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Congratulations John Cotton Dana Winners!

Taking this year’s award for the John Cotton Dana PR Awards are:

  • Anythink Libraries of Adams County, CO
  • Edmonton Public Library, Alberta
  • Loudoun County Public Library, Leesburg, VA
  • University of California Santa Cruz Library
  • Worthington Libraries, OH

For more information on what garnered them the awards, check out the Library Journal article.

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Libraries, what’s your Twitter Response Strategy?

Many libraries have already jumped on the social media bandwagon, and library staff will tell you that they do have a Twitter account to help them reach out to their customers. Uses of Twitter vary from library to library, but concerns over formal procedures come out in queries to list-servs, friends and blog posts.

Does your library have a Twitter Response Strategy? Odds are that you do, you probably just didn’t know it. A Twitter Response Strategy is your approach on how and when you are going to respond to comments and direct messages via Twitter. And, for libraries, you often have to add on steps to comply with your state’s open records policies too.

From a customer service and interaction standpoint, you need to think of things like: Do you send a DM to everyone that follows you when they first sign up to follow you? Do you thank all RTs (retweets)? Do you acknowledge all Follow Friday mentions? These are decisions you’re going to have to make as you move forward.

From an open records standpoint, I’m going to point you to your city, county or other organizational legal counsel to give you feedback on anything you may need to do to be in compliance with Open Records for you. Maybe your library isn’t subject to those rules, in which case I’m jealous, but many many libraries are.

If you need to get started on a formal Twitter Response Strategy, American Express’ Open Forum has good guidelines to walk you through the process:

  1. Decide what you’re going to respond to. Examples, Direct @ reply questions, @ mentions of your brand, people talking about your brand name, etc.
  2. Response speed matters.
  3. Know when to DM and when to publicly reply.
  4. Set guidelines, but also trust your community managers.
  5. Listen to your community.

Check out the entire post for some great info on each of these items. It will walk you through some of the decisions you need to make as you look into how to approach your Twitter responses.

Source:

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2011 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award winners to be announced January 8th

Are you up for the John Cotton Dana Award this year? Or, like me, do you just want to know whose work made the cut? Then you need this info:

A press conference announcing this year’s winners of the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award will be held from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. PST on Saturday, Jan. 8 at the San Diego Convention Center, Room 30-D. (The San Diego Convention Center is located at 111 West Harbor Drive in San Diego; phone (619) 525-5000 for directions.)

As a precious JCD winner, I can tell you that it’s a big deal. Your library gets money, you get national recognition, there’s a luncheon or something at the ALA confernce, and… well, that’s really it. 🙂 As I told my friends, ALA tells us that there are more libraries than McDonald’s in the US, so being one of the handful of PR professionals honored among that many is a real “get.”

In advance, congratulations to this year’s winner!

Source:

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Paraprofessional of the Year: It’s not too late!

The Library Journal’s extended deadline for the Paraprofessional of the Year award is looming — must be postmarked by January 18, 2011. The winner will be spotlights in the March 1, 2011 issue and comes with a $1500 cash prize.

Encourage your staff or customers to nominat someone today: Paraprofessional of the Year Nomination Guidelines.

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12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country

American Libraries has a great article (by Leonard Kniffel) entitled “12 Ways Libraries Are Good for the Country.” Definitely worth a read.

  1. Libraries sustain democracy.
  2. Libraries break down boundaries.
  3. Libraries level the playing field.
  4. Libraries value the individual.
  5. Libraries nourish creativity.
  6. Libraries open young minds.
  7. Libraries return high dividends.
  8. Libraries build communities.
  9. Libraries support families.
  10. Libraries build technology skills.
  11. Libraries offer sanctuary.
  12. Libraries preserve the past.

My favorite is “Libraries nourish creativity.”

By providing an atmosphere that stimulates curiosity, libraries create opportunities for unstructured learning and serendipitous discovery. As repositories not only of books but of images and a wide variety of media, libraries offer access to the accumulated record of mankind with assistance from professional staff delivering these resources through the physical library, the web, and outreach services.

So true.

