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Ateneo's Rizal Library

Disclosure: I am an alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University. I volunteered to work for eight hours a week at the Rizal Library for one semester while I was working on my MLIS. But no, I was neither paid nor asked to do this.
How do you "sell" a library? This was the question I was trying to answer in "Sex in the Library." But since I can't claim to be an expert on marketing libraries (because I have practically no experience working in a library), it might be better if I just pointed to a real-life example: the Ateneo de Manila University's Rizal Library.

The Rizal Library is probably the best-marketed Filipino library today. To see what I mean, read "The Rizal Library: Paradigm Shifting into the Digital Age" by Gia Damaso-Dumo. (Aside: When was the last time an article about your library was featured on your institution's website?) Something the article does not mention is crucial to why I think so highly of the Rizal Library: it is profitable. Its budget comes not just from library fees, but also the products it sells, which accounts for about one-third of its budget.

You can also appreciate what else the Rizal Library does by looking at its website, which offers not just its online catalog but samples of the Information Products it sells to local and foreign libraries, links to available Resources, Special Collections, and upcoming Events.

Speaking of events, the Rizal Library made it to the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer not just once, but twice since I started this blog (see "ALIWW" and "Early Maps of the Philippines"). And then, of course, there is the fact that the Rizal Library recognizes that its customers are not just the faculty and students, but the university itself and the larger community outside the campus.

This, I believe, is the reason it is hosting an "International Conference on Challenges in Preserving and Managing Cultural Heritage Resources" on October 19-21. Speakers and participants will be coming from literally all over the world: Asia, North America and Africa. Aside from providing Filipinos the chance to benefit from the conference (students are welcome to observe for free!), it also raises the university's profile in the international community. And the most amazing thing? There is no school of library and information science at the Ateneo de Manila University.

Don't take my word for it. Read the articles, visit the website, attend the conference, tour the Rizal Library. And if you think there's a Filipino library out there doing a better job of selling itself, let me know. It will be my pleasure to write about it.

Category: Libraries

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