Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Selling Advertising Space on Library Web Sites

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Stephen got me thinking again today about why libraries don't try to sell space for advertising on their virtual properties:

"I think that the reason Google and Microsoft are so interested in scholarly research sites is that it attracts the real sweet spot for advertisers. (Advertisers are their real customer after all.) If a site can attract a demographic that is primarily in the 15-30 years old range and those folks are the most likely to get good jobs, have higher incomes and spend more on a wider range of products, then that site can charge more for it's ad clicks. These are the Millennials at this point and are a generation as large as the Boomers. Advertisers salivate at getting to them. It's also why there is so much interest in MySpace and Facebook et al where entire social networks of this group congregate."

We have eyeballs, good demographics, why can't we raise money by selling space on library websites, library catalogues, etc.? It could be little banner ads, click through Flash video ads, etc. Our users are used to seeing ads everywhere they go online, why should libraries be ad-free? You know what would impress me? A federated library search engine that can match ads with keywords searched! Like Google. I'm not arguing for "this information literacy class is brought to you by...", but surely we can make some money with our website, coin badly needed to acquire more electronic resources. Look at all the eyeballs Scholar's Portal has. Consortial gateways have huge numbers of eyeballs. Why should Google and others be raking in all the Ad money, and we are talking huge numbers here...

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