Tell Your Stories This National Library Week

Is your library looking for a new way to celebrate National Library Week, April 19-25? Here’s an engaging idea from the Bridges Library System in southeast Wisconsin: Share your patrons’ library stories with the community.

Jill Fuller, marketing and communications librarian for the Bridges Library System, explains, “Our plan was to collect a variety of stories from patrons and feature them in a series on Facebook and Instagram.” Library staff at the system’s 24 member libraries helped connect Jill with patrons who were willing to share their stories. She started by asking them questions such as “why do you visit the library?” and “what is the value of the library in your life?”

Because Teamwork Works

To make an impactful connection with their community, Texas Library Association District 5, which represents librarians in the northeastern part of the state, created a video with members reading Libraries Transform Because statements. Each member selected a statement that spoke to them and reflected what was important to them about libraries. It’s evident in the video that the participants connected with what they were saying, making the video more effective at reaching District 5’s audience.

Because One Week Can Make a Big Difference

When the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library System in North Carolina staff realized National Library Week (NLW) was fast approaching, they knew they wouldn’t have the time or resources to plan a major event or campaign. Cordelia Anderson, director of marketing, communications and advocacy for the library, said, “We didn’t want to miss the opportunity to engage with our community during National Library Week, so we decided to do a simple digital campaign using the Libraries Transform toolkit.” She continued, “With so many other programs, promotions, campaigns and announcements happening in April, we felt this was the best strategy for celebrating the week without competing with ourselves.”

Because There's Power in Coalition

New Mexico’s libraries first adopted the Libraries Transform campaign as a theme for their 2016 conference, co-sponsored by the New Mexico State Library and the New Mexico Library Association (NMLA). The conference brought together librarians, policy-makers and other local leaders to review a recent assessment of public, school, academic, tribal and special libraries across the state, providing an opportunity to critically reflect on how New Mexico’s libraries can continue to transform communities—focusing both on their achievements thus far and the possible challenges lying ahead.

Because Libraries Bring Communities Together

The Bridges Library System, which serves 24 public libraries across Wisconsin’s Waukesha and Jefferson counties, covers a wide and diverse community—but this February, their month-long Libraries Transform campaign will bring together local residents in celebration of libraries. Timed to coincide with National Library Lovers Month, the festivities will use the ALA’s Libraries Transform campaign as a starting point to raise awareness of the crucial role of the library in the community. The Bridges Library System staff has worked closely with their two dozen member libraries to unite staff in their common goal of community engagement.

Because Libraries Transform Is Going Global

The Higher Colleges of Technology Ras Al Khaimah Men’s campus planned a series of highly interactive Library Week events and activities to help students, faculty and staff discover the fun and enjoyment that libraries provide every day. To better engage students and increase participation during Library Week, the library created a specially themed Libraries Transform photo booth to encourage image sharing on social media and ran a contest for library users to write their own “Because” statements. According to Librarian Muram Abdelmageed, they found the Libraries Transform easy to customize for their libraries. She said judging from all the comments she received about the Libraries Transform theme and activities, Library Week was a big success among all the students and faculty.

Because Getting a Library Card Just Got Faster and Easier

Many libraries offer anytime, anywhere eBooks and audiobooks—but what if a new user discovers your library’s digital collection while the library is closed or they are out of town? Get a Library Card, a new program from OverDrive, makes it possible to sign up for a library card with just a few taps on a smart phone. Get a Library Card allows first-time users to instantly access a library’s digital collection anytime and anywhere, rather than having to sign up in person for a library card in person. It’s an easy and fast way to a library card: all it takes is entering a name and cell phone number.

Because These 5 Ideas May Inspire You

For the James V. Brown Library in Williamsport, Penn., the Libraries Transform toolkit was the starting point for building a marketing campaign. The library staff knew localizing Libraries Transform would be the key to reaching their library users and community leaders and members with their targeted messages. To accomplish their goals, the library staff got creative, very creative, with fun marketing ideas to help engage with their community. Take a look at five ideas implemented by the James V. Brown Library. See if they might appeal to your audiences, or think about putting your own library’s spin on one of them. Perhaps the list will help spark new ideas on how to promote the value of libraries in your community using Libraries Transform.

Because a Million Dollars More for Internet Connectivity Goes a Long Way

For the many Indiana residents who lack broadband access at home, schools and public libraries are an essential lifeline to internet connectivity. When the Indiana Senate approved a version of the state budget without allocating much-needed additional funds for internet connectivity, the Indiana Library Federation (ILF) doubled down with ALA’s Libraries Transform campaign as part of their efforts to build legislative support. ILF, which represents nearly 2,000 libraries and library professionals in Indiana, took the popular Libraries Transform statement “Because more than a quarter of U.S. households don’t have a computer with an internet connection” and customized it to fit local data: “Because 1 in 6 Hoosiers lives in an area without access to broadband.” The ILF team shared the statement widely, including in newsletters, social media and their 2017 Policy Priority Agenda (PDF).

Because Libraries Make Leaders

As the 2017-2018 American Library Association president, Jim Neal is bringing a new focus to the Libraries Transform campaign: the important role libraries and library workers play as leaders in their communities. In the Q&A below, Neal discusses how his “Libraries Lead” presidential initiative will contribute to the vital work of Libraries Transform in the coming year.

Q: Why do you think the Libraries Transform campaign resonates with people?


Subscribe to ideas