Blog: Will the shift in people reading habits also change Library marketing strategy, and how?

The new normal has become a living statement in almost every business, eagerly looking for
opportunities after the coronavirus crisis. And while experts discuss how the past two years
will impact the way we interact with each other, let’s look at what new trends we see in
people’s reading habits and how this might impact the way libraries interact with their
community and how libraries should run their marketing strategy.

The COVID-19 lockdown changed not only how people read during times of stress, but also
what people turn to for comfort or distraction. People state that they consumed more media
during the lockdown
(including more reading), and their choice for genre had also changed.
Novels and home learning books saw a rise in bookstores, also “classics books” seemed to re-
gain the popularity
.

This corresponds also to ChiliFresh data. The search activity across the libraries in the USA,
Canada, Europe, Middle East and Australia has more than doubled. In 2019, the term
“education” is searched more often than in 2021 while in 2021 the search for cookbooks has
significantly increased. However, some things remain “trendy” across the years – “Game of
Thrones” and “Harry Potter” seem to remain as the most searched items both in 2019 and
2021.


So how this changes libraries’ marketing strategy?

Experts state that we can expect the shift to virtual activity for more things like learning,
working, transacting and consuming, and this will continue into the near future. Libraries will
be forced to look for new ways to stay close to their communities through digital solutions
even after going back to normal. Or, the “new normal”. During pandemic, we noticed that
several libraries launched virtual book clubs which might have changed the course of their
marketing strategy already.

Whether that’s through virtual book clubs, webinars, online consultations, or by empowering
their patrons to become the voice of the library – e.g., through virtually shared bookshelves
or booklists
thus giving them a chance to find new interest groups across the globe, or by
giving them the power to become book critics through reviews and ratings. ChiliFresh data
shows that over the past two years, the number of booklists and bookshelves have
increased by 35%. We expect that online engagement and reader empowerment will be the
key to stay at the centre of the community, and that should be included in the future library
marketing strategy.

References

Blog author:
Amber Jones, Chilifresh