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Reference with a Gimmick: A Pilot Program to Promote Library Services

Kelly Blanchat,  Yale University
Laura Sider, Yale University 

Marketing Libraries Journal, volume 4, issue 1, pages 33-47

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Abstract: During the academic year 2018-2019, Yale University’s Bass Library piloted a reference

program called Latte with a Librarian. The impetus for the pilot stemmed from a need for Yale

librarians to engage more with students in-person and to market the remote research services that the

library offered. A pilot project was developed to test a method for increasing in-person reference

services. The pilot consisted of three librarians setting up a temporary reference desk at a popular

student café. Students were offered a free library-branded mug as an incentive for posing a reference

question. The success behind Latte with a Librarian can be attributed to the marketing and outreach

efforts, as well as the location that was chosen for the pop-up reference outlet outside Bass library.

Citation to article:

Blanchat, K., & Sider, L. (2020). Reference with a Gimmick: A Pilot Program to Promote Library Services. Marketing Libraries Journal, 4(1), 33-47. Retrieved from


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