Making your digital collection accessible through SCDL concludes an essential phase of any digitization project. The next phase concerns promotion and outreach. Promotion is an essential component in ensuring the success of your digital project. Below are some easy ways you and your institution can promote your new digital collection:
- Make sure that your patrons can find your digital collection from your institution’s web site. Ask the webmaster to add a link to your digital collection, or depending on your institutional resources, create a home page for that collection with descriptive information about the content of the collection. This type of description can aid in the search engine optimization of your digital project.
- Consider adding the SCDL logo to your institution’s web site. Access the logo here for a small png or email Kate Boyd for a larger eps file. Please make sure that it shows up as a white background and blue lettering and that both the abbreviation SCDL is clear next to the spelled out “South Carolina Digital Library.”
- Consider adding the SCDL search box to your institutions web site, using the following html code:
<form role=”search” method=”get” id=”searchform” class=”clearfix” accept-charset=”UTF-8″ action=”http://test.scmemory-search.org/“>
<input type=”text” placeholder=”Search SCDL…” name=”q” id=”s” class=”ui-autocomplete- input” autocomplete=”off”>
<input type=”submit” id=”searchsubmit” value=”Search”>
- Prepare a press release to promote your new digital project. Be sure your press release includes the “who, what, where, and how” of your digital project, including a live link to your website and digital collection. Below are some example press releases provided for your reference:
- Oconee’s New Digital Collection in State Library’s Press Releases and More Newsletter
- Chester County Historical Society Newsletter (2015), page 2
- Erskine College Yearbooks Press Release
- USC Gamecock Online – http://library.sc.edu/news/index.php?post_id=1514
- USC Osman Braun and Hogenburg Maps – http://library.sc.edu/news/index.php?post_id=1518
- USC Medical School’s New Digital Collection (2015) – http://www.statelibrary.sc.gov/news/new-digital-collection-%E2%80%93-history-usc-school-medicine
- Send your press release to any contacts your institution might have with the press and Curtis Rogers at the South Carolina State Library. Dr. Rogers will add the press release to the SC State Library’s online Press Releases web page.
- E-mail the press release to your constituents and any professional or topically related listservs and/or mailing lists. Both the South Carolina Library Association and the South Carolina Archival Association have a mailing list or listserv and would be excellent resources for promoting your collections.
- SCLA mailing list information: http://www.scla.org/content/contact-us
- SCAA listserv information: http://www.scarchivists.org/index.php/resources-sp-1813367402/listserv
- Social Media is another useful method to promote your new digital collection or project. In addition to promoting your collections/projects through your institution’s social media accounts, SCDL also maintains several social media accounts. We at SCDL are happy to promote your new project through our Facebook and Twitter accounts. First, make sure your institution “likes” SCDL on Facebook and follows SCDL on Twitter. Then, send your SCDL regional coordinator, Kate Boyd, Chris Vinson, or Heather Gilbert, or Jessica Dame, a post for our Facebook and Twitter accounts. Please be sure to include the following:
- Your institution name
- A visually appealing/interesting image from the collection
- The title of the collection/project
- A link to the digital collection/project
- A link to your institution’s website
- A brief message you would like to include to promote your collection. It can say something as simple as: “Check out xxx Library’s new digital collection, on the “title of the collection here with its dates.”
- Wikipedia can be another resource to broaden the reach of your digital collection. Search Wikipedia for an entry related to your collection. Then edit the Wikipedia entry to add a link to your digital collection in the “External Links” section of the entry page.
- Printed Materials can be extremely useful for promoting new collections and are often less expensive than you might think.
- Posters are fun and useful tools to promote your digitization efforts. See SCDL’s promotional poster from 2010 as an example. Feel free to download the digital file and print it out (original size is 14” x 22”) for your office or institution. Or use it as a template to create your own promotional poster.
- Postcards are very popular and can be used in a variety of ways to promote your collections. Use one or more favorite images from your digital collections as the front of the postcard and include your institutional information on the back of the postcard. Please consider adding the SCDL logo and website address on the back of the postcard in addition to your collection and institution information.
Following some or all of the above steps will ensure that your digital project is widely promoted and highly discoverable! Don’t forget, you can always reach out to your regional coordinator if you have any questions.