Over the years, librarians have shared their secrets to effective marketing of programs. I just ran across a thread worth sharing on this topic from the Association of Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL) listserv:
We have printed placemats with puzzles, reference searches, etc., for distribution in local restaurants. Our Friends group paid for reduced rates from a local print shop. Could possibly run these on a copy machine. When I first came, the local printer let me use his hand press to do cocktail napkins with clever questions and answers for distribution at the local bars. The bad part was each napkin had to be printed individually which took me several hours. The printer set up the type stuff and the napkin was not expensive. Have not done this in awhile, but at the time did get reference questions from bar patrons. To this day we occasionally get a question from a bar patron. Most questions seem to come from bars where my spouse is present. When questions arise, his response is ‘make my wife work, call the library for the answer.’
Hope this helps. We serve a population of 4,987, town and township area. At the time of the placemats we had 2 restaurants and 4 bars.
Great ideas! Last year, Nan Carmack and her staff from the Bedford Public Library (VA) designed tray liners that publicized their September Project event at fast food joints. Smart. More tips? Please share!