DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.

 Core Competency One

Foundations of the Profession

 LIS 263: Marketing and Advocacy in Information Organizations

Dr. Rajesh Singh

Spring 2018




All Images © 2018. Matthew A. Hamilton. All rights reserved

Photo: Richmond Public Library. Main Branch


Artifact 1


 All Images © 2018. Matthew A. Hamilton. All rights reserved

Photo: Henrico County Public Library, Libbie Mill Branch


 Artifact 2



The American Library Association (ALA) requires graduates of accredited MLIS programs to be fully knowledgeable of the eight core competencies of librarianship. My assignments for LIS 263: Marketing and Advocacy in Information Organizations, taught by Dr. Rajesh Singh, focused on the first competency: Foundations of the Profession (ALA, 2009). With diligence and dedication, and the patient and thorough guidance from Dr. Singh, I learned to apply library marketing and advocacy skills and concepts, such as public relations, strategic planning, leadership, budgeting, and analytical research in an information professional setting. 


The first core competency stresses the “techniques used to analyze complex problems and create appropriate solutions,” (ALA 2009). The first core competency was met by the implementation of two projects: 1. Writing an advocacy campaign proposal for the promotion of health literacy, which was completed by this author alone. 2. Designing a marketing plan, which required working with a partner.


The advocacy campaign project I chose was to write a proposal for the promotion of health literacy through the Richmond Public Library, located in Richmond, Virginia. I chose this project because, after an initial investigation, I discovered that health care education is lacking at the Richmond Public Library.  Furthermore, such a project promoted the Vincentian understanding of love, which is: “focusing and extending minds and hearts to nurture one’s own and another’s good,” (Our Mission-St. John’s University, 2018). The scope of this campaign was to raise awareness about the importance of health literacy within the marginalized communities of the city of Richmond.


Although public librarians are not characteristically known as professionals sought after for healthcare advice, they are experts in locating and accessing information and sharing knowledge to improve decision making on a daily basis. Thus, librarians can potentially become essential advocates in the improvement of population health through the implementation of workshops, seminars, and other types of programming.


By implementing marketing, advocacy, and public relations skills learned in class, my proposal stressed two applicable solutions to improve healthcare literacy. First, I proposed that Richmond Public Library should form a partnership with clinics, hospitals, and primary care physicians in order to help provide marginalized communities with access to health information and assist them in making better health decisions for themselves and for their families’ wellbeing. A cost-effective way of doing this would be to employ clinical librarians or nurse navigators at the library. Second, I shared a practical story intended to garner the emotional and financial support from the VCU Libraries Advisory Committee and the Richmond Public Library Foundation Board.  


For the marketing plan, I teamed up with Mr. Joseph Rivera, also a St. John’s MLIS graduate student, to complete this project. We focused our project on Henrico County Public Library, located in Henrico, Virginia.


This project was chosen for inclusion for two reasons. First, it provided our group with an existing institution, thus allowing us to demonstrate the management and leadership skills we acquired in this class. Second, it allowed me to network with a classmate and a recognized public library, thus complying with the Vincentian understanding of opportunity, which is: “Circumstances favorable to serving others and preparing one’s self for a fulfilling life,” (Our Mission-St. John’s University, 2018). 


The goal of this project was to design a marketing plan that would help improve Henrico County Public Library’s promotional needs and services. After conducting a community information needs assessment, Mr. Rivera and I determined that many services had not been adequately met. First, the rise of a diverse and multicultural population within Henrico County had provided a number of challenges, such as meeting an eclectic mix of wants and needs at an influencing rate. Second, patrons had requested additional meeting and study spaces. Third, patrons had requested skilled librarians that could teach them how to access the latest research materials on electronic databases. Fourth, additional ESL classes, computer classes, and multicultural outreach programs were in in high demand. Finally, many patrons had suggested that all branch and area libraries add a coffee house or café.  


After working on this project for several weeks, Mr. Rivera and I came up with 3 goals to help improve Henrico County Public Library:


  1. Increase programming and services for ESL patrons.
    1. Objective 1: Hire additional bilingual staff to help bridge the gap between patrons and staff who cannot communicate with each other.
    2. Objective 2: Hire additional staff to run programs for ESL patrons such as English classes.
  2. Have knowledgeable librarians who can properly assist patrons.
    1. Objective: Have monthly professional development programs in computer technologies, research skills, and customer service so they may better serve patrons.
  3. Introduce a café to each library to gain potential patrons and keep up with        competition.
    1. Objective: Begin working on a plan to build or transform a part of each library into a space to serve coffee.




The advocacy campaign project for LIS 263 helped me understand and apply lobbying techniques, team building, and managerial skills. Working on this project also provided insight into the challenges facing health literacy, especially the particular challenges facing the marginalized communities from the city of Richmond, Virginia. This project allowed me to introduce appropriate solutions to these challenges.


The marketing plan project for LIS 263 allowed me to directly sharpen my skills as a successful library marketing manager. Furthermore, working on this project provided me with valuable experience analyzing information sources, developing partnerships, and developing budgetary policies in an active and successful information environment.


I gained a wealth of experience with both of these projects. They increased my already energetic drive to discover new information and to appropriately organize, investigate and provide effective outcomes for the Henrico Public Library and the Richmond Public Library. Furthermore, I improved my knowledge and skills regarding advocacy and marketing techniques, and leadership skills. I am self-assured that, after having completed LIS 263, I will contribute productive ideas and outcomes to other information professional communities and academic societies. 





ALA. (2009). ALA's core competencies of librarianship. Retrieved July 3, 2018 from

 http://www.ala.org/educationcareers/sites/ala.org.educationcareers/files/conte nt/careers/corecomp/corecompetences/finalcorecompstat09.pdf


Hamilton, M. (2018). Advocacy Campaign. Richmond Public Library.


Hamilton, M., Rivera, Joseph. (2018). Marketing Plan.  Henrico County Public Library.


“Our Mission.” St. Johns University. Retrieved July 3, 2018 from








DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.