Promoting Your Library: External Communications and Outreach Training and Practice

Primary tabs

Program Type:


Program Description

Event Details


In-Person | Half-Day Workshop | Thursday, August 8; 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Applications for a limited number of seats in this workshop will be taken until August 5. 

Apply here


This session will teach you the basics of outreach communication, then show you how to apply them to get your messages to those in need, even if they don't have email or internet service. You’ll learn how and why to separate populations into “target audiences” with the help of basic audience research. Then, using a combination of psychology and wordsmithing, you’ll learn how to write effective messages that your target audience will respond to. We’ll also discuss where to place messages to help them get noticed. After this session’s lessons, you’ll do some writing practice and have it evaluated on the spot. The knowledge you gain will prepare you to create:

  • Compelling value statements
  • Media soundbites
  • Brochure text
  • Elevator speeches
  • Web copy
  • Email subject lines
  • Social media posts
  • Better press releases

These strategies will be especially helpful to those who don’t have prior communications training. Any library worker will leave this session with more knowledge and confidence in communicating with hard-to-reach segments of their communities.

Presenter Bio: Kathy Dempsey wrote the popular how-to book The Accidental Library Marketer and founded her own marketing consultancy, Libraries Are Essential. Her work is dedicated to helping librarians and information professionals promote their value and expertise in order to gain respect and funding. Kathy has been the Editor of Marketing Library Services newsletter for 30 years. In 2015, she founded the Library Marketing and Communications Conference, and chaired the show’s first 3 years. She's a longtime member of the New Jersey Library Association, and recently finished serving a 3-year term on the Executive Board of LibraryLinkNJ, a statewide co-op. This writer, editor, and marketing maven likes to sprinkle her presentations with humor to make marketing concepts more interesting and accessible. She continues to fight the stereotypes that librarians are boring and that "marketing" is a dirty word.

Note: This workshop is targeted toward all library workers.

[Interested in personal communication training from Kathy Dempsey? Apply for Gaining Confidence in Public Speaking separately.]

If you have questions about this event contact CALL ( DO NOT contact the hosting library for event information.



California State Library

914 Capitol Mall, Room 500

Sacramento, CA 95814

Transportation Information

Parking: There is metered street parking around the building if it is available and a convenient parking garage at 10th and L behind the Starbucks.

Public Transit: Information on fares and schedules for buses and light rail can be found here.

Reimbursement: Travel reimbursement is available for anyone traveling more than 50 miles one way.  If you are requesting reimbursement please indicate your predicted travel costs and mode (i.e. driving, public transport) on your application.