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Lending libraries - promotion

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Promote your lending library to your community and recruiting volunteers.

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Promotion and volunteers

Promote your lending library to your community and recruiting volunteers.

When you are ready to begin your project, the next step will be to promote it throughout your community. There are many reasons why you should promote and market your project. Promoting your project can:

  • Increase awareness of your project
  • Increase credibility of your project
  • Secure resources for your project
  • Help you network and build connections 
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Recruit members

Promotion tools

The following resources may be helpful in promoting your lending library:

  • Community Newsletter
  • Community Email Distribution List
  • Local Newspapers
  • Social Media
  • Door knocking
  • Community information boards
  • Attending community events

Plan a community launch

This is an opportunity to promote your lending library and recruit volunteers and potential members for your project. It is an opportunity to share your vision and inspire the community to su​pport the group. Make it a celebration, involve the media, and take time to acknowledge the volunteers and people that have been involved in the process.

Getting people involved and volunteer recruitment

When recruiting volunteers for your library, be open to making your volunteer team as diverse as possible. It is important to have people with varying skills and knowledge applicable to your library, but it is also important to have volunteers who have time and are passionate about the project.

Recruitment ideas

When looking for ways to get volunteers for your lending library, consider these options:

  • Post an ad in your community newsletter or community boards
  • Ask current library members if they are interested in volunteering
  • Connect with the local high schools to see if any students are interested in extra credit
  • See if you can put posters up in local businesses
  • Attend community events and tell people about positions
  • Start a Facebook page or use other social media like Twitter and Instagram to find volunteers
  • Ask current volunteers if they have any friends that would like to join your project

Maintaining volunteers and managing turnover

It is natural to have volunteer turnover as people have other things come up in their lives. If someone stops volunteering, you may want to ask them why. Their feedback might help in maintaining future volunteers.

Here are some ideas to maintain volunteers:

  • Recruit people who are passionate about the idea or the community in which they are working
  • Make sure they are placed in positions they enjoy or are challenged by and provide support
  • Make the library processes as simple for volunteers as possible and flexible with their schedules
  • Allow volunteers to share their abilities and talents, this will make them feel ownership and have investment in your lending library
  • Continually recruit volunteers. Volunteers are bound to have other commitments and things come up preventing them from volunteering so always good to keep engaging new ones
  • Make sure to celebrate and show appreciation for your volunteers and their contributions on regular basis
​​Next step: Evaluation
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