special collections and displays, and has created a new space for librarians and our patrons to collaborate on library-related topics. Here are some examples of what we post to Eureka Streams:

Office Hours

For some employees it can be as much as a 15 minute walk to the library from their desk and if they work in a different building than the library that can also mean getting lost or having to ask for directions in order to get to the library. At our company almost all employees are issued a laptop instead of the traditional desktop computer. This decision allows us more flexibility to work around the facility and to more easily access our work from home if we ever need to work remotely. Based on the increased flexibility afforded to me by my laptop and the difficulty some patrons have expressed regarding getting to the library, I decided to hold office hours at different locations around our facility to increase the availability of library services to our employees.

I selected three locations, cafeteria, administration building, and the research and development building, to hold office hours because they have the highest concentration of employees and with the greatest foot traffic. As of yet, office hours have produced mixed results; we received a positive initial response, but very few people have taken advantage of them, with only one major research request produced in a month.

So, are you marketing your libraries? If so, what has been the most successful? What has been a disastrous failure? Please continue the conversation on by commenting on this post or by email through the SLA listserv, sla-cfl@sla.lyris.net

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