New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

PR Xchange Winners from ALA '15

Some of the PRX winners on display
The 2015 American Library Association Conference took place in sunny San Francisco at the end of June. There were plenty of interesting marketing-related events, and as always, I met great people and learned new things at them. Read my complete conference coverage in the September / October issue of Marketing Library Services. (WHAT?!? You don't subscribe to MLS?? Well head over to the newsletter's home page, check it out, and subscribe now so you don't miss anything else!)

Sundays are always my favorite days at ALA, since that's when the big marketing events happen. One is the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards. I already covered this year's winners in this earlier post. Now I want to share photos and info about the PR Xchange awards; they're kind of the "cousins" of the JCDs. 

I'm honored to have the chance to not only attend, but also participate, in the busy PR Xchange event, which is put on by the Public Relations and Marketing Section (PRMS) of LLAMA (Library Leadership & Management Association). During the PRX, hundreds of people come through the large Special Events Area during the Xchange’s open hours to network as well as to study and pick up samples of all sorts of collateral materials. It’s like a smorgasbord of free brochures, calendars, buttons, bookmarks, annual reports, and more. I had a table where I gave away free sample issues of Marketing Library Services, sold my book (The Accidental Library Marketer), and sold cool stickers that say "Libraries Are Essential." 

While many people come to network and get great PR ideas, the highlight of this event is the ceremony for the PR Xchange Award winners. As I announced in the News section of the July/August issue of MLS, 60 winners were chosen from 374 entries. (See the full list here. Full disclosure: I was one of the judges.)

Full house at the PR Xchange Awards ceremony
The ceremony where co-chairs Mark Aaron Polger and Scott Sheidlower handed out certificates amid smiles and applause is the end of a long process. The PRMS Committee members work hard to publicize the contest in the spring, then accept submissions and organize them, seek volunteer judges, create the judging rubric, and oversee the long, careful process of scoring all the entries. After winners are chosen, the chairs notify each one by email, print certificates, and create lists and photos to share online. (See this year’s winners on Flickr.) 

Kudos to these hard-working volunteers for putting on a well-organized, well-attended event where public relations peers could learn from one another! I'm looking forward to being part of it again in the years to come.
Some of the colorful PR materials that people could pick up

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

New Marketing and Communications Conference!

Have you heard about the new conference that's being designed just for library marketing and PR people?? It's called the Library Marketing and Communications Conference, and it will be held just outside Dallas, Texas, this November. I'm leading the Program Committee that's planning the event, and I couldn't be more excited!! 

Here are the details: 

Dallas, TX, Nov 3–4, 2015

Organized by the Library Marketing and Communications Group
Sponsored by Amigos Library Services 

Propose to Speak by July 15.
Register by July 30 to get the Earlybird rate of only $275.

(That rate includes breakfast and lunch, plus drink/snack breaks on both days! Please book your hotel room through the conference website to ensure that you get all the discounts we've arranged:

This conference is designed for library employees of any level who are involved in marketing, communication, public relations, social media, and outreach in academic, public, and special libraries. The sessions will explore issues that are important for this niche of library work, and the conference will include time for attendees to network and to discuss mutual challenges.

This new event is an outgrowth of four previous meetings. Kieserman Media began the Association of Library Communications and Outreach Professionals (ALCOP) and ran conferences of the same name near Philadelphia in 2011 and 2012. That group ran similar shows, renamed the Library Communications Conference (LCC), near Philly in 2013 and in New Jersey in 2014. When its leader, Bob Kieserman, decided to stop organizing the conferences, a group of former attendees decided to reboot and relaunch them.  

Those of us in the budding Library Marketing and Communications (LMC) group believe that library workers deserve a small event that's geared specifically toward the necessary work of marketing communication (MarCom), which includes public relations, social media, branding, and related topics. We feel that, if more library employees improved these skills, then all types of libraries would be in better positions to have their messages heard and to have their services well-used and appreciated.

