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Marketing Electronic Materials

Many marketing activities can be designed to encourage young people to use your electronic materials. Think about using digital tools to create publicity materials including fliers, videos, and animations.

Also, consider creating a pathfinder to support promotions. For instance, a program related to the Hunger Games series might include a Hunger Games pathfinder or a Twilight pathfinder.

Spend some time thinking about promotional activities. How could electronic materials be infused into library events? For instance when designing a "new baby" library class include software designed for young children such as Giggles Computer Funtime for Baby along with books, videos, and other materials.

Scrapbook BoxMany public libraries offering programming that make use of fun software such as Art Explosion Scrapbook Factory Deluxe  by Nova Development.

For example, a pre-Mother's Day event could be held where students read books, explore crafts websites, and create computer-generated cards.

Increase the circulation of software and promote use of your electronic databases through a marketing campaign.

Collaborative Program Ideas

moonbotUse electronic materials as a way to reach out to school, organizations, and the community. For instance, start a Lego Mindstorms library program. Many middle and high schools, scouting groups, and 4-H clubs own the equipment. Start a club or hold a contest. Connect your books about LEGO, games, and other resources to these programs. Explore the Moonbotsprogram as an example. The original project was sponsored by Google and Lego Mindstorms. It could be adapted for your library. Or, join one of the upcoming contests. Join the FIRST LEGO League for lots of ideas.

Watch the Youtube video Moonbots Interview to see examples of Lego Mindstorms robots in action.

Contests and Awards

From writing and drawing to video production and game building, consider joining an online contest.

Go to the CSPAN video contest.

Go to The Book Jam Digital Book Report Contest for an example.

State book awards are a great project. Think about ways to support your state book awards with pathfinders and other online resources.

Incorporate audio, video, or other elements into a traditional contest. For instance, the Young Pegasus Poetry Competition is a great way to get young poets involved with writing. Think about how their poems could be recorded and shared.

Social Media

How are you actively involving youth? Are you offering virtual e-book clubs and online opportunities to interact on Facebook? Are you encouraging participation in contests and encouraging online reviews and contributions?

Use the power of social technology in your library programs. For instance, the Baltimore County Public Schools' Books of Character Internet Book Club used PBworks as a tool for communicating ideas, and sharing resources related to quality books that reflect the development of good character.

QR Codes

Connect readers with electronic resources through the use of QR codes. These Quick Response codes are scanned by a mobile device like a smartphone and used to access websites and other materials.

Read Scan Me! QR Codes in the Library by Annette Lamb. Brainstorm ideas for using QR codes in promotion.
Skim A Link to the Future by Jim Milliot (November 15, 2010).


Texting is a popular activity of youth. Think about how you could use texting to notify people about resources or upcoming events.

Read Teens, Smartphones & Texting from the PewResearchCenter. How can texting be used in library services?

Teen Contributions and Advisory

Teens like to feel actively involved with their library. Ask them to share their recommendations for electronic materials.

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Go to Montgomery County Public Libraries: Teen Contributions page. Notice how teens are encouraged to contribute to the site. Teens also particulate through the Teen Advisory Group (TAG).

Promotion Ideas

When designing any type of library program, think about how you might incorporate electronic materials. A healthy eating promotion might include the games and resources from Kid Wisdom.

Kid Wisdom

Liberty Kids BoxA Fourth of July history promotion might include resources for both children and young adults. Both PBS and PBS Kids DVDs could be incorporated along with educational software such as Liberty's Kids to go with the PBS Kids television series and the website. Check out the videos at YouTube.

Looks for topics that will attract students. For example, High School Musical has been a popular movie. How about creating a High School Musical Club? Check out the sample brochure by Kathy Burnette (PDF).

E-Book Promotion

Go to the E-Reader Petting Zoo. Notice how the petting zoo is intended to encourage people of all ages to learn about e-book readers.

Series Promotion

Nancy DrewFrom Clifford the Big Red Dog to Harry Potter, book, movie, and video game series can be used to build great promotions.

For nearly 80 years, Nancy Drew has been a favorite character. Today Nancy's adventures can be enjoyed in the original book form or as graphic novels, movies, websites and electronic games. Consider a promotion focusing multiple generations of Nancy Drew fans. Using the movie as a shared experience, grandmothers, mothers, and children could be encouraged to read and enjoy together. The same could be done with the Hardy Boys and other classics of children's literature.

Look for ways to connect books with software. It's a great way to promote both. For instance, display the traditional Nancy Drew books and the new Nancy Drew graphic novels with Nancy Drew software such as Nancy Drew: The Haunting of Castle Malloy from HerInteractive. Be sure to try the minigames to get a sense for the games.


Consider a similar project for comic book series such as Superman, X-Men, and Ironman. You could share the movies, games, and comics.

Themes Promotion

Trains for pre-schoolers, dinosaurs for elementary children, and vampires for high school students.... themes can draw young people to the library.


Look for ways to draw in teens with topics such as vampires and werewolves. Promote the Twilight book series and movie by Stephenie Meyer along with movies such as Interview with the Vampire, American Werewolf in London, An American Wereworf Paris, and Teen Wolf. Encourage young people to listen to their favorite vampire books such as Glass Houses by Rachel Caine or High School Bites by Lisa Conrad. Or, play your favorite electronic game.

Celebrating Cultural Diversity Promotion

Consider ways to celebrate diversity. Check out the Celebrating Cultural Diversity Promotion (PDF) for ideas. Check out a sample flier (PDF).

DiversitySample flier


Student Spotlight Promotion

Check out the Finding HOPE in the Great Depression: A "Student Spotlight" Exhibit Program (PDF) and sample flier (PDF) by Kathleen Pickens-French.

Special Events

Students enjoy being part of something larger than themselves. Build connections to these larger topics and real-world connections into the curriculum. There's a "special" day for every topic you can image. Focus on special days and events. Use technology as the bridge to active learning. If you can't find a day, invent one!

Looking for more, check out the National Health Information Center calendar.

Check out Author Birthdays.


Make your electronic materials more visible through bulletin boards and posters.

Database Project

Many online tools can be used to create posters and fliers.

BackPack Promotions

Many libraries bundle resources into backpacks that include books, software, web links and other resources. Often called Family Literacy Bags (FLB), they help parents and children connect through literacy activities and reading.

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Go to Literacy Backpacks and explore their program. How could this program be adapted to a school or public library?

Library Website

How are you using your virtual library to promotion your electronic materials? Think about how the library website, Facebook page, and other virtual locations and promote electronic materials.

Go to Castilleja School Library. Explore the many ways they use their website to promote a wide range of resources.

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