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Those in search of creative ways to draw more people into libraries will find plenty of ideas through the fourth annual daylong “Future of Libraries” conference. The well established and popular event runs from 9:30 am – 5 p.m. in San Francisco’s Main Library on Wednesday, September 24, 2008.
“The Future of Libraries (4.0): Effective Marketing & Outreach in an Onsite-Online World,” organized and presented by the Library Staff Development Committee of the Greater Bay Area with help from Peninsula Library System, brings nine presenters together to share library-marketing success stories. Registration ($40 per person) is currently underway and will continue until all seats are filled.
Christie Koontz, a columnist for Information Today’s “Marketing Library Services” newsletter and a faculty member at Florida and San Jose state universities, will open the conference with a keynote address about how libraries throughout the United States can effectively use marketing in creative ways. Her presentation will include time for a question-and-answer session with audience members. Her appearance promises to be a treat for those working in San Francisco Bay Area libraries since she has been in great demand as a speaker this year: in addition to offering workshops through the Tampa Bay Library Consortium and Florida Library Association, she was a presenter at the American Library Association Conference in Anaheim; remains active in IFLA’s Management and Marketing Section and was in Quebec for the 2008 conference; and has been working on a report about why libraries close.
Koontz’s keynote address will be followed by panel discussions on “Marketing: Hooking Them Wherever They Are”; “Branding: Creating the Face of the Library”; and “Innovations in Reaching Children, Teens, and Older Adults.”
Among the eight panelists are Librarian-in-Black Sarah Houghton-Jan, who was one of the keynote speakers and panel moderators at “Future of Libraries, Part III” and taught Infopeople’s online reference course this summer; Matt Gullett, former Emerging Technologies Manager for the award-winning Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and the instructor who led Infopeople’s Web 2.0: Using Social Software with Teens sessions; and Caroline Gick, the Contra Costa County Library Community Library Manager who was team leader for branding/marketing for a county-wide three-day Reading Festival in May 2008 and team leader for the Library’s branding/marketing task team on the Library-a-Go-Go book-lending project which placed its first machine in the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station that same month.
More information, including a complete list of panelists, is available on the event website, and those interested in additional marketing resources might also find Infopeople’s daylong Word of Mouth Marketing for Libraries workshop helpful; the Infopeople workshop remains available on a contract basis.

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