I hope that many of you M Word readers will send us proposals to present talks at LMCC. Time is short, though: Proposals are due in 1 week, on July 15! Here's what we're looking for:

The Program Committee of the Library Marketing and Communications Conference (LMCC) is interested in receiving proposals for presentations that apply the latest trends, best practices, and research in the field while providing practical tips that can be immediately applied to any library's communication and marketing program.

Although not limited to these areas, topics of interest include:

1. Communication 101
2. Using Social Media effectively
3. Writing strategic marketing plans
4. Promoting special collections
5. User Experience and its impact on libraries
6. Collaborating with other units or organizations
7. Engaging the community
8. Planning and promoting programming
9. Creating surveys for patrons or non-users
10. Branding
11. Making promotional videos
12. Designing graphics and infographics
13. Working with the press
14. Fundraising
15. Crisis Communication

Please Note: There will be a discounted block of rooms at the Crowne Plaza; rooms include breakfast. Earlybird Registration is $275 and includes 2 lunches plus drink / snack breaks.

A library service organization,

is generously sponsoring this conference. They're working hard to ensure that it's affordable and valuable. I can't thank them enough for all they've done! 

Questions? Send email 
with the subject line
"LMC questions" to:

General Conference Questions: 

Questions About Speaking:  
Joan Barnes:
Community Engagement Librarian
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Questions About the Proposal Form:
Jodie Borgerding:
Instruction & Liaison Services Librarian
Webster University

I hope to see many of you in Dallas this fall! 

Friday, June 19, 2015

The 2015 JCD PR Winners Are ...

The 2015 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards winners have been named! This year there were 77 entries submitted online; judges had to narrow that down to eight winners. Once again, EBSCO sponsored the contest and reception, and The H.W. Wilson Foundation generously donated the prize money for the awards, the richest PR contest in North America.

And the 2015 JCD winners are....

The Contra Costa County (Calif.) Library won for War Ink, an exhibit and forum that helps to bridge the divide between the veteran and civilian communities.

The Columbus State Library (Ohio) won for its Exhibit the Right to Read campaign, held during Banned Books Week.

The Durham County (N.C.) Library won for a campaign that engaged both current and new audiences, bringing the community together. 

The Flathead County (Mont.) Libraries won for a complete rebranding effort that changed not only its culture, but also its name, to ImagineIF Libraries.

A group of 12 Illinois libraries and library organizations teamed up to win for the Soon to Be Famous Illinois Author project, in which it solicited nominations of self-published books, publicized them for the authors, and hyped a winner.

The Loyola University Chicago Libraries won for Celebrate Gorey, a programming and outreach campaign on the Chicago writer and artist Edward Gorey, which raised endowment funds and awareness of special collections. 

The University of Maryland Libraries won for Thinking Big, a data-driven communications campaign to increase awareness of UBorrow, an interlibrary loan service that became available to students, faculty, and staff as a result of the university joining the Big Ten.

The Hesburgh Library at the University of Notre Dame (Ind.) used the 50th anniversary of its iconic building as a strategic opportunity to build awareness of the library and its services, further establishing them as vital to the school’s landscape. 

The eight winners will receive their $10,000 awards at a reception at ALA’s annual conference, which will be held in San Francisco next week. You can view the winning entries from a link on the contest’s homepage

Special thanks to The H.W. Wilson Foundation for donating $80,000 again this year to keep this prestigious contest alive! 

Watch for photos of the event to be shared here on The M Word after the ceremony!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The LibraryAware Community Award 2015 Winners

Dothan Houston County staffers accept their award.
Photo courtesy of Library Journal and NoveList.
Three libraries have won the 2015 LibraryAware Community Award, which recognizes libraries’ engagement with their communities.

+ Dothan Houston County Library System in Alabama won first place ($10,000).
+ Saint Paul (Minn.) Public Library won second place ($7,500).
+ Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas won third place ($5,000).

