Iredell County Public Library

Library Successfully Reaches Diverse Population, Staff with LibraryAware

At a Glance

Iredell County Public Library
Statesville, NC

Institution Type:   Public Libraries
Related Products:   LibraryAware


Finding the balance

Like many libraries, ICPL works hard to inform its diverse community about all the collection items, services, and programs the library offers.

“It never really ends,” says Jenny. “It gets very easy to take for granted the things that a lot of people already know about, like our student accounts or the fact that we’re fine free. You could just focus on the one-off promotions that we have coming up. Finding a balance between continuously promoting some of those big things with some of the limited time things can be very hard.”

Jenny oversees marketing and promotions for the library, and she uses LibraryAware to help her maintain that balance while coordinating promotions for her county. LibraryAware allows Jenny and other library staff members at all locations to create quality bookmarks, flyers, and calendars while maintaining consistent branding.

“The fact that LibraryAware lets us segment permissions for different user groups is really helpful," says Jenny. "I've got people who are editors but can't publish directly. I've got people who are just viewers. Those staff members can get into LibraryAware and print off materials that have already been created.”

“It's had the most impact with us being able to centralize things. All the emails, the signage, and the social graphics are all in one place. And everything's cohesive and consistent, which is very important.”

Jenny Levins-Hertel
Program Development and Community Engagement Coordinator
Iredell County Public Library

COVID reveals engaged email audience

Like many libraries, the pandemic changed much of what Iredell County does in terms of promotion. One substantial change was email, which the library relied on to reach patrons at home during COVID-19. After everything opened again, Iredell County residents remained an engaged email audience.

ICPL uses LibraryAware Drag and Drop email templates to quickly create emails like this one that have a modern, clean, and consistent look. And LibraryAware reports help Jenny understand and respond to her email subscribers.

"Emails have been a huge help for us,” says Jenny. “In our area, people are still very much opening our emails and engaging with that. I look at the LibraryAware statistics and check out what links are being clicked, what's drawing people's attention, what are the open rates.”

ICPL has a robust opt-in page for emails, allowing community members to choose the topics they are most interested in. Jenny uses LibraryAware emails to promote programs and to send reminders to program registrants. Those program reminder emails average about a 75 percent open rate and are a great service to patrons, who are more likely to attend a program for which they receive a reminder.

Patrons aren’t the only ones who benefit from email. After receiving requests for more open communication from management, Juli began using LibraryAware to send staff email newsletters. They include links to conferences, trainings, book reviews, birthday greetings, staff recognition, and more.

“The fact that LibraryAware allows us to track the individual opens and the link clicks have been a huge help,” says Juli. “We’re able to make sure that department managers can communicate the fact that a lot of good stuff comes through the newsletter. My supervisor also receives a copy of the staff newsletter, as well as the president of our Friends group.”

Keeping new cardholders engaged

Jenny knows it’s not enough to hand a library card to your new patrons and send them on their way. A solid onboarding campaign turns a new cardholder into a lifelong loyal library user. And the most effective way to onboard a new cardholder is through email marketing.

Jenny created a four-part series of onboarding emails which she sends to new cardholders once a month. Here’s the first email. She used LibraryAware’s onboarding email template series and customized each email to highlight the collection items, programs, and services that most benefit her community. Her onboarding series has an average open rate of 62 percent and a click-through rate of 7.7 percent, which is higher than average for a library email.

“I almost never get an unsubscribe from these emails,” reports Jenny. “These patrons are getting relevant information to them. And they're engaging more with our other resources and information because of that.”

Challenging readers

ICPL made a move this year to engage readers by participating in the 2024 NoveList Reading Challenge to push their community to broaden their reading. They’re even giving away prizes! Participating was easy. Jenny used the full range of templates and formats provided as part of ICPL's LibraryAware subscription and promoted it on social media, by email, and on the library’s homepage.

“I’d seen the templates in LibraryAware,” says Jenny. “We were able to piggyback off that with minimal staff work. So, that was great!”

“We’re not sure what sort of results for completion results we’re going to have at the end of the year, but this is our first time doing a yearlong program. And we’re excited about that. We’re constantly trying to think of new ways to get people who are already reading to engage with us.”

Getting started

If your library is just getting started with LibraryAware, Jenny has some advice for you. 

"Regardless of how familiar anyone who uses LibraryAware is with graphic design, I would highly recommend taking advantage of all of the templates. They have a 100 percent library focus. That's not something you're going to get on any other graphic design platform."

Jenny Levins-Hertel
Program Development and Community Engagement Coordinator
Iredell County Public Library

"And even if you know what you're doing, if you've been doing this for years, just the amount of time you can save during a workday with LibraryAware can really be beneficial. The fact that you have something premade that you can just snatch and use without really doing anything but minor tweaks, that's helped me a lot!"

We’ll keep cheering on Iredell County Public Library! Is your library who is curious about LibraryAware? Sign up for a commitment-free chat with a NoveList Librarian.