Spartanburg County Library Uses Data to Obtain Grant Funding to Help Target a Key Demographic of Library Cardholders


The Spartanburg County Library knew concentrated populations of Russian and Spanish speakers existed near their libraries. However, they needed help to verify those populations still existed when they applied for a $1,000 grant to buy Russian and Spanish books. The library used Patronlink’s data to provide evidence of neighborhood demographics for the grant and launch marketing campaigns.


The library used Patronlink’s demographics search to identify two of their branch locations that had large populations of Russian and Spanish speaking communities. This allowed them to provide concrete data on their grant application that their patrons would benefit from purchasing books in Russian and Spanish. While the library knew large populations of Spanish and Russian speakers existed in their area, Patronlink helped provide concrete evidence for their grant application. The tool allowed them to verify the larger populations surrounding them still existed. To target them, the library sent 700 postcards in Spanish and Russian as part of a direct mail campaign using a mailing list.

The Result

The library was awarded a $1,000 national grant, which helped them purchase the books. A year later, a continued presence of Russian- and Spanish-speakers justified the library’s decision in maintaining those collections. They have continued using Patronlink’s demographics selections to identify the best audiences for other library programs.

About the Spartanburg County Library

In 1885, the city of Spartanburg, South Carolina, opened the doors to the Kennedy Library with a total 900 books. The library sustained itself on monthly fees because taxes were not allocated toward library services at the time. Then in 1905, the Kennedy Free Library opened. Their modern headquarters opened in 1997. By 2002, the library had opened several other branches in the area.

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  • Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) recently completed a successful two-month patron outreach campaign using PatronLink, resulting in a gain of over 1,700 new patrons while positively impacting the local economy and building a stronger sense of community in the county.

    Somerset, NJ Library
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  • The Lake County Public Library wanted to reach out to community members that did not have a library card. The library believed if they promoted their digital library services to the 25-39 year old community they would see more individuals in this age range sign up for a library card and use the library’s digital resources. The library was able to accomplish this by using Patronlink, a powerful marketing, analytics and outreach tool. In addition to creating a targeted list, postcards were printed in-house and were mailed out to 3,000 households. It was a successful campaign, the libraries had an average response rate of 2% per household and even had multiple people in the household sign up – everyone likes free. 
    Robin Johnsen Lake County Public Library’s Technology Marketing Specialist
  • Old Bridge Public Library is using traditional methods- weekly emailed newsletters, flyers, posters and their website calendar- to promote their library’s programs and resources. In addition, they have started using targeted email campaigns to promote their programs to current patrons and non-patrons by using Patronlink. The library builds a targeted list of individuals in their community, whom had the characteristics outlined. Using the DIY email campaign tool, the Old Bridge Library creates HTML emails and sends them to both current library cardholders and non-patrons in their service area.
    Mafalda Cavanaugh Old Bridge Public Library Marketing and PR Outreach manager
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