Swansea University’s Innovative Library Service project wins Marketing Award

Talented Swansea University writers have helped the University’s Library Service scoop a national award in the Welsh Libraries Marketing Innovation Awards 2012.

The award winning Celebrating Swansea University Authors project involves published authors from the University speaking on short videos about their selected books and what inspired them to write. 

It is the second year running that the University’s Library Services have won the Higher Education category of the Marketing Innovation Awards which are presented by the Welsh Government.

The awards were open to all library and information services in Wales to recognise and reward marketing innovation. Libraries in Wales run innovative marketing activities throughout the year and the aim of the awards is to celebrate and promote this valuable work.

The Celebrating Swansea University Authors pilot project, which was launched in November last year, was initially funded by the Welsh Government’s Reading Roadshow grant for local libraries to inspire reading in Wales. The University now finances the project which includes the creation of posters with a photo of the author and their book, information about the book and a link to their video.   Posters promoting the authors and their books are on display in Colleges and in the Library and students and staff can also scan the QR code on the posters with smart phones to see the individual videos.

Lori Havard, Head of Academic Support in the Information Services and Systems Department at the University said: “We are so pleased to have won this award for our project which promotes exciting literary works produced by our talented academics and staff. We are delighted to have gained national recognition for our work.

“We began the pilot with the promotion of ten authors and have expanded the project so that we are currently showcasing fifteen of our authors and are continuing to video new participants. We hope that the stories told in the videos will encourage students to read the interesting publications which our staff have crafted and perhaps inspire them to go down the path of publishing their own research. “

The awards were judged by Dr Jonathan Deacon, Reader in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at Newport University Business School and Chair of the Chartered Institute of Marketing Cymru.

Commenting on Swansea University’s project Dr Deacon said: “Again a first place for a very creative campaign and one that has a clear focus and is very well executed. Creative use of the available technology and very clever use of the partnerships here (ie. Academic Staff). As I said last year about the Swansea entry: ‘This type of offer demonstrates a clear understanding of the needs of the user and is fully sustainable and replicable’ and this is true for the 2011 entry. One last comment – the use of QR codes works really well with the target audience and illustrates user insight really well. “