Thursday, May 08, 2008

Marketing with pens

Things have started to wind down, before gearing up again for summer coursework, in many academic libraries in the next few weeks. At AU today is the last day of finals and Saturday is graduation. Local streets and campus parking lots are overflowing with parents and students struggling to fit an entire year's worth of accumulated belongings into their car(s). Yesterday my IRC student workers finished their final shifts at closing time and today was my last day with a Graduate assistant in the IRC (I sent her home early as a treat).

With the last week of classes and finals nothing but a fond memory, it is time to take stock of remaining orders to be submitted (the end of our fiscal year is near) and consumable resources necessary for running the resources. Suddenly I need more copy/printing paper, toner/color toner, pens, paper, markers, laminating film, construction paper, sentence strips, and poster board. That brings me to the smiley face mug of purple pens. It is amazing the number of students who want to "borrow" pencils and pens in a library. In the IRC we have often remarked amongst ourselves that it is no surprise Banks and other institutions chain pens to the counter!

This year I decided to purchase purple pens for the IRC that have our name, the library name, and the IRC web site imprinted in white. Alpha Promotions, Inc. is a local company that has a nice collection of pens; plus, I have worked with Lisa for ALAO (the cool blue conference program holders) and the Art of the Picture Book Conference in 2006. If students are going to take our pens, and if I am able to use the pens for targeted marketing opportunities on campus, they may as well advertise the Instructional Resource Center. Much to the delight of my senior student workers, the pens arrived prior to graduation and it did not take long before the cup on the desk needed to be filled.

It's the little things that make us happy! Smile ... and have a pen.

1 comment:

Betsy said...

I have a mug like that; well, more like a bowl from a flower arrangement. I like to order promotional "stuff" from OhioLINK, so I might just steal your idea and use this coming year.

Thanks for sharing, Diane!