“Branding” is one of the buzzwords that librarians are hearing a lot about lately, but because we are often locked into using our school name, mascot, colors, etc on everything we create, having a unique brand can present difficulties for a school library. But what if we tied a slogan to our name, and used it on everything?
Think about some of the marketing slogans that have resonated with the public. I bet you can easily name the companies that use these taglines:
Have it your way.
Where shopping is a pleasure.
Expect more. Pay less.
These slogans indicate that customer satisfaction is a priority, and that the needs of the consumer are being carefully considered.
So what’s your library slogan?
No one is allowed in the library without a pass.
You can only check out two books at a time, and if you return them late you have to pay a fine.
No food or drinks allowed.
There will be no emailing, games, or talking in the library.
You’re not really welcome here.
“Oh no,” you say, “no one would choose any of those sayings as a tagline!” Then why do I see these exact sentences (well, okay, maybe I’ve never actually seen that last one, but it’s been implied) in some form or another on nearly every library web page I’ve visited lately? I won’t link to any of them here, but in my search for inspiring library sites I’ve looked at quite a few that feature a stern list of do’s and don’ts. (Mostly don’ts.) And most of them aren’t discreetly tucked away in a “Library Policies” corner; they are right there on the home page!
Yes, we need guidelines, and yes, we need to communicate them to our users, so a “No rules, just right” approach won’t work in the library. But we have to “think outside the bun” and make an effort to show the many resources and services we have to offer our students, their parents, and the community. And we need to do it in a positive way so that we emphasize what visitors can do rather than what they’re not allowed to do.
So I hope these are the kinds of slogans that describe your library:
We never stop working for you.
You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers.
That was easy.
And perhaps most importantly:
The choice of a new generation.