These annual awards are given by Library Journal and are underwritten by LibraryAware, a product of the NoveList division of EBSCO Information Services. The award “recognizes model communities that engage with their libraries to improve the lives of their citizens and create life-long learners,” according to the press release. The M Word's Nancy Dowd is LibraryAware's Product Manager, and got to travel the country to present the awards. 

Dothan Houston County Library System exemplified this goal. It saw “overwhelming change” in the last 5 years after members of its community came forward with an idea to revitalize their county, starting with the library. Funded by donations and driven by community input, the library system was “transformed into a resource that the whole community supports and uses. With two new locations in growing parts of the community and a renewed emphasis on programming and providing new technologies, their door counts are up threefold, from 800 per day in 2010 to 2,500 in 2014.”

“Dothan Houston County Library System illustrates what can be achieved when a community recognizes the value of a strong library system, and a library responds to the priorities of its community,” Rebecca T. Miller, editorial director of Library Journal and School Library Journal, explained in the press release.

Saint Paul Public Library, in conjunction with its Friends group, was recognized for raising its profile and for offering programs that support priorities that community members identified, including racial equality, digital literacy, and workforce development.

Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library demonstrated long-term thinking in working with community residents and facilitating growth by having library staff members serve on community advisory boards, train others as facilitators, and work to provide regionwide broadband access, among other initiatives.

The LibraryAware Community Award is given annually to a community of any size and its library. Criteria include any and all components that create a LibraryAware community: strategic planning, marketing, outreach, or partnerships, along with program, product, or service development. Submission details and criteria are here, and all the info about this year’s winners is in an article in Library Journal.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Doing National Library Week Right: TSCPL

Yesterday marked the start of National Library Week (#NLW15) in the US. Many libraries of all types do things to take advantage of this time, when ALA and other organizations have already primed the media to do library stories. Some, understandably, do more than others.

I'd like to show you a prime example of a public library that's done #NLW15 right. Take a look at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL) in Topeka, Kansas. 

On its Facebook page yesterday, the opening day of National Library Week, TSCPL posted a short teaser note and video. (It's just 26 seconds if you want to go watch it. I'll wait...)

Then, today, the big reveal... TSCPL created a parody video of the Taylor Swift hit song, "Shake It Off" -- but of course, in this library version, it was "Check It Out." In just under 4 minutes, this well-produced video shows off the library staffers (not shy, no buns!), the building and bookmobile (on the road), the collections and services (including self-checkout tech), and an overall attitude of fun and creativity. 

Now the staffers are spreading the word about its video across social media. It's one of the featured photos on the home page's scrolling promotions, too. (See top photo.) Here's the full video for you to enjoy:

It's true that Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library has a big building, a good-sized staff, and some money behind it. But it's also true that the managers and staff have built up to this by being community-centric and unafraid of technology for years. In fact, TSCPL was just recognized as a runner-up for the LibraryAware Community Award. As the write-up in Library Journal begins:
"As a one-building library serving 180,000 people living in a 550 square mile area, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL) needs to be civic-minded—and with a wide range of programs and local initiatives, TSCPL lives up to its goals, serving members of the community at every level.Since 2008, the Topeka and Shawnee County citizens have joined forces through the Heartland Visioning planning process, “a collective effort to share ideas and dreams for our community. ..."
So if you want a great example of how to use a celebration like National Library Week (in any country) to really excite and engage the people in your community, you really do need to #CheckItOut! 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Enter the JCD Awards by March 6

{ UPDATE: Feb. 26. The entry deadline has been extended to March 6. That gives you an extra week to prepare your entry! ~KD }

It's that time of year again---time to enter the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award contest. Once again, eight exceptional PR campaigns will win $10,000 each to further their work, thanks to the H.W. Wilson Foundation and to EBSCO.

All types of libraries are welcome to enter, and international entries are welcome. However, entries must be written in English for the award jury. The John Cotton Dana (JCD) entry process is now entirely online, so you no longer need to assemble elaborate physical portfolios they way you did in past years.

