As many libraries are closing, the need for libraries being questioned, and competition for library type services growing, finding ways to advocate and grow your library is essential. Promote your library as a green and cost saving. Start by simply promoting the idea that you can save money by borrowing a book from the library instead of buying it. Note the long term cost and environmental savings since the library owns one copy that can be borrowed again and again and again, cutting down on the eco-impact of producing copies that book (trees, water, energy, waste…) for each of these borrowers. Other companies are promoting business that provide “24/7 access to online resources for your research needs.” Dont libraries already offer this for free? Promote your online library resources available 24/7 such as online databases, audio books, ebooks, newspapers, digital collections, and services like renewing library materials, tutorials, and sometimes even online chat 24/7. Make your web presence a quality portal of information and resources. Users can save a drive to the library and still access a wealth of information and services. Start simply promoting the things you are already doing that are green and cost saving.
Library card holders still out number Amazon.com customers 5:1. Determine your cost benefit of services for tax dollars. In most cases libraries benefits exceed the tax costs (Read: Glen Holt and Donald Elliott, “Cost Benefit t Analysis: A Summary of the Methodology,” The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances, 15 (4) 2002, pp. 154-158) Also check out Libraries: How They Stack Up report from OCLC (2003) for more interesting stats and data.