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Sno-Isle Libraries targets young, digital-savvy customers

Originally published Jun. 18, 2014

Hoping to build the next generation of library customers, Sno-Isle Libraries has kicked-off a research and engagement project targeting the Generation Y and Z market. The 18-month project focuses on 13- to 29-year-olds within Snohomish and Island counties.

A library staff team kicked off the project in early June with the services of OrangeBoy, Inc., a customer intelligence and strategy company with offices in Portland, Oregon and Columbus, Ohio.

Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, executive director of Sno-Isle Libraries, initiated the project to build the library’s understanding of library customers who are transitioning from their teens through their twenties. “It is vital that these digital natives receive what they need from their public library during this phase of their life,” said Woolf-Ivory, “so they will give us the opportunity to serve them through their later years.”

“Our objective is to show our Gen YZ digital native population that Sno-Isle Libraries fits perfectly within their mobile lifestyle,” said Ken Harvey, the library district’s communications director and project manager. “Young people are driving the information and innovation marketplace because of the way they generate, access and share data and information. We need to connect with and engage them based upon who they are and how they want information delivered to them. Otherwise, public libraries and other community institutions may not matter to them in the long run.”

OrangeBoy, Inc. was retained by the Sno-Isle Libraries Foundation, under a $75,000 grant and contract. Under the agreement, OrangeBoy is working with the library district to collect, capture, and analyze data on library users and non-customers. The early data collection process includes:

  • Library cardholder analysis
  • Demographic, geographic and trend analysis
  • Online customer survey
  • Non-customer focus groups

Key findings from OrangeBoy’s customer assessment will lead to the development and rollout of targeted marketing and program strategies in late 2014 and 2015.

“We appreciate our Foundation’s tremendous investment which has made it possible for us to tap into the expertise of this national firm,” said Woolf-Ivory. “OrangeBoy brings a wealth of experience with more than 50 library clients across the United States and Canada. We have great confidence as they serve as our agent to aggregate and analyze these types of data. Not only do they have a great reputation within the public library community, they have a successful track record providing the customer insight and strategic input we need to better connect with our 13- to 29-year-olds.”

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