The Survey of Library Public Relations Practices

  • April 2012
  • -
  • Primary Research Group

This report examines the public relations practices of 62 public, academic, special, and government libraries, with data sets illuminating trends in staffing, library outreach, and the use of web and social media, as well as trends in spending over the past two years and projections for the coming year. Librarians reveal just how many press releases their libraries have issued in the past year and how often they send out emails to subscribers and RSS feed followers. The report explores the roles library events--such as sponsoring film screenings and hosting guest authors and speakers--play in a library's public relations efforts, as well as a myriad of other strategies and resources. Has the library used the video-sharing services of Vimeo, Viddler, or YouTube? Does the library maintain an active page or profile on the most popular social media sites of the day, including Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare? How does the library announce major new acquisitions or programs? This 113-page report presents data broken out by type of library, number of employees, and budgetary allocation, while also offering free-form written responses from the survey participants, helping end users to understand the inner workings of the library's public relations efforts.
 
Just a few of the many findings from this report are:
 
-93.33 percent of libraries with 75 or more employees employ a public relations or communications director, a number well above the overall sample mean of 43.55 percent
-Libraries that send out regular e-newsletters have an average of 4,252 total subscribers for all of their newsletters
-75.68 percent of public libraries announce major new acquisitions or programs on Facebook, as compared to 56.25 percent of higher education libraries
-55.56 percent of all libraries maintain an active account on Twitter
-Last year, the average library in the sample spent $7,295 on events
-Just 4.92 percent of libraries in the sample have ever used an outside public relations firm
-39.66 percent of all libraries in the sample use the video-sharing services of YouTube
-The average annual salary for a library webmaster is $49,067

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