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Back to main page /  Whats on /  Events  /  IFLA and Russian Library Association in Leninka: Results of Moscow Meeting

IFLA and Russian Library Association in Leninka: Results of Moscow Meeting

Venue: Moscow, 3/5, Vozdvizhenka str., Russian State Library
Date: 28 February, 2013
Video of the International Workshop-Training “Marketing Your Library: A Customer-Centered Approach”
Video of the Round Table "International trends of library management in the Russian context"

In August 2012 delegation of the Russian State Library took part in the IFLA World Library and Information Congress: 78th General Conference and Assembly in Helsinki, Finland. Mrs. Liudmila Zaytseva, Standing Committee Member, IFLA Section on Management and Marketing, on her return from the Congress stated it was decided (also in the interview to hold the next mid-term meeting of the Standing Committee members in Moscow in the end of February 2013. It was agreed that RSL invite a “guru of library marketing”, co-author of IFLA Public Libraries Guidelines, Professor , Florida State University (USA) Dr. Christie Koontz to conduct a workshop. Other members of the IFLA Section on management and marketing Standing Committee from European countries, Canada and Algeria were invited to join Dr. Koontz to participate in the Round table. All accepted and participated. Thus, from February 27 till March 2, 2013 the Russian State Library hosted a number of events organized jointly by the RLA (Russian Library Association) Section on Management and Marketing and IFLA Section on Management and Marketing with support of the Russian Association of Digital Libraries.

Meetings began with the XI IFLA International Marketing Award Committee which was held behind closed doors on the 27th of February. The committee reported that in 2013 there were 19 applications from 12 countries of the world, including 3 from the Russian Federation (in 2012 there were 39 applications from 18 countries, including 2 from the Russian Federation). Three finalists were selected from 10 semi-finalists. Final official press-release will be published on IFLANET in the end of March.

«Marketing is not Advertizing»

Christie KoontzVideo of the International Workshop-Training

Dr. Christie Koontz presented a workshop, “Marketing of your library: client-oriented approach”. Dr. Christie Koontz is a professor, faculty member at Florida State University; researcher, internationally known library specialist, recipient of IFLA Scroll of Appreciation, author and co-author of many publications on library marketing, co-editor of IFLA Public Libraries Service Guidelines. In 2000s she led a project on identifying differences in use patterns amongst communities comprised of people with greater or lesser income, education, and racial diversity. This nationwide study identified 3500 lower income and majority minority library markets, describing how people within these markets use materials and services in the library. This type of library use is rarely collected by public libraries, and provides a picture of the critical and diverse information needs of people who have less discretionary time, and are less likely to have the library and reading habit. In 2004 Koontz' research became the basis of the U.S. Public Library Geographic Database , which includes relevant US census data and library use data from 16,000 communities.

Many years ago before she worked in the library field Christie Koontz was in advertising and had limited understanding of what marketing is. “I’ve since learned that promotion is only a tool of marketing and that true marketing is a systematic planning activity”, — she said. People often consider marketing to be only advertising activities. In her speech she proposes reconsidering this concept of marketing and separating “true” marketing from simple promotion of services. Her ideas on development of communications channels with library users are also based on this rethinking.

“True marketing is a process that you do over and over again — a tried and true systematic approach for matching services and products to a consumer’s wants, needs and desires. Marketing is a dose of common sense, — she comments. — One definition I really like is Philip Kotler’s definition of marketing: “Marketing is getting the right goods and services to the right people at the right place at the right time at the right price with the right communication and promotion — marketing is a human activity directed at satisfying needs and wants through exchange processes.” Christie Koontz believes that librarians have many advantages as compared to other competitors from other services fields, because they know how to study the external environment as they gather information, prepare references, descriptions etc. in their daily work. Thus, their professional duties have a basis for successful studying of audience’s needs.

It’s interesting that in her research Christie Koontz prefers using not library, but business terms replacing words “reader” and “user” by “customer” and “client”. “A client can be a potential reader, this is more positive definition that a “non-client”, — researcher believes. In Dr. Koontz’s research serious attention is given to mission of each specific library. . Mission expresses the philosophy and basic values of a library, goals are what you want to achieve in general and objectives are what you want to specifically achieve. Goals and objectives can change every three to five years, mission statements should not change more often than every five years. Mistakes made in the definition of the mission can be critical. “For example, an American library stated in its mission that it was an educational institution. As a result, collection holders merged this library with a school library, and it has lost its building and some materials”, — Dr. Koontz said.

According to Christie Koontz the marketing model for libraries comprises of four parts: market research, market segmentation, marketing mix and marketing evaluation. During the training Dr. Koontz offered a number of practical exercises which helped to understand theory proposed. Dr. Koontz also has a book in publication, “Marketing and Social Media: A Guide for Librarians, Archivists and Museum Professionals” — Fall 2013 Scarecrow Press. For further information please see our video and presentation.

To feel sorry for oneself or seek solutions?

