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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Winter 2006

URLs in this document have been updated. Links enclosed in {curly brackets} have been changed. If a replacement link was located, the new URL was added and the link is active; if a new site could not be identified, the broken link was removed.

Science and Technology Resources on the Internet

Marketing and Outreach for Science and Technology Libraries: Selected Resources

Maribeth Slebodnik
Science Reference Librarian
Cunningham Memorial Library
Indiana State University
Terre Haute, Indiana

Scope and methods
General library marketing resources
STM library brochures
STM library newsletters
STM blogs
STM library liaison programs
Recommended reading


All libraries grapple with the need to publicize their services to their patrons. It is not enough to plan good services and then wait for patrons to discover them. Marketing and outreach help determine who the library's audience is, what services to offer them, how to let them know that the services exist, and how to motivate them to use those services (Siess 2003; Fisher and Pride 2005).

This webliography collects examples of promotional materials, blogs, and library liaison programs to inspire creativity in marketing and outreach strategies for the scientific, technical and medical (STM) library. A very selective list of recent publications about library promotion and marketing is included for general information.

Scope and Methods

The purpose of the webliography is to provide examples of materials and approaches that are being used for marketing and outreach by libraries in general, and STM libraries in particular. The approaches that are surveyed include promotional publications such as brochures and newsletters, blogs, and library liaison programs. The choice was made to focus on these particular resources because they are well represented among scientific and technical libraries. Advances in technology have altered traditional outreach tools such as newsletters, which can now be delivered electronically, and has made possible new tools such as blogs.

This is a selective webliography, since there are thousands of potential web resources available for scrutiny. Resources were selected to provide a range of formats and degrees of complexity for each type of resource. Resources in the section on General Library Marketing Resources and the Recommended Readings collect resources which will be useful to consult when beginning a marketing or outreach effort.

Newsletters and brochures range from simple examples that can be produced on word processing or web editing software to more intricate and time consuming publications. Brochures can be a useful marketing tool to distribute to patrons and should emphasize what is important to patrons, not what is important to librarians. Newsletters are easy, inexpensive, and flexible and are good relationship builders (Siess 2003). Newsletters can also be a productive source of ideas for promotional events, such as open houses, contests, road shows, and film or lecture series.

Blogs targeted to patrons of science libraries as well as to science librarians are included with several blogging software platforms represented. Only blogs showing recent activity are included, and those that are directed towards patrons have an STM focus. Blogs are described as interactive, which invite comments, or informational, which do not invite comments. Annotation text for blogs typically was taken directly from the blog.

The web pages of library liaison programs include information about each program's purpose and the activities expected of liaisons, rather than just a list of names. Some liaison pages describe the role of librarian staff or faculty as liaisons to patron groups, while others focus on the role of academic faculty who serve as their departmental liaisons to the library. Some pages are included which are not from STM libraries, but which include unusually complete descriptions of liaison program responsibilities and expectations or have unique features in their programs. These features are briefly described in the annotation text. The University of Connecticut liaison program is included because several other programs acknowledge it as the model for their own liaison programs.

Several of the resources originate from academic library systems which include STM libraries. While the webliography is intended for librarians in scientific, technical and medical libraries, the resources lend themselves to use in a variety of academic and special libraries.

Resources were discovered through web searching via Google, and then by following links from other resources and resource collections. Several lists of newsletters and blogs are collected on web pages which are included below. Thanks to Ruth Lewis, Biology Librarian at Washington University in St. Louis, for generously sharing the results of her own blog scanning.

General Library Marketing Resources

Getting the Word Out
Three contributed papers on "Getting the Word Out: Innovative and Effective Marketing of Library Services to Your Scientific and Technical Patrons" from SLA's Sci-Tech Division, delivered at the 2002 Annual Conference. The page links to a bibliography for Sci-Tech Library Marketing.

Getting Started: Case Histories
This page links to reports of six successful academic and research library marketing efforts collected by ALA "to offer ideas and insights into developing a marketing communication program for your library."

Library and Information Services Marketing: The Power of Ten
This page links to resources collected by the University of Illinois LIS -- ten reasons to market your library, ten marketing ideas for academic libraries, ten marketing resources, and so on.

Marketing @ your library
This ACRL site includes "resources to help you develop a marketing campaign for your own library and examples of ACRL's efforts to promote academic and research libraries," such as the @ Your Library toolkit for academic and research libraries, downloadable graphics and manual about formulating a marketing plan, and subscription information for the Academic PR discussion list.

Marketing Treasures newsletter
This monthly electronic newsletter is written by consultant Chris Olson. Its focus is on marketing and communications for libraries, and it is available free with registration.

Marketing Your Library
The University of Kentucky site "provides a clearinghouse of resources and ideas for sharing materials, skills and strategies to promote your library." It includes ideas for library promotional events.

More Ideas too Good Not to Share
This collection of promotion strategies used by academic libraries around the country from ALA's Public Information Office includes ideas for library promotional events.

