This toolkit originates from the Health Sciences Information Consortium and is in the process of being adapted and updated by the CHLA/ABSC Standards Standing Committee.

Marketing is typically used in relation to advertising specific library resources or services; however, marketing principles can also be applied to advertising the value of the library. This approach makes decision-makers aware of what the library offers and how it supports the organization’s goals or needs. Two specific ways of approaching value marketing is via value quips and elevator speeches.

A value quip is a short and sweet blurb about how your library or you as a library professional adds value to an organization. An elevator speech is more about a quick and succinct summary of what you do, ideally short enough that it could fit in an elevator ride. Keeping it short is essential to keep the listener’s attention; making it interesting or even funny is even better.

When using these techniques, rehearse them regularly, out loud, until you can relay them confidently on demand. Keep it brief, but don’t be afraid to get animated about what you do: if you’re excited it becomes more exciting to listen to. Try and relate your approach to your audience: if they’re clinical give them a clinically-focused speech, whereas if they are administrators give them an admin quip.


This is from HSICT member Penka Stoyanova, who said she used the following quip to explain why they spend time and money on article requests.  

When discussing budgets and trying to find ways to recover costs or create revenue, I’ve been asked “Can we ask the physicians to pay for the articles they request from the Library?”. My response: “ Imagine the following situation: Your son or wife is in the hospital and is seriously ill. Dr. X. needs an article that is from a rare publication and it will cost us $11.00 USD to get it. Would you expect him to pay for that article?” It has worked so far…

Article requests can seem very administrative to our managers; however, using this sort of value quip helps to quickly get the point across of how it really adds value to the quality care of our front-line health professionals