Virtually (im)Possible: Transitioning to a Virtual Marketing and Outreach Program

Laura Wilson, College of the Holy Cross

Corinne Gabriele,  College of the Holy Cross

Alex McConnon, College of the Holy Cross

Susan Skoog, College of the Holy Cross

Nicole Tantum, College of the Holy Cross

Lisa Villa, College of the Holy Cross

Marketing Libraries Journal, volume 5, issue 1, pages 128-146.

Abstract: This article outlines the challenges and successes of a library outreach team at a small New England college campus during the COVID-19 pandemic. In March of 2020, the highly residential College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, sent almost all students home to continue their classes online—yet no online classes had ever been taught at the college before. For the first time ever, the college’s libraries were in the position to rebuild all promotional communications and activities from scratch—pivoting from a largely in-person setting to an entirely virtual setting. The team quickly created and launched social media campaigns and virtual programming and activities to engage a newly far-flung and isolated campus community. Some highlights of successful activities included poetry paired with new photography of campus, recorded faculty book talks, library staff introductions to first-year students at its virtual LibFest, and video storytelling of legends from the college archives. The Holy Cross Library Outreach team hopes that sharing its methods may help other libraries reach more patrons and playfully experiment outside of their old library marketing comfort zones.

Keywords: library marketing, outreach, community engagement, COVID-19, virtual programming

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Citation to article:

Wilson, L., Gabriele, C., McConnon, A., Skoog, S., Tantum, N., & Villa, L. (2021). Virtually (im)Possible: Transitioning to a Virtual Marketing and Outreach Program.  Marketing Libraries Journal, 5(1), 128-146. https://journal.marketinglibraries.org/summer2021/08_MLJv5i1.pdf