Building Capacity for Long-term Success
Cut hours? Services? Staff? Or none of the above! Libraries are actively seeking to expand their funding base by cultivating alternate sources of revenue and conducting more effective advocacy and stewardship programs. Our consulting team advises on fiscal issues, funding formulas, government relations, fundraising, and advocacy.
The Care and Feeding of Boards
It is the role of trustees to be the library’s most passionate advocates and the director’s closest allies. They establish policy, mission, and vision—and are responsible for ensuring that library lives up to its fiduciary and service commitments. How well equipped are they for these onerous responsibilities? It depends. Do they have a recruitment strategy, subject area expertise, familiarity with code, understanding of fundraising and advocacy, and knowledge of best professional practices? If yes on all counts, congratulations! Otherwise…call on Ivy Library for advice.
Making and Keeping Friends
Friends groups can be invaluable in advancing the cause of the library. They are also a challenge to manage. We counsel libraries on establishing productive relationships with their Friends. The objective is to ensure Friends channel their energies and resources on productive projects of benefit to the library.
Managing the Library's Image
Ivy Library has significant experience in public relations and can help librarians master proven techniques for raising their public profile while minimizing the potential for public relations crises in their institutions. We assist libraries by developing crisis management plans; advising on protocols and best practices for disseminating timely and accurate information; training staff to perform effectively in high profile situations; and identifying strategies for forging long-term positive relationships with the media.
Clients may ask us to address one particular area of concern. However, in the process, they find they also have access to a broader range of valuable library experience. For example, a facility expansion may entail both private fundraising and public advocacy. A rebranding initiative may call for art development, a secure online repository of templates and design files, and training. Strategic planning may include an assessment of organizational health and reengineering of core practices.
Our holistic approach to library consulting also draws on research, best practices in the profession, and lessons learned from the for-profit world. Superimposing GIS and lifestyle analyses on use patterns, for example, can be used to develop collections, pinpoint facilities needs, or develop new partnerships and collaborative programs.
Our best testimonials come from any of the scores of librarians we've had the privilege to serve. They will attest to our work smart approach to assignments, versatility, expertise, and total commitment.
Ivy Library is pleased to offer the following comprehensive range of services to our clients:
- Market research—community needs assessments, charrettes, town meetings, focus groups, computer-assisted telephone surveys, online surveys, executive interviewing, donor and prospect research, feasibility, customer satisfaction, new program/concept testing, brand equity assessments, mystery shopping;
- Strategic planning for programs, services, facilities, technologies, and marketing;
- Branding, marketing communications and creative services, including graphics standards, logos, positioning, design, production, copy writing, broadcast production; exhibits;
- Complete web-based solutions, website design and programming, integration of content management systems (CMS) and open-source products, enterprise-level programming, secure and redundant hosting, and technical support; and
- Public relations counsel, media relations, crisis management.