School of Library and Information Studies

LIS 546 Outline

LIS 546: Marketing Libraries and Information Services

Summer 2016

INSTRUCTOR: Margaret Law

Phone: 780-720-3959


Office Hours:

Can be arranged by emailing me at

Calendar Description: Text from academic calendar

The principles of marketing and public relations for nonprofit organizations, with an emphasis on library and information services. 

Course Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this course, students should know and understand:

  • the critical role of marketing to the sustainability and growth of libraries and the information professions;
  • the concepts and techniques for developing a client focused or customer centred marketing approach in a not for profit setting;
  • the basic components of marketing including market research and planning, segmentation, marketing mix and evaluation which enable effective decision making
  • how to evaluate marketing activities undertaken elsewhere in the not for profit sector and the private sector and the implications and relevance for libraries
  • how advocacy differs from marketing


Measurable Student Learning Outcomes:

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain and apply traditional marketing models.
  • Evaluate marketing strategies and provide suggestions for improvement
  • Complete an environmental assessment for an organization
  • Develop a marketing plan and an advocacy plan
  • Assess the service needs of different groups of users



Topics will be examined in the library context and include the various audiences to be considered in a not for profit and library environment, market planning and market research, understanding target audiences and their behaviours, segmentation, branding and evaluation. The "4 Ps" of the marketing mix, product, price, promotion and place will be examined in the not for profit and library contexts. The relationship and role of communication, advocacy, and influence will also be explored. 


Lectures, readings, discussion, working in teams, presentations, guest speakers. 

Course Relationships: List pre- or co- requisite courses here.

Pre-requisites LIS 501, 502 and 503. 

Required Texts:

None; all required readings will be available on line through the University of Alberta’s Libraries.  All required readings are listed below.  Additional readings may be added in response to class discussion.

Assignments and Weighting:

Assignment 1: (35%)

Look at the first page of a website for any library.  Using what you have learned about marketing so far, backed up by at least 3 other resources, comment on the website – who do you think is the intended audience, what is the message that the library is offering, and do you feel welcome.  Include the url of the website in your list of references.  750 words maximum.

Email to me at by JULY 17, 2016.

Assignment 2: (35%)

Write a PEST analysis for a library of your choice.  Back up your statements with sources.  How will you use this information in preparing an advocacy plan to convince your funders that you need a significant investment in your physical location?  750 words maximum.

Email to me at by JULY 31, 2016

Reflective Learning Journal: (15%)

Reflection is a useful way of thinking about what you have learned and how you might apply it in your daily practice.  For each of the 6 weeks of class, write a summary that includes:

  • Factual learning
  • Any self-directed learning
  • Reflection on whether or not this learning is useful to you now, or whether you think it will be useful in your work.
  • Any questions that it raises in your mind.


Email it to me at by AUGUST 10, 2016

Participation: (15%)

The most interesting learning can occur through discussion and hearing what others have to say.  Participation marks will include being active in class discussions, bringing news items or other items of interest to the attention of the class, or volunteering to take on tasks such as introducing or thanking speakers.

School of Library and Information Studies Grading Statement:

Grades reflect professional judgements of student achievement made by instructors. These judgements are based on a combination of absolute achievement and relative performance in class. The instructor should mark in terms of raw scores, rank the assignments in order of merit, and with due attention to the verbal descriptions of the various grades, assign an appropriate final letter grade. Grades are calculated in accordance with the SLIS Grading Procedure.


Academic Integrity: The University of Alberta is committed to the highest standards of academic integrity and honesty.  Students are expected to be familiar with these stands regarding academic honesty and to uphold the policies of the University in this respect.  Students are particularly urged to familiarize themselves with the provisions of the Code of Student Behavior (online at and avoid any behaviour which could potentially result in supsicions of cheating, plagiarism, misrepresntation of facts an/or participation in an offence. Academic dishonesty is a serious offense and can result in suspension or expulsion from the University.

Students should also be mindful of the SLIS Copyright Policy (

Inclusive Language and Equity: The Faculty of Education is committed to providing an environment of respect for all people within the university community and to educating faculty, staff and students in developing teaching and learning contexts that are welcoming to all.  The Faculty recommends that students and staff use inclusive language to create a classroom atmosphere in which students’ experiences and views are treated with equal respect and value in relation to their gender, racial background, sexual orientation and ethnic background.  Students who require accommodations in this course due to a disability affecting mobility, vision, hearing, learning, or mental or physical health are advised to discuss their needs with Specialized Support and Disability Services.


Recording of Lectures:

Recording of lectures is permitted only with the prior written consent of the professor or if recording is part of an approved accommodation plan.


Weekly class outline and readings




4 July


What is marketing?

What is advocacy?

Communications theory


6 July

Introduction to marketing mix models

People: market segments

Needs assessments

Afridi, F. K. (2009). Extended Services Marketing Mix and Emergence of Additional Marketing Ps. Journal Of Managerial Sciences3(1), 137-143.


11 July

Products and services:

The difference between marketing products and services

Is it our business?

Can we do it well?

Bansal, A. a. (2016). Creating Awareness of Publications through Marketing: Case Study of DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology (DJLIT). DESIDOC Journal Of Library & Information Technology36(2), 98-103.

13 July


Price vs cost

Cost vs Value

Writing a value proposition

Ellison, W. (2016). Designing the learning spaces of a university library. New Library World117(5/6), 294-307.

18 July


Physical and virtual

Non-verbal communication

King, R. C., Schilhavy, R. A., Chowa, C., & Chin, W. W. (2016). Do Customers Identify with Our Website? The Effects of Website Identification on Repeat Purchase Intention. International Journal Of Electronic Commerce20(3), 319-354. doi:10.1080/10864415.2016.1121762

20 July


What is the message?

What is the format:

Deane, G. (2003). Bridging the Value Gap Getting Past Professional Values. Public Libraries -Chicago- Public Library Association-42315-319.

25 July

The environment: PEST analysis

The organization: SWOT analysis

27 July


Vucovich, L. A., Gordon, V. S., Mitchell, N., & Ennis, L. A. (2013). Is the Time and Effort Worth It? One Library's Evaluation of Using Social Networking Tools for Outreach. Medical Reference Services Quarterly32(1), 12-25 14p. doi:10.1080/02763869.2013.749107

1 August



3 August


The target, the message

Jaeger, P. T., Gorham, U., Bertot, J. C., & Sarin, L. C. (2013). Democracy, neutrality, and value demonstration in the age of austerity. Library Quarterly, (4), 368.

8 August

Meeting the user

Futterman, M. (2008). Finding the underserved: close examination using market segmentation can reveal useful surprises about the people your library is leaving behind. Library Journal, (17). 42.

10 August


Reflective journal due.