Influencer marketing for libraries

influencer marketing for libraries

In my last blog post I talked about discovering the power of influencer marketing so let’s talk about how libraries and the rest of the GLAM sector can use this kind of marketing to their benefit.

The goal of influencer marketing is to reach a new audience by utilising the audiences of influential people. Influencers don’t have to be celebrities, they just need to have influence over a group of people and a way to reach them. They could be on TV or radio, journalists, podcasters, business people, school principals, sports people, community leaders or regular folk with a large social media following. Once you have identified the influential people in your area it’s time to think about how you can get them to work with you to promote your library!

Here are some ideas for how to partner with an influencer:

  • An influencer with children could work with you to promote your storytimes, school holiday or summer reading club
  • Do you have custom library bags? Why not give some away for free in exchange for a photo on Instagram
  • Ask influencers to share their favourite library stories on their own social media channels
  • Influencers could share their home reading nook with a library book in hand
  • Work with influencers to create reading lists from the library collection
  • Offer your library as a location for photoshoots

Those of us that work in libraries know that we don’t have budgets to pay influencers to work with us but we also know that there is a lot of goodwill out there for libraries. Be brave and just ask! Work with them to create a one-off or ongoing campaign together and let the creative ideas flow!

As some inspiration, here are some great examples of libraries using influencers to promote libraries and reading:


Author Neil Gaiman is a perfect example of an influencer who had a big impact on the advocacy and promotion of libraries. Neil has 2.73 million followers on Twitter at the time of writing this article and he regularly tweets his support of libraries. His library tweets are also heavily quoted and move around social media like lightning!

Sarah Jessica Parker, actor, producer, designer, publisher philanthropist, is an advocate for libraries having grown up in them. She has partnered with the American Library Association on their Book Club Central initiative and recommends books to be featured on the platform. Sarah recently assisted in bringing a high profile Dolce and Gabbana exhibition that is normally held in Italian resort towns to the New York Public Library.

Big Campaigns

ril-nyplhomepage-768x528_0New York Public Library has just launched their #ReadingIsLit campaign partnering with TV network HBO to put the spotlight on reading by highlighting the books that inspired their shows. You can expect to see celebrities getting involved in this campaign too so follow the hashtag!

David Bowie Poster ALA READ PosterThe American Library Association (ALA) has been using celebrities and influencers of all kinds since 1985 in their READ poster series like this one of David Bowie. Actors, authors, musicians, sports people, academics and even Yoda have appeared in these iconic posters. Posters can be purchased from the ALA store here.



Stephen Fry poster advocate for CILIPThe Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP) garnered the support of celebrities for their advocacy campaigns to promote libraries in the UK. You can freely download posters of Stephen Fry and other celebrities here. Stephen Fry and other influencers have also been very vocal supporters against the closure of libraries across the UK.

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