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Word of Mouth Marketing: Somerville Public Library

                                  There is something happening at the Somerville Public Library for me.

Project description

Team Somerville chose to focus their WOMMing on increased awareness of, and attendance at library programs and events.

"We surveyed the community in places outside of the library, looking for people that, perhaps aren't our usual base. We also used online surveys. We wanted to understand how the library is viewed in the community. We also wanted to see what the public wants to see at the library." -Team Somerville

Structural details


Increased attendance at library programs


Internal audience included staff, The Friends, the Trustees and other city departments.
External audience includes Somerville residents, including the non-English speakers; local schools; elected officials; and community groups.


# in attendance at library programs

Somerville Public Library
79 Highland Avenue
Somerville, MA 02143-1797

Communications strategies

Survey community, in person and online, to determine most desirable events and communication methods

Face to face interactions between staff and patrons Sometimes that's easier when staff are invested in the actual programs

Revise/refresh library newsletter

Grow online presence: Instagram Facebook Twitter

Somerville howditgo

And so, how'd it go?

We were able to increase the number of programs offered by 16%. We also had a 34% increase in attendance. The library has networked with community organizations like SHiFT bicycle that offered tune ups and helmet fitting outside the library. The library has also started offering programs offsite, like our "Books and Brew" book club, which is held at a local brewery.

And how will you keep the momentum going?

The staff have been engaged creating new programs and branching out beyond the library walls, which helps. Getting the message out will continue to be a challenge. For now, we will continue with eye catching bookmarks highlighting weekly programs. The entire staff is also responsible for online promotion. This has been organized so that most staff participate.

And can you talk a little about setbacks, adjustments or lessons learned?

Challenges were getting staff participation. The team had to become creative. We did create some surveys and offered prizes as incentives. That was fun. The surveys were engaging and most staff liked them. We found that eye catching bookmarks left at public service desks worked very well, especially at the circulation desk.