Innovative Library Web Marketing Practices in Singapore: A Landscape of Hype, Expectation and Reality
With the current rapid development of internet technologies, marketing models have moved into the global virtual arena and are creating an impact on traditional promotional practices of libraries in Singapore. As observed, the value created today of such marketing models is perceived as being based on creative and innovative use of information, communication, social networking and web technologies. The exponential growth of virtual communities in recent years has led to social networks becoming increasingly popular. This is in part due to the ability of social networks to connect across diverse communities and dispersed locations virtually and globally regardless of time and physical space. This paper aims to provide an exploration and assessment of the adoption of commonly used web marketing tools by libraries in Singapore in their attempt to integrate these tools as part of a strategic, creative and innovative method for library advocacy and service promotion. This paper also attempts to look into explorations by libraries in Singapore to integrate the traditional (Web 1.0) and new (Web 2.0) web technologies into areas of library marketing and outreach activities to an increasingly diverse community of library users, who are adept with social networking tools and have embraced social networks and virtual communities as a part of their life. A review of currently available web marketing tools is also made. A study of the current state of web marketing practices adopted by libraries in Singapore is presented. Initiatives, based on a web marketing model, are proposed to move libraries in Singapore into a new role as an info-concierge, where individual information object or library activity is a self-sustainable, self-contained unit of content or service that can be effectively marketed in any form or format to each library’s community of users.