Marketing Lessons from NYPL – 3 Great Executions that Built a Buzz

Bain News Service, publisher.</p>
<p>N.Y. Public Library on opening day</p>
<p>[between 1910 and 1915]</p>
<p>1 negative : glass ; 5 x 7 in. or smaller.</p>
<p><b>Notes:<br />
</b> Title from unverified data provided by the Bain News Service on the negatives or cap...

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself” ~ Peter F. Drucker

The unparalleled way to promote your service or product would be to intrinsically build within that product or service the finest features the customer would want that type of product to embody. This accurately defines the formation and continued success of the New York Public Library (NYPL).

Originally executing its architectural grandness, continuing with the library’s holdings while staying current with technology, NYPL continues to grow with the times while remaining a historic landmark.

There was considerable wisdom exercised in the amalgamation of great architecture with a great library, the one can’t help but complement the other. This is one of the original defining executions of the New York Public Library. The Beaux-Arts masterpiece, constructed with white Dorset marble, featuring a wide staircase guiding library patrons to three grand arches next to Corinthian columns supporting relief sculptures representing philosophy, romance, religion, poetry, drama and history. Edward Clark Potter’s famous sculpted stone lions Patience (Lady Astor) and Fortitude (Lord Lenox) guard the library’s south and north side, respectively.

The collection housed within the New York Public Library is itself another inherent marketing attraction. Some of NYPL’s permanent in-house residents include the Gutenberg Bible, an original manuscript copy of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence, Charles Dickens’ favorite letter opener, a 1493 copy of Columbus letter announcing discovery of the New World, Jack Kerouac’s crutches, Truman Capote’s cigarette case, approximately 40,000 restaurant menus from the 1850’s to current and for the children or children at heart, the original Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animals along with the thousands of books and items including musical scores, historic maps, art, recordings and manuscripts.

NYPL is hardly resting on its historical laurels alone in continuing to market their distinguished resource. Staying current with technology represents another mark of success with the NYPL. Patrons today can be seen throughout the library accessing Wi-Fi on their laptops. The library’s automated book delivery system sends books within minutes of request by conveyor to the Rose Main Reading Room (seats more than 600 readers) where the public can read with the help of the original Carre-and-Hastings lamps. NYPL’s marketing understands the value of social media, employing sites such as Twitter where in March 2013 they encouraged their Twitter followers at @NYPL to submit “poetic tweets” for their poetry contest. Along with Twitter, the library is staying current in marketing by using other sites including Facebook, Google, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Continuing to embrace its past while staying mindful of the future, NYPL accommodates to changes that are necessary to continue forward. With its structural integrity, magnificent collections and current technologies, NYPL has continued to prove itself a marketing success.

Diane Perrine is a freelance writer and an academic librarian at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Florida. She resides in Ocala Florida.
Her hobbies include gardening, hiking, bicycling, volunteering and learning something new everyday.

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1 Comment

  1. This library most definitely needs to be on your agenda when visiting NY city. Although this is a great article, one can’t describe everything about this institution in words alone.

    My husband and I visited it 2 years ago and we Will be back.

    Not the greatest building for WiFi connection, but just as the writer mentioned, there are many accessing it here.

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