Victor Fedorov and Perry Moree

Followed by Dr. Koontz’s training an international round table “International trends of library management in the Russian context” was held. This workshop is the first joint project of the international association (IFLA) and the national professional association (Russian Library Association). The geography of the workshop was very broad: among its participants were members of the IFLA Management and Marketing Standing Committee: Chair, Perry Moree (the Netherlands); Honorary member Christine Koontz (USA), Børge Hofset (Norway), Hella Klauser (Germany), Nadia Temmar (Algeria), Päivi Kytömäki (Finland) and Lyudmila Zaytseva (Russian Federation), as well as the members of the 32nd RLA Section on Library Management and Marketing — Chair, Deputy Director General, CEO of the Russian State Library Dr. Vladimir Gnezdilov, Deputy Chair of the Section, Head of Library and Information Activity Management Department, Moscow State University of Culture and Arts, professor Vladimir Klyev, Secretary of the Section, Head of Collection Management Directorate, Russian State Library, Evgenia Guseva. Russian State Library was represented by Dr. Victor Fedorov, President, Elena Ivanova, Academic Secretary, Head of Research and Methodic Activity Directorate; Svetlana Khvostova, Head of Web Editorial Office; Alexey Pavlov, Head of the Centre of remote and interlending services. Participants gathered to discuss questions of possible mutual cooperation and topics of interest for library management community.

In his welcome speech RSL President Victor Fedorov focused on the problems of libraries development in Russia. “Today, the development of librarianship in Russia characterizes the global situation, in particular, Internet development (Internet is not available everywhere) and copyright protection (Russian Laws are so strict that nonplus libraries)”, - RSL President said. In Russia people sometimes think that a need for libraries is decreasing with Internet development. Nevertheless, with increase of remote users number of traditional users of the library has been stabilized. This proportion might change in future, though. “I think that it’s impossible to discuss the issues of library marketing without taking into consideration the situation in general. According to the Government’s decrees our activity is characterized as providing services to the people, and in the most vulgar economic form”, — RSL President complains. — “We must prove to the society that libraries are vital elements in the hope that the society will dictate the necessity of the state financing to the government”. Perry Moree (The Netherlands) supported the position of RSL President saying that, “In the last five years European library budgets were significantly cut. There are two things you can do then: you can either feel sorry for yourself as most people do in the Netherlands or you can look for new possibilities of development even in the terms of budget cuts”.

Vladimir Gnezdilov and Päivi Kytömäki

Chair of RLA Section of Management and Marketing, Deputy Director General, CEO of the Russian State Library Vladimir Gnezdilov judging from his 14-year working experience in the Library assured the audience that all problems can be resolved. “Since 2000 fundraising of the Russian State Library has been increased forty times as much. According to the new Law, now we are eligible to distribute money from the federal budget, which allows us first of all to increase the low salaries of our staff. We’ve developed the Action Plan of RSL Development 2013—2018. Three main objectives of the Plan are increase of salaries, construction of a new building and solution of problems with copyright giving the necessity of distribution of modern knowledge among remote users”.

RSL staff thinks a lot not only about practical problems, but also about their theoretical solutions, tries to unite efforts of all Russian librarians through collective building of models of library future. According to Evgenia Guseva, Head of Collections System Management Directorate, who initiated the First All-Russian Library Innovation Award, Russian librarians have many ideas and energy for its implementation. “On the 1st of April we will announce the names of finalists and on the 16th of April, on the day of 150th anniversary of the Russian State Library, the winners”, — she said. — “Judging by the number and quality of applications we have a real hope that libraries will become driving engines of innovation economy”.

Other participants of the Round table continued the discussion, shared key performance indicators of the Russian State Libraries and other Russian libraries, told about RSL events and conferences, modern Internet technologies in the library services, training of library specialists. Please see full presentations and video on the web-site of the Russian Association of Digital Libraries




Luidmila Zaytseva, IFLA Management and Marketing Standing Committee Member, Head of the General Planning and Reporting Department, Russian State Library:

Judging by statistics, the international training-workshop and round table attracted the attention of the broad Russian audience. Workshop was attended by over 50 (51) people from the Russian State Library, libraries of Moscow and Moscow Region and over 500 (529) remote users from the whole country. It’s difficult to fix the exact number as we know that some libraries organized collective viewings. The Round Table was attended by over 40 (41) physical participants and over 250 (253) remote participants. Foreign participants of the Round table highly appreciated as the topics were essential, problems were of vital importance and proposed solutions reflected the future of library management world. We’ve managed to achieve our objectives and attract the wide audience, about 100 (92) people visited the Russian State Library and about 700 (782) guests joined us through the Internet. Thus, the total amount of the participants of two joint international events held by IFLA and RLA in the Russian State Library approached 1 000 people.


Maria Klimova, Universal Library of Blokhintsev Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (Russia):

The workshop was very useful and interesting, but it seemed that classic marketing which works in the US in not very applicable for Russia. To create a valid research is a specific and complicated challenge. However, “partisan” marketing in the social networks might be more useful and successful than the scheme proposed by Dr. Koontz.

Olga Borisova, Head of Library and Information Activity Department, Orel State Institute of Arts and Culture:

Department of library and information activity would like to express sincere gratitude to the organizers for having a possibility to listen to the case studies of library marketing presented by the foreign specialist. This will allow us to update educational and workshop materials, broaden perspectives of trainers and teachers. We strongly support your initiative and look forward for further lectures.




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