Entries will be accepted through February 28, 2015. The winners will be announced in late April, and the awards (checks and plaques) will be bestowed at a lovely reception at the ALA annual conference in San Francisco in June. 

Get all the entry details here. Please note: You'll increase your chances of winning by reading the details first in order to send complete, qualified submissions. You can also see winning entries from previous years on the official website. 

From the sponsors: 
"The prestigious John Cotton Dana Award, provided in conjunction with the H.W. Wilson Foundation, ALA, and EBSCO, honors outstanding library public relations, whether a summer reading program, a year-long centennial celebration, fundraising for a new college library, an awareness campaign or an innovative partnership in the community.
In recognition of their achievement, John Cotton Dana award winners receive a cash award from the H.W. Wilson Foundation. The JCD Awards are presented at an elegant reception hosted by EBSCO held during the American Library Association annual conference."

Enter by the end of this month for a chance to win $10,000!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Time to Enter the PR Xchange Awards Contest

Calling all library people who do PR work! You're invited to enter the PR Xchange Awards! The deadline is April 1st.

The 2015 PR Xchange Awards will recognize the very best public relations materials produced by all types of North American libraries in 2014. This contest is part of the popular PR Xchange event that’s held at ALA’s Annual Conference; it was formerly called the Best of Show Awards.

There are 10 categories for entries, including annual reports and fundraising materials. You can find details and a link to the entry form here. There’s an FAQ document here. Online submissions must be completed, and printed work must be mailed out, no later than April 1, 2015. (No need to mail copies of born-digital submissions.)

Entries will be evaluated based on content, originality, and design by a team of experts in marketing, public relations, graphic design, and communications. 

Winning entries will be on display at the PR Xchange event during ALA’s June conference in San Francisco. Award certificates will be presented during the event on June 28. (Note: Start setting aside a few hundred copies of your best work to contribute to the PR Xchange itself; details on that will come later.)

If you have questions that aren't covered online, contact PR Xchange Awards co-chairs Mark Aaron Polger and Scott Sheidlower at

The PR Xchange Awards is sponsored by the Public Relations and Marketing Section (PRMS) of the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of ALA. It’s overseen by the PR Xchange Committee of PRMS.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Share Stories, Earn Money

Library vendor Gale (part of Cengage Learning) has a wonderful website called My Library Story. As it explains
For each story submitted to the My Library Story community (through February 28, 2015), Gale will donate $1 to an advertising fund used to promote libraries through mainstream media during National Library Week 2015. You can contribute! Share your own story and encourage others to share their experiences as well.

This is great... but it could use LOTS more contributions. As of today, the running total is just $189. With all of the librarians and users in the US, this should be thousands of dollars! 

Submissions can be just a few sentences. Librarians or customers (or Friends, or Board members!) can write theirs in just moments. Not only is this raising $$, but of course it's also amassing a collection of positive stories for later use.

Any of you who are running Valentine's or Library Lovers' Month promos should post this link and ask for contributions. We don't get many offers of free advertising $$, so let's take advantage of this. Spread the word to colleagues, associations, book clubs, etc.!
  • You'll enjoy reading the inspiring contributions!
  • People can submit photos or videos if they like.
  • LIS professors: Assign a submission for extra credit.
  • Don't miss the tear-inducing promo video.

This call for submissions -- or any of the stories themselves -- would make a perfect social media posts. Need content? Use these! 

Gale will be donating through the end of February, so do this soon. Thank you, Gale!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Sign Up TODAY for One of These Marketing Courses!

I've recently learned about two online library marketing courses that are starting on Monday, February 2. Here's basic info on both:

Feb. 1 – Feb. 28, 2015
$250 (Simmons GSLIS Alumni Price $200)
What you earn: Continuing education credit

"Marketing in the 21st century library is a four-week course designed for MLS candidates, graduates, librarians and paraprofessionals who are charged with creating marketing and promotions plans."

