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Marketing & Public Relations


Community members are aware of the library’s role in the community and engage with, value, and support library offerings.


The overall goal of marketing and public relations is to inform the public about ways the library meets the diverse needs and interests of the community. In doing so, the library conveys a strong public image while increasing participation in library services, programs, and resources.

A marketing plan is an effective way to establish and implement policies, a budget, and strategies that communicate with diverse audiences within the community. Effective library marketing includes consistent messages and branding that frame the value of the library in ways that welcome all and entice use. In addition, the library uses a variety of outreach strategies to engage community members in library activities and conversations.

Public relations efforts build relationships with community members, leaders, and partners for positive community impact. By cultivating strategic partners, the library can expand its reach and message beyond its walls. This outreach also offers opportunities to listen to community input to find ways to improve services and meet the needs of various community members.

Estes Valley Library District Library of Things

Checklists in PDF

Marketing & Public Relations Essentials

 Checklist for All Public Libraries

  • Communicate a positive image of the library and its services while remaining receptive to input, diverse opinions, and suggestions.
  • Use community demographic data to identify targeted personas and/or diverse community groups for customized promotion of library offerings.
  • Leverage community connections to identify and engage community members.
  • Promote library programs and services in inclusive ways, including in the library, in the community, and through online platforms:
    • Use displays, flyers, and other media to market library materials, programs, and other community services both in the library and in other venues in the community.
    • Reach community members anytime, anywhere, and beyond the library with an online presence that includes an ADA compliant website (C.R.S. § 24-85-101 – 24-85-104), and online media platform(s) (social media, email newsletter, etc.).  
    • Translate promotional material and other public communications in the language(s) used by community residents.
    • Collaborate with local businesses and organizations to cross-promote programs and services.
  • Establish communications policies and procedures in collaboration with the local office of emergency management to plan for and respond to community crises or disasters. As locally appropriate, position the library as a community hub for communications during and after a disaster. Provide public emergency alerts and instructions in the languages used in the community. See also the Facilities & Infrastructure Standard.
  • Develop and implement procedures to receive and promptly respond to comments, suggestions, and feedback from the community in order to increase customer satisfaction and protect and improve the library’s image. Refine communication process based on comments.
  • Leverage statewide or national library promotional campaigns that increase public awareness of libraries.

Marketing & Public Relations Essentials +

 Checklist for Larger Libraries

  • Establish and communicate the library’s brand in ways that clarify value to the community.
  • Develop, adopt, and implement a comprehensive marketing and public relations plan that addresses library priorities and reflects community interests, opportunities, and needs. Include social networking and other online strategies.
  • Allocate funds to support the marketing and public relations plan. This may include a dedicated budget for advertising (print and digital), promotional materials, support, and staffing for community events, marketing supplies, and, when possible, a marketing staff member.  
  • Report to library leadership and the public, at least annually, on marketing activities, budget use, and impact.
  • Create a marketing calendar to establish a schedule for promotional topics and systematic promotion.
  • Distribute a newsletter (print and/or digital) with custom content to update the community on library news and activities.
  • Provide training and resources for library staff and volunteers to promote library services in consistent and strategic ways.
  • Have native language speakers translate promotional materials and other public communications into the language(s) used in the community.
  • Participate in local events, such as farmer’s markets, parades, and other activities to showcase the library and reach broader community audiences.

← Return to the Standards   Full Marketing & Public Relations Standard as PDF  Resources (coming soon)

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