Please consider donating to the EveryLibrary Rapid Response Fund!

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EveryLibrary is a nonprofit social welfare organization chartered to work exclusively on local library ballot initiatives. How? By training library staff, trustees, and volunteers to plan and run effective Information Only campaigns; by assisting local Vote Yes committees on planning and executing Get Out the Vote work for their library’s measure; and by speaking directly to the public about the value and relevance of libraries and librarians.

EveryLibrary’s Rapid Response Fund is designed to address the single most significant problem in library advocacy today: no one is funding direct outreach to the public or stakeholders when a crisis hits libraries. Too many times, the urgent and necessary calls-to-action issued by local stakeholders are unable to reach activists and constituents because no one is advertising or marketing those calls-to-action. Whether the stakeholders are a group of staff, the local trustees or Friends, an ad hoc community of advocates, or an established trade or professional association, their legitimate voices for the library need support.

From their website: Our Rapid Response Fund is designed to amplify the voices of local library advocates during a crisis by supporting paid ads for outreach and action.  In setting up the Rapid Response Fund we will not attempt to replace or supplant the legitimate local advocates; rather, we will apply best-practices to market them through social media.  The Fund will allow us to drive traffic to their calls-to-action by both new and existing constituents and advocates.  EveryLibrary will not set the agenda or create the calls-to-action.  That responsibility still resides with the local advocates.  They are closer to the issue and are already trusted in their community.  We will work to spend the Rapid Response Funds in a way that creates success through broad-based or targeted advertising that produces measurable results.   

The Rapid Response Fund will put money to work to get the advocacy message in front of the right people and “bring them out” for the library. Please consider donating today! You can also visit http://everylibrary.org/everylibrary-announces-2014-campaigns/ for a list of the campaigns and to see how your donation will impact the future of library funding across the country.

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Letters to the Children of Troy

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On May 16, 1971 the new Troy Public Library opened its doors for the first time to the public. Marguerite Hart became the first children’s librarian at the Troy Library.  Hart possessed a passion for libraries and their role in communities and was determined to provide children with proper library services. She once said:

The public library has a choice of roles to play in a community. It may be a vital, telling force, a source to which its patrons turn first, or it may be a passive entity, doing its work as a background for community activity. I believe that like the City of Troy, to which it belongs and which it represents, our new library must take a prominent place. Before children are able to read independently, a librarian helps them to know the library as the place they may explore when they do read. She helps them discover reading as a pleasurable experience, the quality of which derives from the attitudes within the library and that of the community it serves.

In early 1971, Hart wrote to dozens of actors, authors, artists, musicians, playwrights, librarians, and politicians of the day. She asked them to write a letter to the children of Troy about the importance of libraries, and their memories of reading and of books. Hart received 97 letters addressed to Troy’s young people from individuals who spanned the arts, sciences, and politics across the 50 states, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, the Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. Those writing included First Lady Pat Nixon; Michigan Governor William Milliken; then-Secretary to the Pope; Michigan State University President Clifton Wharton, Jr., the first African-American president of a major U.S. university; Neil Armstrong; Cosmopolitan editor Helen Gurley Brown; authors Isaac Asimov, Hardie Gramatky, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Ben Spock, and E.B. White; and actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Vincent Price, and Dan Rowan and Dick Martin.

The collection of letters is available for viewing on the Troy Public Library’s website: Our History: Letters to the Children of Troy, May 1971.

I’m Too Sexy For My Library: The New Old Spice Campaign Ad Advocates for Libraries

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In what is definitely one of the more creative social media ad campaigns I’ve seen lately, users log on to Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit and send a question or a comment to one of the official Old Spice feeds. If the Old Spice folks like your submission, they’ll upload a video response to YouTube, starring the Old Spice Guy, also known as Isiah Mustafa – a former wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. This one was made in response to a tweet (thanks wawoodworth!):

On Twitter, @wawoodworth wrote “ATTN LIBRARIAN TWEEPS: Need help getting @oldspice guy to say a few words regarding libraries. RT plz. Thanks.”

Theatrics in the Reading Room

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New York City based Improv Everywhere (causing “scenes of chaos and joy in public places” since 2001) brought live and unanticipated entertainment to the main reading room of The New York Public Library at 42nd Street last week.

The group was asked to do the special skit as part of the Library’s Don’t Close The Book On Libraries advocacy campaign to fight a proposed $37 million city budget cut – the harshest in its history – that would lead to branch closures, layoffs and hourly cut-backs. The end of the video includes a link to the NYPL’s website, and the message “Don’t Close The Book On Libraries”. It’s another creative way NYPL is trying to get its important message out to new and wider audiences. Any of the action look familiar? Ghostbusters (1984) begins with a scene in the very same room!

Legislation to keep libraries open passes in Philadelphia

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Finally. Good news for the employees and patrons of the Free Library of Philadelphia.
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Thursday, September 17th, Pennsylvania State senate passed bill 1828 by a vote of 32 to 17. For all of you who have been following the saga over the city’s budget crisis, this is indeed the legislation that was needed for the City of Philadelphia to avoid the “Doomsday” Plan C budget scenario, which would have resulted in the layoff of 3,000 city employees and forced the closing of all of the city’s 54 libraries.

The Free Library of Philadelphia’s blog thanks advocates for contacting their legislators…proff that citizens can make a difference. Read more here.

World’s Largest Public Library Advertisement!

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“Public libraries are an incredible resource. Yet, a great advertising campaign for public libraries has never been done before. Why not?” asked Matt Spergel, President of TechForEducators.com. “How many more great books will be read? And how many lives will change as a result?”

TechForEducators.com claims the billboard is the world’s largest public library advertisement. The advertisement’s headline exceeds 41 feet and the call to action spans the length of the billboard at 48 feet. “As far as we know, the world has never seen a public library advertisement of this size,” Spergel said.

“Education cannot rest on the shoulders of teachers alone. Parents must also take more resposibility for the education of their children … and bringing them to the library is an important first step,” Spergel added.

The billboard is in Martinez, CA on I-680 south after the Benecia Bridge on the right-hand side.