Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tinkering with Marketing

We have these origami trees on our children's help desk that one of our talented staff made for her winter themed display and they received so many compliments and questions that we made a QR code sign that directly led people to the instructions.  The desk has been one of those places traditionally kept without advertisements but so much attention made me start to wonder...

As librarians, we tend to get flyer crazy. I've walked into many libraries where there are signs and flyers everywhere: No cellphones, No food or drink, Musical guest this Sunday, Printing- 15 cents a page, or Please sign up at the desk (just to name a few). You can see that it might be overload for anyone walking in especially if they are trying to chase a 2 year old around. But how to engage the child without text?

And so begins my marketing experiment, based on all the excitement and interest in the origami trees at the desk, it seems like this would be a great place to start marketing STEM programs and showcasing our skills.  Out came two of my favorite toys: littleBits and Legos. It's really fun being a librarian sometimes.

Would more people notice a windmill made out littleBits and Legos than a traditional flyer to promote my upcoming littleBits progam? Of course! If I could make a hypothesis, I would say that by adding interactive elements on the desk, the programming attendance will likely increase rather than traditional marketing.  This is entirely based on observation because unfortunately the date and time of the event vs children's schedules would be an uncontrollable factor for this one time experiment. It would be hard to definitively conclude using the scientific method that in fact it did increase attendance without a survey of some kind but it definitely didn't hurt! It has only been two days and everyone who asks a question comes up to the desk to play with it. It also doesn't hurt that we have a huge box of pencils at the desk for the after school crowd which are always a hot commodity. Food for thought for today.

Video explanation:

littleBits Windmill from Duxbury Free Library on Vimeo.

Bits needed: RGB LED, 3 Wires, Power and battery, motion sensor, pulse, servo motor.

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