Strategies for marketing library services by library and information science (LIS) professionals in Nigeria
Marketing of library services in the present century is important, considering the developments in the profession. The value of marketing is to ensure the survival and growth of the library and information services, and to enhance the community they serve. Marketing is important in the profession because of customers’ needs, competitions from cybercafés, other information providers and changes in libraryresources. Despite this fact, a lot of challenges such as changes in educational programs, impact of inf ormation and communication technology, new methods of information provision and decline in the budget have made marketing of library services mandatory and a necessary function to carry out in order to present the library to the clients. Due to these changes and competitions, there is a critical need to devise strategies to package information in the format that will suit the users and meet them at the point of their need. This paper outlines the marketing strategies that can be undertaken by library and information science (LIS) professionals to serve their users. Four objectives were formulated to guide the study, while the survey research method was adopted for this study. The population of the study was made up of library and information science professionals in Nigeria. Questionnaire was the instrument used for data collection. The findings reveal that marketing of LIS is undertaken in most libraries. The major reasons for marketing include:to showcase the resources available in the library,for librarians to maintain theirrelevance,to promote the image of the library, tohelpinthe survival of the library, to create awareness among the university communityand,to ensure the visibility of the library. The following challenges hinder effective marketing; inadequate funding, lack of training and education of librarians on marketing, lack of ICT infrastructure, and lack of internet facilities to reach out to the global world. While the major strategies for effective marketing of LIS are: good communication skills, face to face interaction with the user community, networking among professional colleagues,using bulletin boards,seminars and workshops,newsletters, publicity through advertisements and announcements, and through website.
Keywords; Marketing, Library and Information Professionals, Nigeria,