Family Library

“I cannot live without books” Thomas Jefferson once said. No one should live without books! Books uplift. Books inspire. Books teach. The teaching done through books encompasses many areas: vocabulary, life experiences, knowledge, learning, and the list goes on and on. There is no doubt that books are important.

A library is, according to Webster’s Dictionary, “A place in which literary, musical, artistic, or reference materials (as books, manuscripts, recordings, or films) are kept for use but not for sale.” A Family Library is more than just a collection of books that a family accumulates. A family library is a library of books that a family accumulates for themselves and their posterity. Great care should go into the collecting of books for this library, because the family knows the worth of such a library. Many great men in history had their own extensive family libraries. Thomas Jefferson sold his collection of 6, 487 books to re-start the library of congress. That is an admirably sized library!

Why have your own library of books?

Why go through the expense and trouble of creating your own family library? There are many reasons, but I only plan to include the more important ones.

The first reason is so that you and your family are always learning. “It is a great mistake to think that education is finished when young people leave school. Education is never finished.” Mrs. Child in The Mother’s Book. A good friend of mine, in a recent email correspondence about my collecting a library of books for my family, related the following:

“What is really interesting about having so many books in your home, as it relates to my recent splurge, is that a book I purchased has a chapter about the economics of good test scores in schools. The study tried to identify what parents do that has an impact on how well their children do on standardized tests. One positive correlation they found was with the availability of a large number of books in the home. This had a stronger correlation than even reading to your children every day. Really interesting, huh? The more books your older kids have access to at home, the more likely they are to just be reading for fun, rather than having to wait for weekly trips to the library.”

I have been homeschooling my children using the philosophy of A Thomas Jefferson Education inspired by Oliver Van DeMille, Founder and President of George Wythe College . This philosophy of learning is based on the reading of classic books. Clifton Fadiman said, “When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before.” Classic books also make you smarter and wiser! The wisdom comes in the examples in the lives of the protagonists. You see consequences to choices made- whether good or bad. Classic books are not ashamed about including God, morals and good values in the text and influences of the story.

“It is within our power to guide our youth in their reading and to cultivate in their hearts a desire for good books. It is most unfortunate where a person is not possessed with the desire for good reading. The reading habit, like charity, should begin at home.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, pp. 203-4).

Carefully Choosing Literature

It is important to understand the worth of a good book when you are deciding what books to add to our family’s library. Just as in movies and other influences in our lives they can affect our thoughts and choices. They can affect whether or not we improve our minds and lives or remain stagnant.

Inappropriate literature has always been around. What concerns me is how deceptively modern political agendas, sin and other filth are creeping into literature even for the youngest people; and how they are becoming so widely accepted. They are now found in school and public libraries. Sadly, many people today believe that it’s okay to make allowances here and there. Some don’t even know what is in the literature that their children are reading. Now is the time to make a change. It is important to be careful about what we read.

“There is no question that books do something to us. Some works of art can lift our spirits and ennoble us, while other works can degrade and debase us-or they can affect us at any number of points between those extremes, for literature is seldom simply good or bad…

Reaching a solution through the Spirit, it seems to me, leads us to realize that because life and time are short, we will be able to read only a few thousand books in our lifetimes. When we pick any book, we are ruling out hundreds and thousands of other books. How important it is, then, to choose time-proven great books that will foster the Holy Spirit and enable us to rise to greater levels of truth and beauty and insight and understanding and, hence, spirituality. Many great men and women have found that a steady, systematic approach to literature has enabled them to fill their beings, in a lifetime of good reading, with the great thoughts of men and women of all the ages, for through reading great books we are put in touch with the great minds of all time, and we become their spiritual and intellectual heirs.” George W. Pace in Nov. 1993 New Era

Mrs. Child, author of The Mother’s Book (1831) who wrote the following, “With regard to the kind of books that are read, great precaution should be used. No doubt the destiny of individuals has very often been decided by volumes accidentally picked up and eagerly devoured at a period of life when every new impression is powerful and abiding. For this reason, parents, or some guardian friends, should carefully examine every volume they put into the hands of young people.” By creating our own family library of good, wholesome books we can be careful what goes into the minds of our family members.

What Books To Add

I suggest beginning by creating a book list that you wish to read. Only put the books on there that will improve you, inspire or teach you. Get access to as many recommended Classic book lists as you can.  Do a search online for extensive classic book lists for ideas.

