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Course Materials: Syllabus

Download a PDF version of this syllabus.

S557: Marketing for Libraries
Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis
SOIC - Dept of Library and Information Science

Instructor Information
Name - Annette Lamb, Ph.D.
Address - PO Box 206 Teasdale UT 84773 (I often travel during the semester)
Email -
Phone - I'm happy to speak with you on the phone. Please email me directly for my phone number
Personal Page -

Course Description

This three-credit hour graduate course focuses on the application of marketing concepts, techniques, and technologies for all library types. Emphasis is on matching library customers with services through information, education, persuasion, and partnerships. Topics include planning, audience analysis, needs assessment, market analysis, goal-setting, message design, public relations, publicity, promotion, advocacy, assessment and evaluation, internal and external communication, and change theory.

This course stresses traditional, evidence-based approaches to marketing, along with forward-thinking tools and technologies to reach today’s digital audience. While brochures, banners, and bookmarks may be still be useful in some situations, skills in developing online visibility and customer niches are essential in today’s customer-driven library.

This course will showcase innovative library marketing. Through marketing campaigns and case studies, students will explore effective, efficient, and appealing approaches that work.
This course will not teach skills related to selection and use of evaluation tools, philanthropy, grant writing, funding, or topics stressed in other courses.

Finally, this course will expand your thinking about the essential role of marketing in a comprehensive academic, school, public, and/or special library setting. It will be taught entirely online including web-based readings and resources, threaded discussions, plus online presentations and activities.

Choices allow graduate students with varied backgrounds and interests to select activities that meet their professional needs.

Course Assumptions

The following entry skills are required for this course:

This course makes the assumption that you are able to work independently. There are no required face-to-face meetings. There are no required synchronous online meetings. However, feel free to e-mail or arrange a chat with your instructor at any time.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

Course Materials

The course content will be accessed through a series of web pages. In addition to readings and presentation materials, the pages also contain reflective questions and individual exercises to reinforce key concepts.

Required Text (these books are available through IUPUI at no cost for the electronic versions)

Dempsey, Kathy (2009). The Accidental Library Marketer. Information Today, Inc.
This text is available for FREE as an ebook that can be read on the computer or an ebook reader. Download it from IUPUI's ebrary. I recognize that this is an older book, but it provides valuable, timeless information about marketing.

Optional Text (this is a an ebook)

Lucas-Alfieri, Debra (2015). Marketing the 21st Century Library: The Time is Now. Chandos Publishing.

Course Assignments and Assessments

The learning objectives will be assessed through a series of seven activities and a final project. Course assignments are intended to help students apply the course materials.

The class contains seven “Bridging Theory and Practice” activities (70 points) and a final project (30 points).

The “bridging requirements” are posted in forum area of Canvas. The “reply requirement” for each activity involves students in reading and responding to the work of a peer. These quality responses will be posted in Canvas as replies. Some assignments have specific criteria, so read the requirements for each.

Course Grades

The points awarded for each activity are indicated on the Course Requirements. High expectations have been set for this course. Please notice that outstanding achievement will require careful attention to course criteria and exceptional quality in course assignments.

Final grades are based on the following range within the total 100 points possible:

A 98-100
A- 95-97
B+ 92-94
B 89-91
B- 86-88
C 80-85
D 75-79
F below 74

The meaning of the letter grades follows the SLIS Grading Policy:

A: Outstanding achievement. Student performance demonstrates full command of the course materials and evinces a high level of originality and/or creativity that far surpasses course expectations. The grade of A+ is not granted in SLIS, except in very exceptional cases.

A-: Excellent achievement. Student performance demonstrates thorough knowledge of the course materials and exceeds course expectations by completing all requirements in a superior manner.

B+: Very good work. Student performance demonstrates above-average comprehension of the course materials and exceeds course expectations on all tasks defined in the course syllabus.

B: Good work. Student performance meets designated course expectations, demonstrates understanding of the course materials, and has performed at an acceptable level.

B-: Marginal work. Student performance demonstrates incomplete understanding of course materials.

C+, C, C-: Unsatisfactory work and inadequate understanding of course materials.

D+, D, D-: Unacceptable work; course work completed at this level will not count toward the MLS degree.

F: Failing. May result in an overall grade point average below 3.0 and possible removal from the program.


Late and Incomplete Work

Students may request an assignment extension due to personal or professional emergencies. These requests must be made prior to the due date. Extensions beyond a couple days will result in lose of points. A final grade of "I" or "Incomplete" will NOT be given except in extreme situations. Please let me know if you're having difficulty completing the requirements of this course.

Incompletes are only available when unexpected events prevent completion of the course requirements in the usual time frame. No student with multiple incompletes may register for additional courses.  Left unchanged, an Incomplete automatically becomes an F after one year.

IUPUI Mission Statement

The Mission of IUPUI is to provide for its constituents excellence in

With each of these core activities characterized by

IUPUI’s mission is derived from and aligned with the principal components—Communities of Learning, Responsibilities of Excellence, Accountability and Best Practices—of Indiana University’s Strategic Directions Charter.