Feb. 2 – March 22, 2015
What you earn: an edX "Honor Code Certificate"

"Become a powerful advocate for the values and future of libraries and librarianship. Be informed, strategic, passionate, and unshushed!"

Personally, I signed up for "Unshushed" because I can audit it (not-for-credit), and because I've been curious to see just how a "MOOC" (massive open online course) works. Both look really good, and I encourage you to sign up for one of them -- ASAP!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Enter the LibraryAware Contest By Jan. 26

Have you been working hard to make sure that everyone in your community knows what your public library has to offer? Then you should enter the LibraryAware Community Award contest!

According to the details: "The LibraryAware Community Award emphasizes the library’s engagement with the community and will recognize a library or library system that has demonstrated its ability to make its community “aware” of what the library can do for it—and has delivered on that promise."

The contest is sponsored by Library Journal and funded by LibraryAware, a product that enables better promotion and marketing communications. The deadline is Jan. 26, so don't delay!

This contest is easy to enter, and well worth your effort. Here's what happens to the winners: 
The LibraryAware Community Award will be given annually to a community of any size and its library during National Library Week. It will be presented to the mayor, city/county manager, or city council president, and library director.The city/county will receive a plaque identifying it as a “LibraryAware” community.
  • The winning library will receive $10,000.
  • Second place   $7,500
  • Third place       $5,000
This article highlights the 2014 winners. Even if you're not entering, you can read it as a case study about great library communication and promotion.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

RIP, Ernie DiMattia: a Loss to the Library World

Libraries lost an indefatigable leader, advocate, and innovator this past summer. Ernest A. DiMattia, Jr., died from cancer in June 2014, at age 74. Maybe you've never heard of him before, but he did an awful lot of good for the profession of librarianship, and for library marketing in particular.

And just last week, he was recognized posthumously by his Board of Trustees. The Ferguson Library in Stamford, Conn., had its main building renamed to honor its former president. It is now known as the Ernest A. DiMattia, Jr. Building of The Ferguson Library.

The newly christened
Ernest A. DiMattia, Jr. Building
 of The Ferguson Library
Mr. DiMattia did a lot to push libraries forward, and I'd like to say a few words in his honor.

I first met Ernie in the 1990s, when he asked me to go up to New York City to guest lecture at an evening course he was teaching at the Pratt Institute. He was one of very few people actually teaching marketing to LIS students, and so of course he knew about my newsletter, Marketing Library Services. Since I kept a close eye on this topic, Ernie wanted me to talk to his class about the trends I was seeing in the field.

I'd never lectured for a grad-school class before, and had never met Mr. DiMattia. I almost turned down the extra work, but (luckily) I decided to go. I found Ernie at the appointed Italian restaurant near campus, and he treated me to dinner. As we talked about marketing, we connected right away. After dinner I did the lecture (Yes, it was face-to-face back then!) and then took the train back home to New Jersey.

Ernie was gracious enough to read a preview copy of
my book and to write a promo review, part of which
appeared on the back cover (below). I presented him with
 a copy at my first signing at ALA in 2009 (above).
After that first meeting, Ernie and I shared a great mutual respect. I thought he was amazing because he was running a library, teaching for various library schools (Pratt, Simmons, and Rutgers), being active in ALA, and doing all sorts of things in his own community of Stamford. He thought I was great because I was writing and publishing to educate library workers about marketing, advocacy, public relations, and promotion.

We didn't get to see each other very often over the next 10 years or so, but it was always a treat when we did. When we got together at ALA conferences, it was a bonus if his lovely wife Susan (a great librarian in her own right) was there too. In fact, they gave me the incredible honor of speaking with both of them at a marketing workshop they planned for ALA’s "MBA Series for Librarians" at the 2011 Annual Conference (covered in Sept./Oct. 2011 MLS, and on this blog). I'll never forget that. 
After the MBA marketing class:
Susan DiMattia, Kathy Dempsey, Ernie DiMattia

I'm so glad we were able to feature Ernie in the Interviews With Marketing Masters column in the Nov./Dec. 2012 issue of MLS, to showcase his work.

