[Videolib] Re: newsletters

Mark Richie (Media2@bellatlantic.net)
Wed, 12 Mar 2003 13:18:23 -0500

Hi Maureen -

We are k-12 with 155 schools, but the principles are the

We put out a newsletter for teachers three times a year and
a newsletter for administrators twice a year. We also have
the newsletters on the web site with updates whenever we
think about it. Both publications tend to be four pages (11
x 17 folded). If we don't have a lot to say, we go to two
pages rather than fill space with non-essentials.
Occasionally we do an 8 page issue, especially to highlight
new holdings, lists of time relevant titles, thematic lists
or "sleepers by subject" (obviously not an original idea).

Both pubs adhere to the 3-30-3 readership rule most of the

Most readers fall into three fairly equal groups:
3 second readers scan all the headlines, photo captions and
bold face pullout quotes.

30 second readers do the above and may read one article IF
they think it has relevance to them.

3 minute readers tend do all of the above first, then go
back and actually read nearly the whole newsletter.

There is always an Index or "on the inside" box on the front
with cues to story heads.
We try to give information in headlines instead of making
them cute or a play on words.

Longer articles get a pull out quote that try's to
communicate the essence of the piece.

A single column down the side of each page is devoted to
short 1" or 1.5" long informational or reminder items - 14
to 16 point head and 12 pt text. Sometimes the 1" item gets
to the 30 second reader but is a tease to the longer piece
elsewhere in the issue.
Longer items in the Teacher edition focus on curriculum
applications, technology integration, teaching methods
(brain based, hands-on, project based, active learning),
how-to pieces to make better web/MAX searches, use the iDVS
digital download system, insights to how a specific service
works, and items aimed at new faculty.
Promotions for StarLab training, interactive digital video
integration training and other workshops and events are a
regular feature.

We also make a regular plea for purchase suggestions, which
works very well.

No recipes, birth announcement, trivia (it takes all the
self control I have for this one), jokes, cartoons and very
little on funding issues.

The administrator newsletter goes to department heads,
principals, supts, assist supts, business administrators and
all our 42 school boards. Same readership rules apply. We
generally lift at least one piece from the Teacher News and
repeat it for the Admin. We make a regular pitch for
purchase suggestions that support curriculum gaps,
updateneeds or new programs.

Admin News focus is on resources administrators don't know
we have, informative items on developments in instructional
technology, advice on technology purchases,
technology/curriculum integration, new resources,
instructional support, professional development, new teacher
support, correlation's to state mandates, return on
investment factors, counter marketing the hype of various
technology companies and generally how we are doing the
impossible with nothing.

We can tell we have reasonable readership because every time
we give things away we are flooded with phone calls. I
think "Free" is the clue. We also occasionally get the
newsletter back marked up by an English Composition class
that has used it as a proofreading exercise. Hey, just
another service we offer . . .

M. Richie

"Funny, you don't LOOK like a librarian . . ."

Maureen Tripp wrote:
> Do any listmembers produce newsletters to promote your collections? If so, I'd be interested in finding out how often you produce them, and the kinds of things you write about--thanks for any information you can give me. We are planning to produce a one page newsletter, highlighting new and underutilized titles in our collection, and want to know what others are doing.
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