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

Tips for Do-It-Yourself Public Relations

Michael Hess penned a great post at BNET entitled “How to Get Started Doing Your Own PR” that’s worth a read for newbies and veterans alike. Basically, it’s common sense stuff that many of us take for granted. Some recommendations:

  • Build a press list. Hess writes “I started my press list by buying every magazine on the newsstand that might be appropriate for our products and sending (via snail mail) the editors a short release announcing our new business with a photo of our products.” I’ve built mine manually as well, from contacts I’ve met or worked with. Once a month I check the local newspapers to see which names have changed, and I update accordingly.
  • Monitor and respond to open inquiries from the press. HARO is the main recommendation for this, especially since it’s free. I have to admit that I’ve had little luck with this service, but have heard good things from others. I would add that you need to respond to all queries in a timely manner; that has given me good results. Reporters remember who answers phone calls and emails, and who doesn’t.
  • Know how to write and send press releases. Hess writes, “A news release is not an ad.” Remember that the point of a news release is, well, to share news.
  • Put a process in place. Hess writes, “Don’t just fire off press releases and hope to see your big story in the paper the next day. Not gonna happen most of the time. Make sure you have a start-to-finish process in place that covers release writing, list targeting, distribution.”
  • Be professional. That includes: “Make sure your news is truly newsworthy and convey it properly.” & “Be hyper-responsive.” & “Understand the basics of lead times and deadlines, image requirements, and other elements of the trade.” & “Above all, don’t annoy your contacts.”

Please go read the entire post. Good stuff, even if it’s something you think you already know.


make your Library newsletter “green”

Still producing a printed newsletter? Worried about how “green” your publication is? American Libraries recently ran a story with tips on simple ways to make your newsletter greener.

They really are simple.

Here are some of the tips provided:

  • Limit the number of pages of each issue or find a way to print fewer pages.
  • Start using recycled paper, ideally made with at least 80% recycled content.
  • Instead of full-color, publish in black and white or two-color.
  • Skip the glossy paper. 
  • Get a handle on the number of copies you print of each issue; don’t waste issues.
  • Find a printer who embraces green printing practices.

Source: “Simple Ways to Make Your Library’s Newsletter Greener Today” by American Libraries


Create your own story during National Library Week & win $3,000

From American Libraries:

Libraries seeking to share their stories and raise public awareness are encouraged to apply for the 2011 Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant. The library that develops the best public awareness campaign using the National Library Week theme will be awarded $3,000 to promote its library and library services.

All proposals must use the 2011 National Library Week theme, Create your own story @ your library, which incorporates The Campaign for America’s Libraries’ @ your library brand, on any and all promotional and publicity material supporting National Library Week activities.  Guidelines for using the brand are available on the campaign website.

The grant is sponsored by Scholastic Library Publishing, a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, and is administered by the Public Awareness Committee of the American Library Association (ALA). This year’s application deadline is October 1, 2010.  National Library Week is April 10-16, 2011.


Return on Investment in Florida Public Libraries

From the Florida Department of State, State Library & Archives of Florida:

For every tax dollar received, Florida public libraries provide $8.32 in value.

The statewide return on investment increased from $6.54 in 2004 to $8.32 in 2008. The current study also examines the social value of public libraries and provides a return on investment calculation for each county.

Access the ROI Brochure (PDF).
Access the ROI Study Results.

More info:


Florida Libraries Support a Strong Economy

  • Jobs Created — A job is created for every $3,491 of public support to Florida libraries.
  • Income or Wages Increase — Income (wages) increases by $22.97 for every dollar of public support to libraries.
  • Gross Regional Product Increases — The value of all goods and services produced in the state of Florida increases by $10.57 for every dollar of public support to libraries.

Libraries Provide Essential Services

  • Public libraries help people learn new things no matter their age.
  • Public libraries improve a community by helping people learn new skills so they can get better jobs.
  • Public libraries attract good businesses to the area.

Love Your Librarian

American Libraries reported that “Nominations are now open for the 2010 Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award.”

The award invites library users nationwide to recognize the accomplishments of librarians in public, school, college, community college and university libraries for their efforts to improve the lives of people in their community. Nominations run through Sept. 20 and are being accepted online at

Up to 10 librarians will be selected.  Each will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a $500 travel stipend to attend an awards ceremony and reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times in December.

Encourage your customers and supporters to nominate librarians at your library. “Last year, more than 3,200 library users nationwide nominated a librarian. For more information on last year’s winners, visit”


Stephen Abram at the PR Forum

From the ALA Membership Blog, this year’s PR Forum “featured Stephen Abram, a leading international librarian. He shares his ideas on the role of social networking in library marketing and communications. The event is an annual program coordinated by the ALA PR Assembly, a subcommittee of the Public Awareness Committee.”

Check out the video.


Summer Reading Works

Guess what? Experts at the University of Tennessee say that students who read over the summer show “a significantly higher level of reading achievement.” In fact, “The researchers’ study found that summer reading is just as effective, if not more so, as summer school.”

Cool! 🙂

Source: “Fun, Sun and Good Books: UT Experts Say Summer Reading Keeps Skills Strong” by Tennessee TODAY

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