Alas, now this dedicated librarian and educator is gone. But I was thrilled to discover that Ernie's Board had chosen to recognize him by renaming a historic, majestic building after him. They held a grand ceremony on Dec. 7. In a nod to how well-loved he was around town, the event was covered by the media (video here), and the reception was supported by a local bank. Politicians, citizens, friends, and colleagues attended alongside Ernie's family.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (L)
spoke at the ceremony. He's seen here
with Michael J. Cacace, one of the
library's Citizen Advisors.
Here are a few highlights of what The Ferguson Library achieved since he became president in 1976: 
  • Had one of the first public library websites in Connecticut
  • Created a Friends group
  • Renovated the turn-of-the-century building
  • Opened a Starbucks in the library
  • Got businesses to sponsor Sunday hours
  • Started "The Purple Bus" that brings schoolchildren to the library 
Ernie's years of passionate library service are detailed in this press release from his library. And here's a lovely newspaper article from June

This shining star understood the value of community partnerships and marketing. He served on the Board of the Connecticut State Library, chaired an Ebook Task Force for the Connecticut Library Assn., and served the Rotary, United Way, & other groups.

I'll close with his own words from the Interviews With Marketing Masters column. When asked, "What guidance would you give a fledgling marketer?" Ernie responded:

"My best advice for marketers is to be very passionate about what they do, actively engage others in the overall marketing effort, and never stop learning from the many great marketers within and outside of our field. There is no shortage of opportunities to market a library. Ingenuity and endurance is needed to get past both the perceived and real barriers that always seem to stand in the path to achievement."

Looking back, I feel like Ernie was describing himself: passion, engagement, continuous learning, ingenuity, endurance, achievement... What a wonderful role model for all of us. RIP, sir. It was an honor to have known you.

Some of the crowd at the rededication ceremony.
Special thanks to Linda Avellar, Director of Development and Communication
at The Ferguson Library, for sharing the event photos.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Apply Now for a National Library Week Grant

U.S. libraries of all types are invited to apply for a $3,000 grant that will be awarded to the best public awareness campaign that promotes the 2015 National Library Week theme "Unlimited possibilities @ your library" (April 12-18, 2015). 

You'll need to access the contest guidelines here. There are links to past winners for you to explore.

This grant is generously supported by Scholastic Library Publishing.

To apply for this year's grant, complete the electronic application here.

Deadline for grant applications is December 30, 2014.

Proposals are judged by the National Library Week subcommittee of the ALA Public Awareness Committee. They're judged on the basis of how well they meet the contest criteria, along with other factors including creativity, originality, clarity of planning, and potential for generating widespread public visibility and support for libraries.

The winner will be notified and announced following the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, January 30-February 3, 2015.  The winner will be publicized on the ALA ( and Campaign for America’s Libraries ( websites following the Midwinter Meeting.

Want $3,000 to make your NLW campaign really amazing? Apply this month!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Top-Notch Marketing Info, Now on Sale!

Do you like saving money?

Do you need proven ideas to help with your library's marketing?

Well then, I've got great news for you!

There's a newsletter called Marketing Library Services, which has been published for 28 years. Every issue is packed with professional-grade info and ideas. And it's on sale now, for some of the best prices ever offered. 
  • The normal print price for MLS newsletter is $99.95 for 1 year (6 issues).
  • A new digital subscription is on sale for just $74.95 for 1 year. **25% off** (That price is good through Dec. 31, 2014.)
  • There's also a new personal subscription rate. US residents who want print issues sent to their home addresses can now subscribe for just $69.95 for 1 year. **30% off**(No time limit on this new option)

So now you can subscribe to Marketing Library Services in the format you want, at a price you can afford. The publisher and I have heard your requests for an online subscription option, and for lower prices, and we've taken them seriously. Now we're giving you what many of you have asked for.