STM Library Brochures

Brochure Samples
This page displays health science library brochures collected for National Medical Librarians' Month, 2001 - 2005, by the Medical Library Association. It also displays examples of flyers, displays and promotional giveaway items.

Chemistry Library, University of Wisconsin - Madison
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The Chemistry Library provides brochures with content tailored to undergraduate, graduate & faculty patrons

Hinks & Elaine Shimberg Health Sciences Library, University of Southern Florida
This double-sided tri-fold brochure includes simple, clear graphics and plenty of white space.

Molecular and Cellular Biology Library, University of Cape Town, South Africa
This lengthy orientation brochure includes some instruction on database searching as well as a list of databases and tutorials.

Science & Engineering Library, University of Minnesota
This well-designed brochure includes maps, orientation information, excellent graphics and clearly written content.

University of Tennessee Health Sciences Library
This four page (two double-sided pages) brochure is graphically uniform, well organized and comprehensive.

STM Library Newsletters

Collected Resources

College Library Newsletters -- A Webliography
"Through these links, the Communications Committee of the (ACRL) College Libraries Section provides access to online newsletters from college libraries around the World." This list includes 41 academic library newsletters.

ALINUS -- Academic Library Newsletters in the United States
"ALiNUS is a dynamic Internet gateway to more than 550 online academic library newsletters published by US institutions of higher education. From its inception in March 1999, the primary purpose of the ALiNUS Directory is to encourage communication among academic librarians. The prototype of this active database is the listing provided by the College Libraries Section, The Association of College & Research Libraries."

Library Newsletters

ChemLib News
ChemLib News is an occasional publication of the Chemistry Library, University of Wisconsin - Madison, and is produced and edited by library staff. It began publication in Spring 2005 and is produced in Portable Document Format.

Engineering and Science Library Newsletter
This is an occasional publication of the Engineering and Science Library, Queen's University, Ontario, Canada. It began publication in April 2003 and is in HTML. It is a concise publication that includes science news of interest to its patrons as well as institution-specific information.

IAIMS Newsletter
The IAIMS Newsletter is published three times per year plus one InfoFair supplement by the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library at the University of Utah. It is archived in Portable Document Format from Spring 2001 but began publication before that date.

Mannifest: The Alfred R. Mann Library Newsletter
Mannifest is published by the Mann Library, Cornell University, and targeted to faculty in agriculture, life sciences, human ecology, and nutritional sciences, as well as members of the New York Cooperative Extension and United States Agricultural Information Network. It is published 2-3 times per year, 4-8 pages in length, in Portable Document Format.

Natural Sciences Library Newsletter
Natural Sciences Library News is produced quarterly by the library staff of the Natural Sciences Library, University of Washington. It is archived back to the Spring of 2004, and is produced in Portable Document Format. Its use of color and graphic elements is exceptionally appealing.

OESR Library and Computing News
OESR Library and Computing News has been published since 2002 by the Office of Education and Scholarly Resources, Columbia University, which includes the Augustus C. Long Health Sciences Library, the Information Commons, the Office of Education and the Center for Education Research. The newsletter focuses on information from the library itself as well as disseminating technology information to its target audience at the Columbia University Medical Center.

Research Library Newsletter
This newsletter is published monthly by the Research Library at Los Alamos National Laboratory, with the latest issue archived in October 2005. Archived copies begin in 1994. It is published in HTML and focuses on information relevant to research scientists at LANL.

Sci-Tech Library Newsletter
The Sci-Tech Library Newsletter is written by Stephanie Bianchi for the National Science Foundation and made available to the public through the web site of Swain Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Library, Stanford University Libraries. Its focus is news that might interest or amuse a science audience, and includes several special holiday issues with fun facts about each holiday. It is published 8-12 times per year in HTML format and is archived back to 1999.

STM Blogs

Blogs for science librarians, including general library blogs

ACRLog is the official blog of the Association of College & Research Libraries. The interactive blog is authored by a group of academic librarians referred as the BAB (Blog Advisory Board). The BAB has a simple mission for this blog: ACRLog is a blog that aims to discuss the issues of the day in the field of academic librarianship. Posting began in September 2005.

Blog without a Library
"At, you will find discussion about and links to some of the very interesting and engaging ways libraries are making use of blogs, RSS, and other emerging technologies to serve their users. The blog is archived by date and category. The other major component of the site is the list of blogging libraries, where I attempt to collect and categorize a comprehensive listing of institutional blogs." Posting began in September 2003.

Confessions of a Science Librarian
"This weblog is by John Dupuis, science librarian at Steacie Science & Engineering Library, York University, Toronto." This weblog features links and pointers to information of interest to academic science librarians." Posting to this interactive blog began in October 2002.

Peter Scott's Library Blog
This directory of academic library blogs is compiled by Peter Scott, a consultant with Northern Lights Internet Solutions, and sponsored by It includes an extensive list of links to academic library blogs, including the date of their latest posting. Posting began in February 2003.

