Text topic: E-Libraries
Text author: Флер Стигтер
The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of The Bridging Worlds Conference held in October 2008, in Singapore. One of the main topics the National Library Board of Singapore, the organising party, wished to address was the roles cultural institutions, such as libraries, may play in (virtual) communities and how they can build audience share based on these communities. In this context The European Library – gateway to Europe’s national library resources – explained how it markets its services to academic communities in and, to some degree, outside Europe. The European Library focuses its portal on the European academic community and fits its services primarily within the academic working processes. Other mechanisms and channels help it reach other types of user groups from all over the world. For example, it is the main library contributor in Europeana, the cross-domain portal that launched its first public beta-version in November 2008. Emphasising the value of using different channels to serve different communities – either via Europeana or by plugging-in existing virtual environments via application programming interfaces (APIs) and widgets – The European Library is a great example of how important (channel) marketing is to online public institutions. Further references are made to the “test, measure and (re)act” methodology and challenges in presenting a crawler and user-friendly portal. Overall the paper provides an interesting insight in the marketing approach of one of the biggest digital libraries, and how it tries to work with cultural differences and changing user requirements. Calling for the adoption of a more market-oriented approach by public institutions, it is of interest to all information professionals, but especially marketers of public institutions and other market-oriented, certainly those interested in channel marketing.