Embracing Change: Ramsey County Library’s Transition to a Hyper-Local Communication Strategy

Starting in January 2024, Ramsey County Library will undergo a significant change as it discontinues printing the traditional Explore newsletter. Instead, the library will embrace a new hyper-local communication strategy, targeting specific library locations and delivering digital and print promotions tailored to each area. This strategic shift aligns with the County's resident-first approach and digital-first strategy, aimed at enhancing communication efficiency, reducing environmental impact and better meeting the unique needs of the community. To achieve these goals, the Library will actively engage its audience through various digital channels such as social media, e-newsletters and online calendars.

While Ramsey County Library is transitioning to a hyper-local and digital-first communication strategy, it's important to note that print communication will not disappear entirely. The library will continue to utilize print materials, such as flyers, calendars and important print pieces, to enhance the communication of programs, events and services. These materials will serve as valuable supplements to our digital efforts, ensuring that our patrons receive information through various channels that best suit their preferences and needs. This balanced approach aims to provide comprehensive and accessible information to all members of our diverse community.

The newsletter, launched in 1998, played a vital role as a print publication, providing residents with valuable information about the library's programs and events. However, over the course of 25 years, the current newsletter has lost its effectiveness in reaching all residents, mainly due to evolving demographics and changes in information consumption patterns. The accelerated shift towards digital platforms and local library resources was further expedited by the COVID-19 pandemic, reshaping how people access and engage with content.

In light of the situation, the decision to phase out the traditional print newsletter was driven by the recognition that it incurs significant costs and demands a substantial amount of time, diverting resources that could be better utilized for more critical endeavors. Other libraries have successfully implemented hyper-local communication strategies without negatively impacting event or program attendance. As the sole library system in the Twin Cities metro area still relying on a print newsletter, it is crucial for us to adapt to this industry trend and prioritize digital communication methods.

In the digital age, there are numerous avenues for accessing the latest up-to-date information about Library services, programs and events. Residents can visit the library website and online calendar at rclreads.org, subscribe to monthly newsletters covering seven topics: Library news, Art & Literature, History, Community & Well-being, Kids and Teen, and stay connected by following Ramsey County Library on Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter.) Embracing this new communication strategy will ensure that the Library can effectively serve and engage its diverse community.