This past weekend I had the amazing experience of attending the ALA Annual Conference. While the conference itself was absolutely overwhelming, I still had an excellent time. I had the opportunity to attend some really fun programs and I got more free stuff than I could fit in the extra suitcase I brought for the trip home. One of the interesting things I noticed at the programs I attended was that the things they were saying are exactly what I have been hearing throughout my time at library school.
The big theme in so many of the programs was using technology. Our patrons are using it, so why shouldn’t we be? In the program “Using Technology to Market to Young Adults,” however an interesting point was made by one of the speakers, Kimberly Bolan. She said that not all teens are using technology. I know its shocking, take minute if you need it before continuing to read. But when you think about it, it really makes sense. She told the story of one of her brilliant marketing ideas to send text messages to teens about library programs, however when she investigated the idea she found that text messaging was not a preferred means to communicate with the teens because many of them are not allowed to text.
We’ve all been through this program with the idea of using technology to reach our users being drilled into our heads, but sometimes I think it’s important for us to take a step back and remember that there are people and even teens that aren’t constantly plugged in. And while these ideas of using technology to reach our users is a great idea it’s still important to remember the old fashioned ways of marketing our services. Kimberly’s presentation gave some great information about marketing to teens, and she posted the presentation on her blog!
In a final thought, I highly recommend that anyone who has a chance to attend ALA in the future jump at it. I think it really puts librarianship into a whole new perspective, especially if you’re new to the profession.