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Dana Kaput

LIS 770: Management of Libraries and Information Centers


May 2, 2016

Marketing Plan: Serving the Visually Impaired

1. Introduction

The Belmont Public Library is located in northwest Illinois and serves a diverse patron

population of approximately 100,000. We at the Belmont Public Library believe that all

individuals no matter race, gender, social class, or disability have a right to the equal access of

materials and resources provided by public libraries. During our tenure of providing these

services, it has come to our attention that the visually disabled in our community are

underrepresented in the services that we offer our patrons.

While library services for the visually impaired are provided through a number of government

organizations such as the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

(NLS) and the Illinois Talking Book Center, we still believe that more services must be offered to

this unique group for a variety of reasons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has

reported that 14 million Americans have a visual impairment and this number is expected to

grow within the next several years (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). With the

Illinois State funding crisis, the need to provide services to this group has become even more

important.

2. Objective
I. We at the Belmont Public Library will provide various supports to the visually

impaired community in the Belmont, Illinois service area as well as to those residing

within the United States.


II. We will bring awareness to the various issues and handicaps suffered by people with

visual impairment.
III. We will build a new community that fosters awareness and acceptance between those

with visual impairments and those without disabilities.


IV. We will build partnerships with other organizations servicing the visually impaired

both locally and nationally.


3. Services
I. We will provide a variety of services that encompass services on-site and off-site to a

national audience.
II. On-site services will include readers advisory services, reference work, bi-monthly

book discussions, and access to computer equipment outfitted with equipment

designed for the visually impaired. We will provide reading materials in audio,

braille, and large-print format.


III. Off-site services will include radiobroadcasts focusing on issues related to visual

impairment and a weekly storytelling program facilitated by volunteers.


4. Target Groups
I. We will target the visually impaired residing in Illinois and the continental United

States. While we will aim to reach as many visually impaired community members as

possible, we will specifically target the visually impaired in the age bracket of 40 to

100. We have decided to specifically target this age bracket because of information

available stating that visual impairment as a result of various diseases increases after

the age of 40 (CDC, 2015).


II. We will target a general adult audience in order to bring awareness to the various

issues suffered by the visually impaired.


III. We will target community organizations already serving the visually impaired and

seek to build partnerships between the Belmont Public library and these

organizations.
5. Strategies
I. We recognize that funding will be a major issue in fully realizing this marketing plan.

In order to reach our goals, we will actively seek funding from the State, Nationally,

and through private organizations. In particular, we will explore funding options

available through the American Council of the Blind and Vision Corps.
II. We will use a three prong approach in informing our target audience of these services.
i. We will communicate with community members at our physical location

about our new initiative to service the visually disabled. We will encourage

these valued patrons to spread the word about our new services.
ii. We will visit local community organizations already providing services to the

blind and engage in conversations on how we could support one another in

servicing this group. We will leverage this group in helping us reach the

visually impaired demographic.


iii. We will use radiobroadcast as a means to reach both the visually impaired and

the not visually impaired. Radiobroadcasts will have three stages: (1) short

advertisements for Belmont Public Library and its services to the visually

impaired, (2) topic shows focusing on various current events and/or issues in

the visually impaired community, and (3) storytelling shows.


III. We will rely on all members of the community in promoting our new services to the

visually impaired. Specifically, we will use Belmont Public Library staff, interested

patrons, community group leaders, and radiobroadcast services to get our message

out.
IV. When promoting our services, we will use the phrase Belmont Public Library:

Connection, Literacy, Empowerment. We believe that this is an inclusive statement

that will reach all members of our community.


6. Communication Tools
I. We will engage in conversations with our community members and library users

about our new services aimed at the visually impaired.


i. In addition, we will create flyers promoting these services. Patrons not

interested in talking directly to a Belmont Public Library staff member about

these services may take a flyer. Flyers have the potential to reach larger

groups of people who may not use the library. (See Appendix A)
II. We will write letters to local organizations servicing the visually impaired in the

hopes of building partnerships between our organizations. (See Appendix B)


III. We will write letters to local radio stations explaining our service goals for the

visually impaired. We will request that they partner with us by providing free

broadcast times to promote our services and to host our storytelling program Our

Story. (See Appendix C)


7. Timeline
I. 12 months to launch: Speak to the Library Board of Directors about both the needs

and potential for targeting programing and services for the visually impaired. Obtain

the Library Board of Directors approval before any further marketing steps are taken.
II. 10 months to launch: Secure funding for new materials and computer equipment.
III. 8 months to launch: Contact radiobroadcast stations and request a partnership and/or

permission to host the radiobroadcast Our Story.


IV. 6 months to launch: Begin contacting local organizations to inform them of the new

services being offer to the visually impaired.


V. 4 months to launch: Begin recruiting volunteers to participate in the Our Story

radiobroadcast.
VI. 3 months to launch: Secured timeslot for the radiobroadcast of Our Story. Create

promotional flyers for new services to be offered.


VII. 2 months to launch: Ensure that all new materials have been ordered.
VIII. 1 month to launch: Train staff on how to operate all new equipment and materials.

Continue to promote new services to community members through conversations.

Begin running radiobroadcasts promoting services to the visually impaired.


IX. 1 month after launch: Begin to evaluate the various statistics and feedback associated

with these new services.


X. 6 months after launch: Decide whether or not to continue these services after the one-

year mark.
XI. 7 months after launch: If it is decided to keep services for the visually impaired,

actively begin to locate next years funding.


XII. 9 months after launch: Secure next years funding.
8. Evaluation
I. Circulation statistics derived from readers advisory services
II. Bi-monthly program participation/attendance statistics
III. Feedback from partner groups on the community responses to programs and services

offered
IV. Radiobroadcast ratings

***Note: The Belmont Public Library is a fictional library. I have used services offered at
the Chicago Public Librarys Talking Book Center and the Illinois Talking Book and Braille
Service to inform some of the services offered in this marketing plan report. All
radiobroadcasting services were developed on my own and are not offered by the above
organizations.
References

American Council of the Blind. (2013). Funding Assistive Technology Resources. Retrieved
April 30, 2016 from www.acb.org/node/1632

Cavill, P. (n.d.). Marketing Plan Worksheet. Wired West vol. 1, no. 3. Retrieved from
http://units.sla.org/chapter/cwcn/wwest/v1n3/cavilc13.htm

Cavill, P. (n.d.). On Public Relations, Marketing and Advocacy. Wired West vol. 1, no. 3.
Retrieved from http://units.sla.org/chapter/cwcn/wwest/v1n3/cavill13.htm

Cavill, P. (n.d.). On Public Relations, Marketing and Advocacy: Marketing Plan Worksheet.
Wired West vol. 1, no. 3. Retrieved from
http://units.sla.org/chapter/cwcn/wwest/v1n3/cavilb13.htm

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). National data [Data file]. Retrieved April
30, 2016 from http://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/data/national.htm

Chicago Public Library. (n.d.). Harold Washington Library Center: Talking Book Center.
Retrieved April 30, 2016 from www.chipublib.org/talking-book-center/

Illinois State Library. (n.d.). Talking Book and Braille Service. Retrieved April 30, 2016 from
www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/TBBS/home.html

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. (2016) That all may read.
Retrieved April 30, 2016 from www.loc.gov/nls/index.html

Vision Corps. (2016). Grants. Retrieved April 30, 2016 from


www.visioncorps.net/content/grants.asp
Appendices

Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C