Category: Public Librarians Symposium

150 - In Their Own Words: Physicians and Staff Share How They Use and Value the Library

Tuesday, May 22
2:00 PM – 2:55 PM

Objectives: This poster describes the planning process of a storytelling campaign in a hospital library and illustrates why storytelling is so important to all libraries marketing strategy. (Name blinded) Medical Library has devised a plan to collect stories and share them with the community with the goal of simultaneously engaging the users while advocating for the library.

1) Strategize – Think about the library users, mainly physicians and staff nurses, their wants and needs. How to tell a story that will resonate with them. What will change their perception of the library. Focus on people and benefits, not features or programs. Build a culture of storytelling where librarians reach out to users and ask them to share their library stories.
2) Collect stories – a. Logistics: identify interviewees (go where the users are), thank you notes, create a shared story folder, equipment, formats. b. Design questions to ask: See what they are passionate about and why they think the library is a vital resource.
3) Edit stories – Most importantly adopt an enthusiastic tone; showcase the impact and difference the library’s making
4) Distribute stories – as widely as possible by all accessible print and electronic formats

At the time of submitting this poster proposal, stories are being collected and shared with new enthusiasm within the local medical center. Therefore our results are incomplete and evaluation is yet to take place. If successful, this storytelling campaign model can be adopted by all the (Name blinded) libraries and beyond. What storytelling will not fix is ineffective management, strategies or programs, but if done well, it will greatly enhance all other library marketing and communication efforts.

People don’t remember talking points, they respond to emotion and feelings, not analysis or numbers. All libraries need to start thinking about telling their stories and engaging users to share their personal experience. When storytelling is done right, it is the most powerful marketing tool for all libraries.

Keywords: storytelling, marketing, hospital library, customer testimonies, communication

Hovey Lee

Clinical Information Specialist / Manager of Library Services
Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Library
Panorama City, California

Hovey Lee, MILS AHIP. I’m the Clinical Library Specialist/Manager of Library Services for Kaiser Permanente Panorama City and Antelope Valley area.

Before joining Kaiser Permanente, I served at the University of California Office of the President as Project Manager of the California Digital Library. I have also worked in information management with Ziff Davis, a tech publisher, and held taxonomy position at in NYC.

I have a Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), and a Bachelor of Arts from the Univeristy of Hong Kong (Hong Kong). I am a member of the Medical Library Association and the Special Library Association.