An evaluation of the Electronic Purchasing in Consortium database marketing at a New Zealand public library
Research problem The Electronic Purchasing in Consortium (EPIC) databases are a useful paid resource that some librarians consider to be underused. Marketing is a key means of increasing awareness and use of library resources, but research into EPIC database marketing is sparse. This study investigated ways of improving the efficiency of marketing at a New Zealand public library through conversations with library staff and a customer. Methodology Data was collected through five semi-structured face-to-face interviews and was qualitatively analysed with reference to the product, price, place and promotion of a public library’s EPIC databases. Results It was found that the library does not market its EPIC databases and that there is a connection between inadequate promotion, low customer awareness and low usage of the EPIC databases. EPIC database accessibility and staff training in database use were found to be areas in need of work. These issues were in part explained by the low priority the EPIC databases had at the library when compared with community outreach initiatives. Implications This study recommends market research be carried out, followed by targeted promotional efforts, further customer and staff training in the use of EPIC databases and more prominent web links to databases. It also recommends the library look into ways of using the EPIC databases in its customer outreach initiatives.