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Bite-Sized Marketing

American Libraries reported on a new online course for public libraries: “Bite-Sized Marketing.” From their article:

ALA Editions, the publishing imprint of the American Library Association (ALA), is making available “Marketing Public Libraries eCourse.” This eCourse is adapted from the bestselling ALA Editions book “Bite-Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian,” by Nancy Dowd, Mary Evangeliste and Jonathan Silberman. This Web-based, self-paced tutorial offers a succinct overview of social networking, interactive information sharing and other technology ideal for marketing public libraries. Comprising an estimated three and a half hours of instruction, the seven lessons in the eCourse are:

  • Word-of-Mouth Marketing;
  • Preparing a Toolbox;
  • What is Your Library’s Story?;
  • Advocacy;
  • Public Relations;
  • New Marketing Tools—Web 2.0;
  • More on Web 2.0 Tools.

The course costs $55.

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HBJ: There is no better business bargain than a library card

Libraries are great for business; at least, that’s what a recent Houston Business Journal story reported:

If you don’t use the library for business, now is a good time to start. Yes, we can obtain a high percentage of the information we need via search engines using computers. But there are a lot of hidden business jewels available at your local library, and many can be accessed online.

The average small business or job seeker is penalized by having limited research capability. Big companies with big budgets pay for expensive databases. With a mouse click, they can instantly access company data, sort through research reports, and locate current and archived newspaper and trade journal articles. Small companies and individuals who can’t afford premium access are left out. Unless they have a local library card.

Read more: So what’s in your wallet? Start with a library card – Houston Business Journal

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what is your library doing for Library Card Sign-up Month?

September is Library Card Sign-up Month. Many libraries throughout the country are using this month to encourage customers to sign up or renew their accounts for library cards.

I will be looking to see what interesting campaigns are out there, encouraging library card sign ups. Please let me know if your library is doing anything unique and different.

More about Library Card Sign-up Month, from ALA News (reported by American Libraries):

Sign up for the smartest card of all – a library card

[snip]

This year’s celebration takes place at a time when the decade-long trend of increased library usage is not only continuing, but accelerating during the current economic downturn, according to the 2010 Harris Interactive poll.

The poll also indicates that more than 70 percent of Americans feel that public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed by providing free access to material and resources. In fact, as of 2009, 80 percent of libraries offer free homework help to students in their communities, and almost all public libraries (99.1 percent) provide free Internet access. In addition, 71 percent of those libraries provide the only free public access point to the Internet in their communities.

The library also offers a wide range of tools for adults looking to learn new skills. A vast majority of public libraries help patrons complete online job applications (67 percent); provide access to job databases and other online resources (88 percent) and civil service exam materials (75 percent); and offer software or other resources (69 percent) to help patrons create resumes and other employment materials.

Libraries looking for materials to help promote Library Card Sign-up Month locally can download print and audio PSAs featuring NBA star and Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair Dwyane Wade. ALA will customize the print PSA at no charge with a library’s logo. For information and to download PSAs visit www.ala.org/librarycardsignup.

Newly redesigned Smartest Card logos are available at www.ala.org/librarycardsignup. Other promotional materials, including a sample press release, letter to the editor and proclamation are also available on the website.

The Campaign for America’s Libraries, (www.ala.org/@yourlibrary) is ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe – use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible by ALA’s Library Champions, corporations and foundations.

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AASL’s Learning4Life (L4L) initiative goes “on-the-road”

From ALA News, in American Libraries Magazine:

AASL President embarks on national tour of outstanding school library programs

Until May 2011, all donations made to the American Association of School Librarians’ (AASL) “Friends of AASL” campaign will help underwrite the travel of AASL President Nancy Everhart as she completes her Vision Tour. Donations to the Vision Tour can me made at www.ala.org/aasl/friends.

The Vision Tour takes AASL’s Learning4Life (L4L) initiative “on-the-road” by showcasing exemplary school libraries across the nation. During the tour, Everhart hopes to visit a school library in every state in the U.S. with the goal of bringing to the general pubic visual models of what good school libraries offer students and communities. More information is available at www.ala.org/aasl/visiontour or on her blog at http://outstandingschoollibraries.org.

[snip]

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John Cotton Dana Award Photos

The ‘M’ Word – Marketing Libraries blog posted photos of this year’s John Cotton Dana Award winners. Photos include:

  • Westbank Community Library District
  • Pasco County Library System
  • King County Library System
  • Hackney Library at Barton College
  • San Francisco Public Library
  • New Jersey State Library
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