Empathy by Design: Empathy-Driven Marketing for Libraries

ALA Member
Item Number
AP Categories
Read a sample of this book now!
1.47 MB • pdf • Download

Primary tabs

You don't need to be an ALA Member to purchase from the ALA Store, but you'll be asked to create an online account/profile during the checkout to proceed. This Web Account is for both Members and non-Members. 

If you are Tax-Exempt, please verify that your account is currently set up as exempt before placing your order, as our new fulfillment center will need current documentation. Learn how to verify here.

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • About the author

The library is a universal resource where knowledge and information meet. To advertise this resource and advance equal access in positive ways, libraries must develop strategies, campaigns, and messages that show they care about the lives of their diverse communities.
Empathy by Design: Empathy-Driven Marketing for Libraries offers step-by-step strategies for understanding why people visit the library and tailoring your marketing with personalization that resonates with users on a deeper level. It provides real-world solutions for understanding your target audience through empathy and demonstrates how to gather and use data to develop messages and programming that fosters meaningful connections and engagement. You’ll find ideas for understanding the customer journey, creating an empathic library brand, and creating empathy-driven marketing strategies, campaigns, content, and tactics.
Today’s library marketers should both understand the effectiveness of using empathy in marketing and use it as a radical tool for advancing our profession’s values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access. The strategies outlined in Empathy by Design can give you the tools you need to make your marketing—and your library—more targeted and empathic.



Preface. Crafting a Foundation for Empowerment and Change: Exploring the Use of Empathy in Library Marketing and DEIA Values
            Overview of the Book
            Purpose and Audience

Chapter 1. Empathy in Libraries: A New Way to Engage with Your Community
            What is Empathy?
            Empower Your Library’s Marketing with Empathy
            The Process of Empathy in Library Marketing
            The Takeaway: Empathy in Libraries

Chapter 2. Leveraging Compassionate Library Marketing Practices through Empathy and DEIA Values
            Empathy as the Foundation of DEIA Practices
            Empathy and DEIA Practices Lead to Compassionate Actions
            Cultivating Empathy through Practice
            Tailor Your Empathic Marketing Approach to DEIA Values
            Addressing DEIA Values
            The Takeaway: Bridging the Gap between Libraries and Diverse Audiences

Chapter 3. Empathic Design: A Human-centered Solution
            Empathic Design Explained
            Why is Empathic Design Important?
            Empathic Design in Library Marketing
            Creating Messages That Resonate
            Empathic Design Steps
            Achieving Resource/Program/Service “Nirvana”
            The Takeaway: Empathtic Design in Action

Chapter 4. Observation and Identifying the Needs of Users
            Triggers of Use
            Interactions with the User’s Environment
            User Customization
            Intangible Attributes of the Library
            Unarticulated User Needs
            Identifying User Motivations
            The Takeaway: Observation and Identification of the Needs of Users

Chapter 5. Gathering Accurate, Reliable Data for Informed Decisions
            Let’s Talk About Market Research
            How to Begin Your Market Research Journey
            Gathering User Feedback through Surveys, Focus Groups, and Interviews
            Tips for Creating a Survey or Questionnaire
            The Takeaway: Capturing Data and Marketing Research

Chapter 6. Uncovering Insights from Data: Reflection and Interpretation
            Examining and Synthesizing Data from Market Research
            Organize the Data into Groups
            Addressing Equity for All Users
            Organizing Data to Address Pain Points
            Conducting a Needs Assessment for Empathic Library Marketing Solutions
            Finding Your Target Audience
            The Takeaway: Reflection and Analysis

Chapter 7. Brainstorming or Ideating Solutions
            Brainstorming for Solutions
            Setting up Ground Rules
            Creative Brainstorming Strategies
            The Importance of Brainstorming to Understand the Users’ Needs
            The Takeaway: Brainstorming to Develop Solutions

Chapter 8. Crafting Empathic Library Marketing Solutions through Prototyping and Testing
            Library Marketing Solutions (Ideas, Tactics, and Strategies)
            The Differences Between Library Marketing Solutions, Channels, Campaigns, Goals, and Strategies
            Comparing a Marketing and an Action Plan: Understanding the Distinctions
            Crafting a Marketing Plan
            Prototyping an Empathy-driven Library Marketing Solution
            Testing the Effectiveness of a Library Marketing Prototype
            Tools and Techniques for Continuous Improvement in Prototyping
            Managing Continuous Improvement in Prototyping
            Strategies for Communicating Library Marketing Prototypes
            The Takeaway: Using the Prototype to Launch Your Library Marketing Solution(s)

Chapter 9. The FIRST Values Framework: Putting Empathy into Action or Empathy-Centered Library Marketing Strategies
            The Takeaway: The FIRST Framework

Chapter 10. Evaluating and Measuring Success: Gauging the Impact of Your Library Marketing Strategies
            How to Measure the Success of Your Library Marketing Solutions
            Common Metrics for Measuring Success
            Qualitative Versus Quantitative Evaluation Methods
            Evaluating Library Marketing Effectiveness
            Improving Library Marketing Results
            The Takeaway: Gauging the Impact of Your Library Marketing Strategies

Appendix A: Empathic Library Marketing Solutions Toolkit
            Empathic Library Brand
            Conduct Research and Collect Customer Feedback
            Create, Refine, or Revise the Library Mission Statement
            Develop an Empathic Brand Strategy
            Create an Outreach Plan
            Communication Plan
            Empathy-driven Marketing Plan

Appendix B: The FIRST Framework for Library Marketing Questions

Appendix C: Marketing Plan
            Core Values
            Executive Summary
            Target Audiences
            Situation Analysis
            Marketing and Outreach Strategies and Tactics (or Objectives)
            Brand Identity
            Key Messages
            Campaign/Action Plan Schedule/Timeline
            Communication Samples and Prototypes
            Assessment Results/Reporting/Evaluation/Indicators of Success
            Media List


About the Author

Sabine Jean Dantus

Sabine Jean Dantus, an outreach and reference librarian at Florida International University Libraries in Miami, Florida, takes immense pride in her Haitian-American heritage. Dantus has a B.S. in communication from Florida International University. She also has an M.S. in mass media and journalism and a M.S. in library science from Pennsylvania Western University Clarion. Her expertise and interest lie in empathy-based marketing, outreach, user experience, instruction, and library communication. Sabine is completing her doctoral degree in instructional technology and distance education. She is researching enhancing communication between librarians and first-generation college students in online, hybrid, and in-person learning settings. Sabine shares her thoughts on empathy, marketing, outreach, books, instruction, librarianship, and her doctoral journey on empathiclibrarian.com.