Surprisingly, classic books are very inexpensive. I try to get hardcover only for those books that I think will be read often. There are many great places to find them online and also locally. Check out used books stores. Don’t forget to go with your lists!

“It is the duty of every parent to provide in his home a library of suitable books to be at the service of the family. The library need not be large, nor the books of the most expensive binding, but there should be a well chosen variety of the most select that can be obtained.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 3, pp. 203-4).

If good literature is important enough to you, you will find a way to afford it. Enjoy putting together and working on your family library.

Multilevel Marketing Books Will Not Teach You This Successful Marketing Strategy

Good education and training are essential to be a successful professional. This is true for any field that can qualify as “Professional.” Multilevel Marketing (MLM) is also on such profession but there is lack of educational content in most high school curriculum. Even general studies within college and university curriculum do not offer a course on this. Thus, people interested in MLM often resort to trusted teachers or educate themselves using books on this subject.

In case you choose the self education method, I recommend you to buy at least 2-5 Multilevel Marketing books. This will help you by providing variety of material on specific subjects. You will be able to refer to the nuances of marketing tactics by different experts.

The following topics should necessarily be a part of your Multilevel Marketing Books Library:

The first and foremost criterion is the evaluation criteria for selecting a MLM opportunity. As I mentioned, no school or university curriculum will teach you about MLM. Thus, the first company you choose to represent and your upline will be the primary source of training in this field. Hence, a good book should provide general do’s and don’ts while selecting a good MLM opportunity. Success in the first opportunity is essential for new people in this field. Hence, look for material on evaluating the prospective company as well as asking questions to your up line about the same.

An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can help enormously in endorsing a marketing strategy. Jonathan Budd has a success story on this. He earned finances for his personal business through a successful SEO work. He scored a spot on the first page of Google for one of the companies represented by him. As all of us are not very computer savvy, hence, a good Multilevel Marketing Books Library should have a book on SEO. Information such as configuration of SEO, its timing and technique will be very helpful for all your marketing work.

Another value addition to your library will be by books with advice from experts of MLM on Time Management. This is especially applicable if you were working before in an organization with standard operating procedures and you work involved fixed timelines. MLM is completely different. Hence, tips for home based business by veterans will be very useful.

In a Multilevel Marketing opportunity, you will use the product of the company you represent but the success of your business will depend on your own marketing strategies. Your image and team management efforts will define your success. Most MLM companies have corporate offices. But if you are successful on your own, you will not be required to have much contact with these offices.

You can still learn from these organizations if they provide training through veterans who have been successful in MLM. Team webinars will also add to your knowledge base as you can learn from others about their campaign ideas. But in the end, you will decide your own strategy. You can work out on how you will generate leads by building content to drive traffic. How much time will be spent on responding to emails and how much money will be spent on different aspects like PPC advertisement?

It is wiser not to rely too much on corporate trainings. A successful MLM distributor will leave little money for founding distributors and financers as more of the margin will be paid as commissions. Hence, many companies do not offer good training programs and support from their back offices is also not up to the mark.

Therefore, yours’ and your team’s image will be crucial for success in an MLM effort. Even if you are successful in building your brand and pull a lot of leads, majority of these people and distributors will still do a research on their own before they come forward to join you. This is irrespective of the niche you are attracted to.

Still an effort to do a research justifies an interest in the opportunity provided by you. Most people like to be safe by making sure that they are not entering a scam and losing their precious time and money.

If you can establish your image as a successful team leader and this is reflected in their search, then people will trust you with their time and money. You will start receiving calls from interested people to join you and not just for enquiring about the opportunity. Your effort on generating leads will thus be minimized. Hence, establishing yourself and not the organization you represent, as a successful MLM opportunity provider is the ‘most important’ factor in this industry. You might not find this in your books library but it is entirely true.

You will understand the importance of this concept by doing a study on how many new MLM’s are created on a weekly basis. This is the most important criterion for the success of your MLM opportunity. A successful self brand is the key to establishing a successful, high revenue generating organization. Still do refer to the Multilevel Marketing books to learn about different topics, especially the ones mentioned above.

Marketing Public Library Services in Sierra Leone

Introduction

The concept of instituting marketing principles to non-profit institutions such as library and information Services is no longer a controversy. Organisations operate in an environment of change. Today we live in a global market for many goods and services in which technology, purchasing power and many factors change on a regular basis. One of the key functions of marketing is to find out how these changes affect clientele’s wants and needs and to develop organisational strategies and plans that will ensure that the library meets these challenges (Dransfield and Needham, 1995). It is therefore not surprising that public librarians are joining the marketing bandwagon. This article explores the marketing activities in the operations of the Sierra Leone Public Library services.

