Another aspect of our marketing campaign to increase awareness is to sign people up for our email newsletter, The Beacon. Subscriptions have been languishing even though we have brightly colored bookmarks listing that and all our genre newsletters available for patrons to take away.

I finally decided that even that might be too much work, and asked our Circulation staff to just ask people directly when they showed up at the library to register or re-register for a card. We’re very clear about why we’re asking for their email address, as well as letting them know that they can unsubscribe, or ask us to unsubscribe them, whenever they’d like.

In May, our first month of trying, we had 90 new subscriptions – a 140% increase from the number of people getting the newsletter before. Once we build up our subscriber list we’ll pick a different genre newsletter to highlight each month. We’ll also monitor the other programs and services we feature to see if they get a bump from being publicized in the newsletter.