Curriculum Vitae

Kathleen L. Dempsey
Medford, New Jersey, USA
kathy {at} librariesareessential(.)com


Libraries Are Essential consulting company, established 2005 –
Started my own consultancy that offers “advice and consulting on library marketing, promotion, and public relations.” In this capacity, I give presentations, conduct workshops, write articles, create marketing plans, and advise clients.

  • Various speeches and conference presentations, see separate LAE Speaking & Publishing list.
  • Part of a team that won a 2010 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. I consulted for a campaign that was headed by Nancy Dowd. The New Jersey State Library won for this “Tell Us Your Story” campaign.
  • Completed a marketing plan (including conducting market research and focus groups) for the 20-branch Ocean County (NJ) Library System (2007), working with consulting partner Dr. Christie Koontz (Florida State Univ.).
  • Completed a 3-year marketing plan (including market research) for the New York State Library (2005), working with consulting partner Dr. Christie Koontz (Florida State Univ.).


Information Today, Inc., Medford NJ, May 1994 –

December 2007

  • Resigned as Editor in Chief of Computers in Libraries magazine.
  • Continuing as Editor of Marketing Library Services newsletter.

Summer 2003

  • Promoted to Editor in Chief of Computers in Libraries magazine.
  • Continuing as Editor of Marketing Library Services newsletter. Became an ex-officio member of the Public Relations section of the Library Administration & Management Association (LAMA) so I could work on the Swap & Shop event that takes place at ALA’s Annual Conference.

January 2000

  • Promoted to Editor of Computers in Libraries.
  • Continued to attend trade shows; became part of the program committee and also moderated tracks for ITI’s annual Computers in Libraries conference.
  • I continued full responsibility for MLS, attending more marketing sessions, joining the Library Public Relations Council, and accepting more speaking opportunities.
  • Continued to edit and grow Marketing Library Services; hired its first columnist.

June 1995

  • Promoted to Managing Editor of Computers in Libraries.

March 1995

  • When ITI bought Computers in Libraries magazine, I stopped editing books and switched over to Associate Editor of CIL.
  • I kept full responsibility for MLS.

May 1994

Hired for two editing jobs: books and Marketing Library Services newsletter.

  • Work on the academic/info tech books included full copy editing and communicating with the authors.
  • For MLS, I took full responsibility: Choosing and assigning articles (or writing them myself), editing each piece, planning the layout, working with a graphic artist, checking bluelines, paying authors, and writing subscriber letters.

Learned Information Europe, Ltd. / VNU Business Publications, London

July 1997 – December 2003

  • Freelance writer and U.S. Correspondent for Information World Review, a U.K.-based information industry newspaper.

Handley Public Library, Winchester, VA, April 1993 – March 1994

June 1993 – March 1994

  • As Circulation Clerk (part-time) I worked at the front desk, did light Reference work, and closed the library some nights.

April 1993 – June 1993

  • I was Technical Services Assistant (part-time) on a database conversion project, working with records in Data Trek, Dynix, and SuperCat databases and reconciling which records matched the library’s actual holdings.

Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA, September 1992 – March 1994

June 1993 – March 1994

  • As a Library Assistant, Serials Clerk (part-time) I maintained subscriptions in conjunction with EBSCO, supervised work-study students, opened the library each morning, and performed some Reference and Public Services duties.

September 1992 – May 1993

  • As Information Coordinator, Shenandoah Valley Union List of Serials, I organized a union list database project involving 33 area libraries, including training, inputting, problem-solving, and supervising two other project employees. Also performed some Reference and Public Services duties.

North American Publishing Co., Philadelphia, Sept. 1989 – August 1992

August 1990 – August 1992

  • Associate Editor, Publishing & Production Executive magazine

September 1989 – August 1990

  • Assistant Editor, Publishing & Production Executive magazine

The Cable Guide magazine, Horsham, PA August 1988 – September 1989

  • Editorial Assistant, The Cable Guide television schedule directory

Temple University Library, Ambler, PA, May 1986 – August 1988

March 1988 – August 1988

  • As Bibliographic Assistant, I processed incoming serials and reference materials, administered the PC Loaner Program, performed Reference and Public Services duties, and supervised and closed the library on nights and weekends.

May 1986 – March 1988

  • As Clerical Assistant for Access Services, I was in charge of the Media Center, the PC Loaner Program, and receiving and processing all Reserve materials. Also matched shelflist records to OCLC database to set up the library’s online catalog.