IUPUI Values Statement

IUPUI values the commitment of students to learning; of faculty to the highest standards of teaching, scholarship, and service; and of staff to the highest standards of service.  IUPUI recognizes students as partners in learning. IUPUI values the opportunities afforded by its location in Indiana’s capital city and is committed to serving the needs of its community.  Thus, IUPUI students, faculty, and staff are involved in the community, both to provide educational programs and patient care and to apply learning to community needs through service. As a leader in fostering collaborative relationships, IUPUI values collegiality, cooperation, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship as well as honesty, integrity, and support for open inquiry and dissemination of findings. IUPUI is committed to the personal and professional development of its students, faculty, and staff and to continuous improvement of its programs and services.

ALA Competency Connections

The marketing course would address a number of ALA competencies. According to ALA (2009), a person graduating from an ALA-accredited master’s program in library and information studies should know and, where appropriate, be able to employ:

1. Foundations of the Profession
1F. National and international social, public, information, economic, and cultural policies and trends of significance to the library and information profession.
1H. The importance of effective advocacy for libraries, librarians, other library workers, and library services.
1I. The techniques used to analyze complex problems and create appropriate solutions.
1J. Effective communication techniques (verbal and written).

4. Technological Knowledge and Skills
4A. Information, communication, assistive, and related technologies as they affect the resources, service delivery and uses of libraries and other information agencies.
4D. The principles and techniques necessary to identify and analyze emerging technologies and innovations in order to recognize and implement relevant technological improvements.

5. Reference and User Services
5C. The methods used to interact successfully with individuals of all ages and groups to provide consultation, mediation, and guidance in their use of recorded knowledge and information.
5E. The principles and methods of advocacy used to reach specific audiences to promote and explain concepts and services.
5F. The principles of assessment and response to diversity in user needs, user communities, and user preferences.
5G. The principles and methods used to assess the impact of current and emerging situations or circumstances on the design and implementation of appropriate services or resource development.

6. Research
6C. The principles and methods used to assess the actual and potential value of new research.

7. Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning
7B. The role of the library in the lifelong learning of patrons, including an understanding of lifelong learning in the provision of quality service and use of lifelong learning in the promotion of library services.

8. Administration and Management
8A. The principles of planning and budgeting in libraries and other information agencies.
8C. The concepts behind, and methods for, assessment and evaluation of library services and their outcomes.
8D. The concepts behind, and methods for, developing partnerships, collaborations, networks, and other structures with all stakeholders and within communities served.

Student Academic Conduct

There is extensive documentation and discussion of the issue of academic honesty in the IUPUI Student Code of Conduct.
All students should aspire to the highest standards of academic integrity. Using another student’s work on an assignment, cheating on a test, not quoting or citing references correctly, or any other form of dishonesty or plagiarism shall result in a grade of zero on the item and possibly an F in the course. Incidences of academic misconduct shall be referred to the Department Chair and repeated violations shall result in dismissal from the program.

All students are responsible for reading, understanding, and applying the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct and in particular the section on academic misconduct. Refer to The Code > Responsibilities > Academic Misconduct at All students must also successfully complete the Indiana University Department of Education “How to Recognize Plagiarism” Tutorial and Test. You must document the difference between your writing and that of others. Use quotation marks in addition to a citation, page number, and reference whenever writing someone else’s words (e.g., following the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association). To detect plagiarism instructors apply a range of methods, including

Academic Misconduct:

Beginning Fall 2014, all students are required to complete the plagiarism tutorial during s401.

Student Accommodations for Disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities.
Students needing accommodations because of disability must register with Adaptive Educational Services and complete the appropriate form before accommodations will be given. The AES office is located in Taylor Hall Room 127, 815 W Michigan St Indianapolis, IN 46202 and may be reached by phone 317/274-3241 or 317/278-2052 TTD/TTY; by fax 317/274-2051; or by email  
For more information, go to

Administrative Withdrawal

A basic requirement of this course is that students participate in all class discussions and conscientiously complete all required course activities and/or assignments. If a student is unable to attend, participate in, or complete an assignment on time, it is the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor. If a student misses more than half of the required activities within the first 25% of the course without contacting the instructor, the student may be administratively withdrawn from this course. Administrative withdrawal may have academic, financial, and financial aid implications. Administrative withdrawal will take place after the full refund period, and a student who has been administratively withdrawn from a course is ineligible for a tuition refund. Contact the instructor with questions concerning administrative withdrawal.

Course Evaluation Policy

Course evaluations provide vital information for improving the quality of courses and programs. Students are required to complete one course and instructor evaluation for each section in which they are enrolled at the School of Informatics and Computing. This requirement has three exceptions: (a) The student has withdrawn from the course; (b) only one student is enrolled in the section (in which case anonymity is impossible); and (c) the section is a laboratory that must be taken with a course having a different section number. Course evaluations are completed at Course evaluations are open from the eleventh week. Course evaluations are anonymous, which means that no one can view the name of the student completing the evaluation. In addition, no one can view the evaluation itself until after the instructor has submitted the final grades for the course. In small sections, demographic information should be left blank, if it could be used to identify the student. A course evaluation must close before the grade for that course can be released. To ensure students have had ample opportunity to complete the evaluation, an uncompleted course evaluation could delay the release of the grade for up to a week.

Course Communication

Indiana University uses your IU email account as an official means of communication, and students should check it daily for pertinent information. Although you may have your IU email forwarded to an outside email account, please email faculty and staff from your IU email account.

Be sure to set your Canvas notification so that you receive Course Announcements through your email account.


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