A new study from the San Diego Public Library (SDPL) has revealed that public libraries are using social media to reach out to voters and avoid losing money on the advertising.
The study revealed that the average public library had $15.6 million in ad revenue and lost $12.3 million on advertising during the 2016 election cycle.
In total, the library had more than $1.3 billion in ad revenues and lost more than the equivalent amount on advertising in 2016.
“Our library system has long been known for its robust social media presence, which is one of the reasons we continue to offer it as a service,” SDPL Director of Public Information Eddy Rios said in a statement.
“This study, while encouraging, also shows that it is important to make sure that our public libraries do not lose money on advertising because we need them for a variety of reasons.”
In addition to their social media outreach, libraries also receive funding from the federal government.
During the 2016 presidential election, libraries reported spending $1,926,000 on advertising and $1 million on voter contact.
That same year, libraries spent $1 billion on social media, according to the Library and Information Science Center at the University of California, San Diego.
The number of library patrons decreased from 8.6 percent of the total population in 2016 to 6.3 percent in 2017.
The decline in patrons also coincided with the decline in revenue from ads.
During 2017, library revenues fell by more than 40 percent, with revenue declining from $9.5 million in 2017 to $8.6 in 2018.
While the decrease in revenue is not necessarily a bad thing, it does suggest that public library patrons are less willing to donate to libraries.
During their 2017 fiscal year, the SDPL reported that about half of their $1-million budget went toward ad revenue.
“The fact that so many people are choosing to leave a lot of money on billboards is a very positive sign,” said Mark Burditt, a social media expert and senior advisor for the Public Policy Institute of California.
“It tells you that the public is becoming more savvy and paying attention to how they’re spending their money.”
The research also revealed that libraries are able to tap into public libraries networks through social media in order to reach their constituents.
For example, the study revealed the San Francisco Public Library and San Diego’s Alamo City Public Library were the two largest sources of community outreach via social media during the campaign.
According to Burdith, these two libraries had nearly 50 percent of their ad revenue from social media.
“They have a massive social media reach and reach beyond their borders, and they’re able to reach a lot more people in a relatively short period of time,” he said.
“People from all over the world are using the social media platforms to reach them.”
The study also found that public and private libraries have also used social media and other tools to reach voters and keep them informed.
The San Diego public library was able to create a video campaign for their election campaign.
For the San Jose public library to reach its voters, it had to create its own campaign, which resulted in a $1M dollar campaign.
“When you have a lot people on social, they tend to get engaged,” Burdit said.
Public libraries also rely on social networks to keep their staff informed of what their customers are looking for.
“We’ve had a lot fewer complaints about staff being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Lorna Dutton, executive director of the National Public Library Association.
“But we also know that there are some people that are not interested in learning from their library staff.”
As a result, libraries have invested in new technology that can help them keep their digital footprint as small as possible.
In 2016, the San José Public Library added a digital kiosk to their main library, allowing users to find out where they could go and check out information on their computers.
This new kiosk will also allow libraries to expand their reach beyond a single area.
“Now we can have an electronic kiosk in the main building that allows us to have an expanded digital footprint,” said Dutton.
In addition, libraries are also using their digital tools to communicate with their community.
For instance, San Jose Public Library officials created an interactive digital sign that can be seen on every corner of the library.
The sign features a map of San Jose with the city’s name, neighborhood and city.
Users can use this digital sign to find the nearest library, or just to find what library they are looking to use.
In San Diego, the Public Library of Northern California (PLNC) created a digital signage tool that is accessible from their offices in downtown San Diego and the city itself.
The tool is designed to provide information on the library’s general offerings, and it also includes information on topics like programming and library