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An Historical Overview of Marketing in U.S. Libraries: From Dana to Digital 

Kathy Dempsey, Editor, Marketing Library Services

Marketing Libraries Journal, volume 3, issue 1, pages 26-49.

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Abstract:  This paper explores the past and present of library marketing in the United States. While library marketing’s foundations were established by John Cotton Dana more than a century ago, not every library is up-to-speed in its knowledge or practice. Today, there are "Haves" with plenty of space, staff, and money, and "Have Nots" that lack some of those necessities. In the midst of this uneven landscape, this article discusses the organizations and publications that support marketing, details library marketing trends in four categories (Using data; Successful strategies; Technology; Relationship marketing), and lists national campaigns and awards for effective library marketing campaigns and collateral. In this broad overview, attention is also given to the continuing challenges facing libraries as they undertake new or expanded marketing programs, including likely future scenarios.

Citation to article:

Dempsey, K. (2019). An Historical Overview of Marketing in U.S. Libraries: From Dana to Digital.  Marketing Libraries Journal, 3(1), 26-49. Retrieved from


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