SciTech Library Question
"Welcome to The SciTech Library Question, a blog featuring postings of interest to librarians working in science and engineering libraries. This site is maintained by Randy Reichardt, Information Services Librarian (Engineering), Science and Technology Library, University of Alberta. Any opinions expressed on this site are my own, or those of the other contributors, and do not necessarily reflect those of the University of Alberta Libraries." Posting to this interactive blog began in March 2003.

Blogs for patrons of science & technical libraries

Biology Library News
New interactive blog for patrons of the Biology Library, Washington University in St. Louis. It includes the text of the monthly Library News and New Book List. Posting began in December 2005.

Biomedical Library Blog
Informational blog for patrons of the Biomedical and Medical Center Libraries, University of California San Diego. Posting began in October 2005.

Crerar Library News
Informational blog for patrons of the John Crerar Library, University of Chicago. Posting began in April 2005.

Drexel University Libraries Science blogs
Drexel University Libraries sponsors an array of interactive blogs targeted to their science patrons. They began posting in 2005 and have varying degrees of activity.

Library Blog
This informational blog is integrated with the home page of the Engineering Library, University of Saskatchewan. Posting began October 2002.

Science & Engineering Library News & Events Blog
An interactive blog sponsored by the Science & Engineering Library, University of California San Diego. Posting began in February 2004.

Science @ UCD Library
Interactive blog moderated by the Pure and Applied Science Librarians for University College Dublin: Mary Flynn--Life Sciences, Josh Clark--Physical Sciences, and Diarmuid Stokes--Chemistry. Posting began in April 2005.

Science Library Blog
Science Library Blog is an interactive blog hosted by Binghamton University Libraries, Binghamton University. It includes frequent postings of new faculty publications, and can be sorted by multiple categories. Posting began in January 2005.

Science Library Update
Science Library Update includes news and discussion about information sources and services of interest to the science community, compiled by a librarian at the Integrated Science & Engineering Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst. Posting to this interactive blog began August 2005.

SciTech News @ UT Libraries
"Welcome Faculty & Students! This news channel is maintained by the Library's SciTech librarians to provide information about scientific resources and science related library news to the science departments at UT." This informational blog is hosted by the University Libraries, University of Tennessee. Posting began April 2004.

STM Library Liaison Programs

Clement C. Maxwell Library, Bridgewater State College
This page includes an unusually complete list of potential liaison activities.

Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries, Dartmouth College
Liaisons are assigned by unit or institution, and library advisors are assigned to individual graduating classes.

Lane Medical Library, Stanford University
Liaisons for medical students are assigned on the basis of their scholarly concentration.

Medical Libraries, Indiana University School of Medicine
This page contains a thorough explanation of the liaison program and the expected activities of the library liaisons which is adapted from the University of Connecticut liaison program.

New Jersey Institute of Technology
Liaison page links to individual web pages for each liaison.

University of California, Berkeley
The UC Berkeley liaison program includes library liaisons to academic support units, such as the Athletic Study Center and the Disabled Students' Program, as well as to academic departments and programs.

University of Connecticut Libraries
This liaison program began in 1989 and is used as a model by other libraries. The page includes a thorough description of the program including liaison activities and program evaluation and development.

West Virginia University Health Sciences Library
This liaison page links to individual librarians' web pages, some of which include bibliographies customized to academic areas.

Recommended Reading

Beach, M. & Floyd, E. 1998. Newsletter Sourcebook. Cincinnati, OH :Writer's Digest Books.

Butler, D. 2005. The expanding electronic universe: Joint efforts. Nature 438(7068): 548-549.

Cawthorne, J.E. 2003. Integrating outreach and building partnerships: Expanding our role in the learning community. C&RL News 64(10). [Online]. Available: {} [January 10, 2006].

DeCooman, D. 2005. Marketing Library Resources: An Annotated Bibliography. Elsevier Library Connect, Pamphlet #8 [Online]. Available: [January 10, 2006].

DeForest, J. & Reid, B. 2004. Annotated Bibliography: Librarians with Users Committee. CODES/RUSA, American Library Association. [Online]. Available: {} (Note: topic of bibliography is library liaison programs.) [January 11, 2006].

Fichter, D. 2003. Why and How to Use Blogs to Promote Your Library's Services. MLS - Marketing Library Services 17(6). [Online]. Available: [January 11, 2006].

Fisher, P.H. & Pride, M.M. 2005. Blueprint for Your Library Marketing Plan. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Harder, G. & Reichardt, R. 2003. Throw Another Blog on the Wire. Feliciter Issue #2, 85-88.

Lindsay, A. R. 2004. Marketing and Public Relations Practices in College Libraries: CLIP Note #34. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Reichardt, R. and Harder, G. 2005. Weblogs: Their Use and Application In Science and Technology Libraries. Science & Technology Libraries 25(3): 105-116.

Siess, J. 2003. The Visible Librarian: Asserting Your Value with Marketing and Advocacy. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Tennant, M. et al. 2001. Customizing for clients: Developing a library liaison program from need to plan. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 89(1):8-20. [Online]. Available: [January11, 2006].

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