MARKETING OF LIBRARY PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AND ITS CHALLENGES TO PROFESSIONALS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the study 

Academic libraries are changing in the new information age as a result of rapidly changing media technologies, increasing user preferences and expectations, competition from other information providers such as the internet, and shrinking library budgets. This necessitates library and information science professionals strategically reorienting themselves and libraries as information superhighways that individuals cannot live without.

Marketing is regarded as an important aspect of the competencies required by library and information science professionals. Before library professionals can adequately and effectively market library services, Osinulu, Adekunmisi, and Okewale (2017) emphasize that librarians should be competent in all aspects of librarianship, including basic foundational knowledge in librarianship, readers’ services, information and communication technologies (ICTs) handling and use, reference services, and so on.

Librarians must be knowledgeable, skilled, and have positive attributes or dispositions in these core aspects of librarianship. Marketing is fundamental and is regarded as critical in the management process for promoting information products and services. Marketing knowledge can help libraries gain a competitive advantage over competitors, and they can achieve this and better satisfy users by developing new services or making changes to existing ones. In other words, marketing competency can improve organizational status and librarian image, resulting in improved library performance.

Unfortunately, numerous studies have revealed librarians’ professional misunderstanding of the marketing concept and its relevance to librarianship. Most library executives believe that marketing is only applicable to public libraries.

and relevant to for-profit organizations. Due to a lack of training and knowledge of marketing tools and techniques, as well as a fear of commercial publicity, most librarians do not effectively promote library resources, services, and products. Marketing is viewed as manipulative, unprofessional, and a waste of time and resources by some librarians.

Similarly, Adekunmisi (2017) identified a lack of business expertise among academic librarians, as well as a lack of interest in the concept and idea of marketing mix among librarians and library top management, as a challenge in product marketing. These scenarios can be attributed to deficiencies in the library school curriculum’s marketing concepts and principles. These factors also contribute to low patronage and underutilization of library resources and products. as well as services. As information professionals, librarians require adequate knowledge, skills, and attributes of marketing principles, as well as a clear understanding and appreciation of marketing’s relevance to librarianship. Librarians must engage in marketing and employ marketing principles and strategies to persuade and attract users to the library’s collections and services. Academic libraries have a key responsibility to provide timely access to information resources, both print and non-print, that meet the curriculum and program needs of students and teaching staff.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Despite the advantages of using social media tools to promote the marketing of library and information resources and services, there are numerous challenges that impede the promotion and marketing of library resources and services. The concept of a library without “walls” is gaining traction and popularity among patrons. Libraries are expected to provide 24/7 online access to information in this information-centric user community, as they are increasingly used in an online environment. Users visit libraries to use computers and internet access, to access e-contents in a relaxing environment, and to use library space for reading and group discussion. Furthermore, when compared to the previous century, the use of physical collections has decreased because information has become more accessible. is available and accessible from anywhere via the internet. However, the major issues in marketing library and information products and services are a lack of time to use social media, a lack of privacy and identity theft, too many social media tools to learn, a lack of knowledge of how to use social media tools, slow internet speed, insufficient funding for libraries, a lack of qualified staff, and a lack of training opportunities. Thus, for the library to maintain a competitive advantage, a high level of ease of access to resources and services in the preferred format, highly skilled library personnel, ease of location, a high level of access to ICT applications, resources, and services, and fascinating library equipment and facilities are required. Librarians, in particular, As strategies for promoting library information products and services, public presentations, direct marketing, advocacy, bulletins, newsletters, readers’ awareness training, display strategy, library web pages, lectures, library tours, and use of web tools must be identified. As a result, the purpose of this research is to look into the marketing of library products and services, as well as the challenges that this poses for professionals.

1.3 Objective of the study

The primary goal of this research is to investigate the marketing of library products and services, as well as the challenges that this presents for professionals. The research will focus on

To determine whether there is a need for marketing library services in Rivers state academic libraries.

To look into the barriers that keep librarians from effectively marketing library services.

To provide strategies for improving the effective marketing of library services.

1.4 Research Question

Is there a need for Rivers State academic libraries to market library services?

What are the obstacles to effective library service marketing?

What are the strategies for improving the effectiveness of library service marketing?

1.5 Research hypotheses

In this study, the following hypotheses will be tested:

HO: There are no difficulties in Rivers State for professionals involved in the marketing of library products.

In Rivers State, professionals involved in the marketing of library products face challenges.

1.6 Significance of the study

Academic institutions, administrators, library committees, librarians, users, and researchers will all benefit from the findings. In particular, the findings will be important to academic institutions’ administration in terms of policy formulation because they will provide a road map for overcoming the obstacles that impede effective marketing of library products. It is hoped that it will raise awareness among library committee members about strategies for improving the effective marketing of library services to users. This work will also teach librarians how to market library products and services effectively and efficiently. It will also help them identify their flaws and thus improve their services by attracting, satisfying, and retaining library users. Users will benefit from the findings as well. V

1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study includes the marketing of library products and services as well as the challenges that professionals face. The study, however, is limited to Rivers State University Libraries.

1.8  Limitation othe Study

Financial constraint: Inadequate funding tends to impede the researcher’s efficiency in locating relevant materials, literature, or information, as well as in the data collection process (internet, questionnaire and interview)

Time constraint: The researcher will conduct this study alongside other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

1.Definition of terms

A librarian organizes, categorizes, and catalogs these materials. Librarians also make recommendations and assist people in finding the information they require. They examine and categorize collections. They teach people how to use library systems to find the information they need.

A product is an object or system made available for consumer use in marketing; it is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a customer’s desire or need.

Marketing: A product is an object or system made available for consumer use in marketing; it is anything that can be offered to a market to satisfy a customer’s desire or need.

Marketing in Libraries: The process of marketing in libraries and information services. Planning, pricing, promoting, and distributing library products in order to create exchanges that satisfy both the library and the customers or users.

REFERENCES

Farouk BL and Aderibigbe OA (2017). Marketing Information Resources and Services in Federal University Libraries in Nigeria’s North-West Zone. 5(3): 92-96. Inter. J. Acad. Lib. Info. Sci.

Adegoke, K. A. (2015). Marketing library and information services in university libraries: a case study of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Library in Sokoto, Nigeria. Rights to Intellectual Property, 3(2):143-148. doi: 10.4172/2375-4516.1000143.

S. R. Adekunmisi (2013). Marketing strategies for library services and information products in Nigeria. Journal of Educational Research and Review, Global Advanced Research, 2(12), December: 240-245. S. R. Adekunmisi (2017). In Nigeria, library services and information products are marketed. Lagos Journal of Library and Information Science, 6(1 & 2): 53-66, April / October.

 

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