We want you to succeed, to promote your libraries effectively, to make sure they'll stay funded and thrive. So take advantage of these offers; go to the order page right now and make your choice.

Why subscribe to MLS?

1. MLS delivers best practices for powerful, effective marketing communication. It's the only periodical of its kind.

2. If your institution won't subscribe to MLS, you can use the low personal rate to get it for yourself. It's an investment in your career.

3. If you live outside the US (as many M Word readers do), and you didn't want to pay the higher mailing fees and wait longer for print issues to arrive in the post—then the digital subscription is for you. Get new issues of MLS as soon as they come out, for much less than you'd pay for print delivery.

4. Here are 20 more reasons to subscribe to MLS!

Sept/Oct issue cover
This whole issue is free to read online!

See for yourself how worthwhile MLS is. The publisher has posted one complete issue, full-text, so everyone can read and evaluate it. This September / October 2014 issue covers change management, election strategies, buying ads, planning a promotional campaign, and more.  

MLS shares today's best practices in library marketing from around the world, including everything from major campaigns to free promotions. It can teach you how to help your library make better connections with patrons, partners, funders, and stakeholders. Take a look and order now to start your subscription with the January / February 2015 issue. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Help Kickstart a Movie About US Public Libraries!

Have you heard the news? Some serious filmmakers are working on a movie about public libraries! They have a good start, but now they need our help. They have set up a Kickstarter fund-raising campaign to get money to finish the film. Donations must be in by midnight on Oct. 26.

Details from the Urban Library Council, one of the sponsors:
Filmmakers Dawn Logsdon and Lucie Faulknor, with Executive Producer Stanley Nelson, are asking library lovers across America to help them make "Free for All: Inside the Public Library," the first major documentary project about our nation’s most beloved and most threatened public institution. Producer/Director Logsdon enthuses, “This is a great American story that has not been told before. We feel it’s urgent to get this film done and out there, while so many communities are debating the future of their local libraries.” 
The filmmakers, who are inspired by their own love for libraries, have launched an online funding campaign for "Free for All" and need to raise $75,000 by midnight on Oct. 26, 2014.

Why you should donate: 
  • You can give any amount, $1 or more.
  • The project has been vetted and backed with R&D funding by big organizations (National Endowment for the Humanities, California Humanities, the San Francisco Foundation, the Creative Work Fund, the Eastman Fund, United for Libraries, Urban Library Council, Urban Libraries Unite, EveryLibrary, and more).
  • You can pay by credit card or check.
  • Donations are tax-deductible.
  • You can get cool prizes for helping out! 
  • Kickstarter is "all or nothing." If the filmmakers don't reach the goal of $75,000, no pledges are collected and they get nothing at all.
I like what creators Logsdon and Faulknor say about their project:
Big decisions about the future of the American public library --- decisions that will resonate for generations --- are being made NOW in local communities across the country. How these decisions will be made and who will make them are questions at the heart of our documentary.
We're an experienced team of award-winning filmmakers who are passionate about public libraries and their role in our democracy. Many people think of libraries as quaint book repositories growing obsolete in our digital age. We're on a mission to dispel that myth.
Here are a few more details... I hope they convince you to click over to the Kickstarter page, check it out for yourself, and make a donation! 
Set in public libraries around the country, "Free for All" will be a 90-minute film, intended for PBS broadcast, that explores a “day-in-the-life” of the American public library, from open to closing --- along with compelling chapters of library history. This cinematic library “road trip” will feature a stunning mosaic of stories, architecture and personalities that bring to life the public library experience and the urgent issues libraries face today. From celebrities to schoolteachers to poets and new immigrants, the film and its associated digital project explore why people are using their public libraries in record numbers and the threat to democracy if they were to become extinct.