Public Libraries

A Public Library is funded wholly and partly from public funds and the use of which is not restricted to any class persons in the community but freely available to all. It is a major agency of enlightenment for adults, providing for children the recorded experiences of others which will help them grow into adults.

Usherhood (1981) defined Public Library as an organization established, supported and funded by the community, either through local, regional or national government or through some form of or other community organization. It provides access to knowledge, information and works of imagination through a range of resources and services and equally available to members of the public community regardless of race, nationality, economic and employment status and educational attainment.

The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB)

The Sierra Leone Library Board (SLLB) was established by Ordinance in June, 1959. The setting up of the Board was envisaged in the Government’s White Paper on Educational Development in 1958 and its functions outlined therein as follows:

• To provide a national/public library Service;
• To support and reinforce programmes of adult and fundamental education;
• To provide effective services for children and young adults including requisite services to schools;
• To provide much needed information and references services;
• To provide where needed adequate services for special groups, that is women and girls, language groups.

The Central Library is designed to give public services to Freetown and also to function as headquarter of the National/Public Library services and to provide accommodation for a growing collection of book and non-book materials in the country. It does all technical processing of stock for the Regional and Branch Libraries and has an Adult Lending Reference and a Children’s department.

Libraries are charged with responsibility to provide information service to support educational, recreation and personal endeavours of the members of their respective communities and the Sierra Leone Library Board is not an exception to that. The following services are provided at the Sierra Leone Library Board to Clientele:

Children Services

The Sierra Leone Library Board provides information services to children by the provision of books and other materials for children which are often housed in a special section known as the Children’s Library. A special service for children known as child orientated educational programme specially designed for younger library users is included in the children’s library services. They also provide services to children through storytelling, drama/play and reading aloud.

Book Borrowing and Lending Service

The main task of Sierra Leone Library Board is to provide the public with access to books and periodicals. The Sierra Leone Library Board typically offers access to a variety of books which are available for borrowing by anyone with the appropriate library card.

Current Awareness Service

At the Sierra Leone Library Board, current awareness service is aimed at bringing to the notice of potential users, newly available documents and information services. This is done by collating information and producing new secondary sources, circulating current periodicals or other documents acquired and producing and distributing one or more forms of bulletins.

Selective Dissemination of Information

A more personal information service is being run at the Sierra Leone Library Board in which the library constantly notifies library users about particular information/materials matching them in a profile of the information needs and research pre-occupation of their clientele. This is done by either bringing references to relevant items to the notice of their clients and by obtaining copies and then supply the documents themselves to library users.

Outreach Services

The Sierra Leone Library Board provides outreach information services which is committed to developing library outreach programmes for non-users, the undeserved, and people with special needs in the communities in restricted areas.

Computer and Internet Services

In an attempt to bridge the digital divide, information resources and government services are being provided online by the Sierra Leone Library Board. This is done by providing access to the Internet and public computers for users who otherwise would not be able to connect to these services.

Library Marketing

Marketing is often viewed as a set of strategies and techniques that belongs to administrators outside of librarianship. But, librarians are also involved in the marketing process. The essence of marketing involves finding out users needs and want, then setting out to meet these needs.

Marketing according to Weingand (1995) “can be viewed as a process of exchange and a way to foster partnership between the library and its community” (p.296). In order to maintain the relationship between the public library and the community, marketing strategies have to be employed as effective tool.

Marketing in the public library means more than simply promotion or selling. It is more concerned about user needs. Marketing the Public Library is a social and managerial process by which products and services as well as values are exchanged in order to fulfill individuals or group needs. Marketing refers to those instruments through which information, both raw and processed, are transmitted to its members. Promotion or campaigning is but two activities in the broader exercise of marketing

Planning Library Marketing Programmes

The continued existence of libraries, if not their survivals, may well depend upon the use of marketing and planning strategies, communicated through effective public relations, to significantly alter the perceived role and position of the library in society.

In a real sense, Public Relation is the promotion component of a full marketing plan of library programmes. It can be seen as the communicated module which serves the promotion function; conversely, it may be easily depicted as a philosophical relationship between library and community which serves as a guiding light for promotion activities.