Temple University, Philadelphia
B.A. in Journalism; Minor in English, 1986

Certified Digital Marketing Professional: Passed DMP v 8.0 test on Jan. 11, 2021 to achieve certification. Online course administered by the Digital Marketing Institute and the American Marketing Association. Aug. 2020 – Jan. 2021

Strategic Marketing for Academic and Research Libraries, full-day train-the-trainer session, at the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) National Conference, Charlotte, NC, April 2003

SLA Continuing Education Course: Money Talk: Accounting Fundamentals for Special Libraries, 1996

SLA Continuing Education Course: Developing a Marketing Strategy, 1996

SLA and Lexis-Nexis co-sponsored distance learning program: Getting What You Want: Developing a Marketing Strategy, April 1996

Numerous sessions on library marketing and library technology at conferences since 1994: ACRL, ALA, CIL, Internet Librarian, National Online Meeting, Online Information, SLA


LibraryLink New Jersey, 2020 –

  • Elected to the Executive Board of LLNJ for a 3-year term starting July 1, 2020. One of two Lay Representatives to this statewide consortium. Committees: Membership, Strategic Planning, and Fund Development (co-chair; convened Fall 2020).

Library Marketing and Communications Conference, 2015 – 2017

  • I took the initiative to rebuild a small conference that had run for 4 years (under various names) and was folding due to low participation. I gathered a group of volunteers to rebrand and rebuild the next iteration, which we named the Library Marketing and Communications Conference (LMCC). I chaired the first three events in 2015, 2016, & 2017. By then, a subset of volunteers had officially formed a nonprofit (Library Marketing Conference Group, LMCG) to continue funding and running the event, so I could resign from the demanding task of chairing a national conference. The LMCG board has continued to run LMCC, which has grown its attendance every year, and has become a well-recognized and respected annual event in the library marketing world. It’s still the only national conference specifically for library marketing and communications workers.

New Jersey Library Association, 2006 –

  • Committees: Information Technology, Technical Services (2006-2008); Public Relations (committee restarted, 2007 – 2010 ).
  • NJLA Newsletter editor (2010 – 2013). I transitioned the state association’s newsletter from a print product to an electronic one.

Philadelphia Writers Conference, 1999 – 2005

  • Judge of the Magazine Article Writing Contest that’s associated with PWC’s annual conference in Philadelphia each June.

CERT: Community Emergency Response Team, Spring 2009 –

  • Designated response area is Medford, NJ.


I continue to present various webinars and face-to-face training sessions on numerous aspects of library marketing; there have been too many to list individually. In addition to many regional, state, and national conferences, I’ve spoken for many repeat clients over the years, including these:

LibraryWorks, a national vendor

Northeast Ohio Regional Library System (NEO-RLS), a state co-op

People Connect Institute (PCI), a national training company

Panhandle Library Access Network (PLAN), a Florida co-op

Special Libraries Association (SLA), a national org

Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TxLA), a state library

Wisconsin Valley Library Service (WVLS), a state co-op


NYC Solos + Special Interest Group Summer 2007 Meeting, New York City, June 2007.
“Writing for Magazine Publication”

Strategic Conversations with Leaders series, Audio Conference, April 2006.
“Promoting Your Library’s Services: Top Tips”
Part of The Education Institute, sponsored by The Partnership, Canada’s national network of provincial and territorial library associations.

New Jersey Library Association Conference, Long Branch, NJ, April 2006.
Theme: “Advocacy, Alliances, Action.”
“Building Alliances: 25 Ideas in 50 Minutes”

Associated College Libraries of Central Pennsylvania Fall Meeting, Grantville, PA, October 2004.
Theme: “Re-Imagining Ourselves: Perspectives on Visibility and the Academic Library”
Keynote: “Visible or Invisible? Marketing to Ensure Visibility”
Also part of discussion panel on promotional/visibility ideas.

ACRL / New England Chapter Spring Conference, Bryant College, Smithfield, RI, April 2004
Breakout session: “Marketing Library Services”

SUNY Council of Library Directors Annual Meeting, Kerhonkson, NY, April 2004.
Keynote: “Marketing Library Services and Activities”

South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative Workshop, Voorhees, NJ, February 2004.
Full-day Workshop: “Create Your Own Customized Marketing Plan”

Medical Library Association local “Quint” chapter annual meeting, Philadelphia, PA, October 2003.
Theme: “The QuintEssential Conference”
Workshop: “Create Your Own Customized Marketing Plan to Target You Info Center’s Customers” (approved for CEU)

Pacific Northwest Library Association Conference, Missoula, MT, August 2002.
Theme: “Undaunted Courage: Librarians in the Mountain West”
Co-presenter: “The Write Stuff” session (writing for the library press)

SLA Pharmaceutical & Health Technology Division Spring Meeting, Princeton, NJ, April 2002.
Theme: “The Evolution of the Information Professional: Adding Value in the 21st Century Organization”
“Marketing Library Services Forum,” closing speaker

Dartmouth College Biomedical Libraries’ October Conference for New England Librarians, Lebanon, NH, October 2000.
Theme: “Creative Marketing: Promoting Library Resources and Services”
Keynote: “Marketing Libraries: Beyond Basics and Brochures” and closing session, “More Marketing Ideas to Use”

South Jersey Regional Library Cooperative Discussion Group, Westampton, NJ, October 1999.
“Marketing Your Library Services”
First of two “discussion kick-off speakers”