Both communication and research skills serve well in the marketing planning process of which Public Relations is an important component. Specific skills and knowledge are also needed in marketing planning programs for libraries. It goes without saying that both ongoing marketing planning and programmes, and in particular, how the needs of different groups of users differ from each other. Library and information services are complex entities, as are the human users and potential users of these services.

Planning, promotion and campaigning are but all activities in the boarder exercise of marketing. User studies therefore, have a very wide range of uses in relation to the planning of library marketing programmes of a service. They contribute in the planning, promotion and development of library services. In their contribution they help in the understanding of different user group behaviour and their needs, and can assist in effective campaigning and planning process.

Three steps to planning library marketing programmes are:

• Knowing what your beliefs are and therefore what you want to achieve;
• Communicating these beliefs as practical objectives to the people with whom you work, in order that these objectives can be fulfilled; and
• Creating a vehicle which allows this to happen. This can only be achieved by defining the basic components and through organization.

Methods of marketing in Sierra Leone Library Board

Book Displays and Exhibitions

Displays and exhibitions are widely used in most public libraries as a marketing strategy to sell their products or items. The SLLB displays jackets of new books which are not yet included in the lending department for easy access by users and to increase usage. It is also a means of drawing the attention of users and non-users to particular aspects of library resources and services.

Printed materials and Publications

In order to make a very good image of the public library and for public librarians to establish better communication between the library and users, publicity programmes are put in place by the management of the Sierra Leone Library Board through news release. The management also considers annual reports and newspapers as basic publicity techniques. Publications such as bibliographies, guides and brochures are used by the library to communicate with the wider public.

Public Relations Office

Public relations according to Usherhood (1981) is concerned with gaining of public support for an activity, cause, movement or institution. It is a process that furthers mental understanding and cooperation between a government; or any organisation and its various publics. The Sierra Leone Library Board has a Public Relations Office charged with the responsibility to enhance a smooth system of communication.

User Education/Readers Advisory Service

This could be described as training a group of users in the effective use of the library and its resources. It is used to stimulate the users to make greater use of the library and introduces library staff to clientele who might be reluctant to seek their assistance. This is the principal means through which library staff can learn about readers’ needs, opinions and habits. Good communication with readers enables staff to inform and influence readers.

The Media

These involve printed and audio-visual forms of communication and any necessary equipment to render them usable. The Press, radio and television are important means of publicising information service, since they offer potential of reaching many people from all walks of life. The media are cultivated so that messages are distributed with regularity. Publicity mechanism such as news releases, special events and brochures can also be employed.

The Social Media Groups (SMG)

The Sierra Leone Library Board makes use of the Social media groups such as ‘Facebook’ and ‘Watsapp’ as an effective way for publicity in order to put their messages across to users of their services.

Challenges of Marketing Library and Information Services at the SLLB

A lot of challenges have militated against the effective planning and implementation of library marketing programs at SLLB. The following are some of the challenges:

• Inadequate Staff: Although staff numbers have been maintained, the ratio of professional staff is very low. The library is manned mostly by paraprofessionals who mostly lack the skills to plan and implement marketing programmes.

• Finance: The library depends heavily on government subsidy. The government has no specific or substantial funds for the running of the library thus the library administration has to foot most of the bills that have to do with marketing. The irregular flow of funds has served as a barrier to the progress of marketing library and information services at the SLLB.

• Lack of standard printed materials and publications: The SLLB lacks most standard printed materials and publications due to poor planning of marketing programmes. This negligence has made the library handicapped of public relations tools in the form of printed materials and publications such as newsletters, questionnaires, diaries and calendars.

• Displays are improper and exhibitions seem almost absent: The library depends mostly on donations and most of the books are acquired without jackets. Therefore displaying book jackets in inconsistent. In fact exhibition programmes are yet to survive as they are only recently introduced. The library lacks relevant display and exhibition materials to mount these activities.

• Inability to organize frequent Radio Programs: The SLLB lacks media communication facilities. The library cannot frequently organise radio programmes on its own because of lack of funds. The absence of radio programmes stands out as an acute problem to the progress of marketing programs in the library.

Conclusively, marketing is the instrument that libraries use to transform their aims and objectives into operational plans of action. In most developing countries’ public libraries such as the SLLB, marketing strategies cannot operate properly due to the existence of bottlenecks in planning programmes. Good marketing programmes actualise the plans and measures necessary for the achievement of goals and objectives.