MLA Hospital Libraries Section 1999 Institute, Chicago, May 1999.
Theme: “Prepared for Now…. Primed for Tomorrow?”
“Marketing in a Nutshell” (presentation given four times throughout the day)

Library Public Relations Council Meeting, New York City, November 1997.
Solo speaker for dinner program: “Marketing Your Technology”

New Jersey Library Association and New Jersey Association of Library Assistants co-sponsored Institute, Manalapan, NJ, March 1997.
Theme: “Connecting Readers and Books in the Age of Technology”
Opening speaker: “Marketing Your Library to Readers”

SLA / Washington, D.C. Chapter’s Swap & Shop, Washington, D.C., October 1996.
Gave speech on what makes good marketing materials, then commented on individual pieces in a small Swap & Shop format

EBSCO Executive Seminar Series, Birmingham, AL, November 1995.
One speaker on a panel that focused on marketing during two days of meetings


Professional Blogging, March 2008 – present. Joined Nancy Dowd (Director of Marketing and PR at the NJ State Library) on her established blog about library marketing: “The M Word” (

The Accidental Library Marketer, by Kathy Dempsey. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., 2009. 280pp

“Five Ways You Can Save Money by Marketing,” how-to in Marketing Library Services, May/June 2009. pp 1-2.

“Interesting Library Practices From Around the World,” cover story in New Jersey Libraries NEWSletter, Spring 2009. Published by the New Jersey Library Association. pp. 1, 4.

“Create Experienced and Form Tribes,” cover story in Marketing Library Services, Jan./Feb. 2009. pp. 1,4-6.

ShanachieTour: A Library Road Trip Across America, by Erik Boekesteijn and Jaap van de Geer with photographs by Geert van den Boogaard. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., 2008. I was the Project Editor for the whole book / DVD movie set. Also contributed the Editor’s Preface and the Commentary section of Chapter 12. (

ThinkeringSpace Project Aims to Provide a New Way to Play in the 21st Century,” a Newsbreak for Information Today, Inc. Posted July 28, 2008.

The Library of Congress Delivers a Whole New Experience,” a Newsbreak for Information Today, Inc. Posted April 14, 2008.

Librarians’ Feelings About Automation Is More ‘Validating’ Than ‘Surprising’,” a Newsbreak for Information Today, Inc. Posted Jan. 28, 2008.

Marketing Library and Information Services: International Perspectives, edited by Gupta, Koontz, Massisimo, and Savard for IFLA. Munich, Germany: K.G. Saur Verlag GmbH, 2006. Contributed a chapter: “Marketing Library Services Newsletter: An Overview,” for Section VI, Databases and Other Marketing Literature. pp. 410–419.

“Our Brains Are Different,” guest column in The One-Person Library, vol. 23, no. 2, June 2006, p. 8.

The Bowker Annual: Library and Book Trade Almanac. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., 2006, 51st ed. Contributed a chapter: “The Year in Public Libraries: Legal Issues and Natural Disasters Make Headlines, Social Technologies Emerge,” for Part 1, Reports from the Field. pp. 3–7.

The Bowker Annual: Library and Book Trade Almanac. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., 2005, 50th ed. Contributed a chapter: “The Year in Public Libraries: Budgets, Technology, Outreach,” for Part 1, Reports from the Field. pp. 3–8.

The Bowker Annual: Library and Book Trade Almanac. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., 2004, 49th ed. Contributed a chapter: “The Year in Public Libraries: Earnest Campaigns, Legal Battles, and Hot High-Tech,” for Part 1, Reports from the Field. pp. 3–6.

“Librarians Versus the USA PATRIOT Act,” intelligence report for Faulkner SMP (Security Management Practices) subscription series, Nov. 2004. Faulkner Information Services (a division of Information Today, Inc.), Pennsauken, NJ.

“Library Applications of Radio Frequency Identification,” intelligence report for Faulkner SMP (Security Management Practices) subscription series, Dec. 2004. Faulkner Information Services (a division of Information Today, Inc.), Pennsauken, NJ.

Quoted in “In changing times, libraries test new survival strategies,” by Maria Cramer, in (The Boston Globe online), 3/11/2004.

“School libraries are for discovery, not dictated tastes,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, South Jersey edition, Commentary. Mon., March 1, 2004.

The Visible Librarian: Asserting Your Value with Marketing and Advocacy, by Judith A. Siess. Chicago: ALA Editions, 2003. Contributed the Foreword.

The Accidental Systems Librarian, by Rachel Singer Gordon. Medford, NJ: Information Today, Inc., 2003. Contributed the Foreword.

“Visibility: Decloaking ‘the Invisible Librarian’ ” in Searcher, July/August 2002. pp. 76–81.

Numerous articles, editorials, and book reviews in Marketing Library Services, Computers in Libraries, Information Today, and Information World Review.