Getting Started @ your library®

Interested in getting involved with The Campaign for America's Libraries but don't know how to start? Use these simple suggestions, and you'll be on your way.

Get to Know The Campaign for America's Libraries

Familiarize yourself with the goals of the campaign, our three core messages, and the target audiences. Review the resources available to you from the ALA to help you promote the campaign in your community.

Visit the campaign Web site at www.ala.org/@yourlibrary .

Obtain the latest ALA Graphics Catalog or visit the ALA Online Store at http://alastore.ala.org to view and order @ your library® merchandise. Use the products as gifts or give-aways or add to your library's gift shop, if you have one.

Incorporate Key Messages

The campaign's three core messages (like the @ your library brand) can easily be incorporated into communications materials such as fact sheets, speeches, presentations, letters-to-editor and op-ed articles. Include examples of library programs and services to highlight these messages.

The core messages also make particularly good talking points for key library spokespeople and can serve as quotes within a press release. The American Library Association, for example, used the messages in a press release to promote a national photo contest: "These pictures tell our stories - how libraries help people of all ages achieve the American dream, navigate their way through the information highway and access all sorts of resources with the personal assistance of a librarian."

Use the @ your library® Brand

Integrate the brand into your library/organization's letterhead, business cards, fax cover sheets and e-mail signature.

Use the brand on flyers and brochures to promote special programs and services at your library/organization. Examples:

  • Art exhibits @ your library
     
  • Homework help @ your library
     
  • It's just not academic @ your library®

Tie into promotions and events sponsored by the American Library Association.

  • Library Card Sign-up Month: Get carded @ your library
     
  • Banned Books Week: Read a banned book @ your library
     
  • Teen Read Week: Read for the fun of it! @ your library ("Read for the fun of it!" is the official theme for Teen Read Week.)

Tie into national celebrations (See Chase's Calendar of Events for a complete list.)

  • Hispanic Heritage Month @ your library (September)
     
  • Black History Month @ your library (February)

Create new library cards using an @ your library:

  • Check it out @ your library
     
  • Something for everyone @ your library

Post the brand on your library/organization's Web site or create a display for your computer workstations with slogans such as:

  • Untangle the Web @ your library
     
  • Get connected @ your library

Display @ your library:

  • Bulletin boards can be labeled with
    • today @ your library
       
    • this week @ your library
       
    • this month @ your library
       
  • book displays can feature good reads @ your library.

For special/corporate libraries:

Create placemats for your company cafeteria that say "Food for thought @ your library" or stuff paychecks with bookmarks that include the brand and a catchy phrase.

For school libraries:

Use the brand to demonstrate the relationship between the curriculum and the library by creating a poster or other promotional item that says: "Get more out of class @ your library." Do homework. Research your term paper. Surf the Web.

For school and college libraries:

Use the brand to promote studying with "Make the grade @ your library."

For college and university libraries:

Use the brand to promote doing research:

  • Research made easy @ your library
     
  • Investigate @ your library

Reach Out to the Media

Send Campaign for America's Libraries PSAs to your local cable or university TV station.

Customize any of the PR tools on the campaign Web site to highlight your library's unique resources and programming: send press releases, print PSAs, op-eds, and letters-to-the-editors to local media, customize the sample PSAs for your local radio station, purchase or request billboard space using the campaign artwork.

Get the Community Involved

Contact community organizations and ask to be a speaker at their meetings. Examples of community organizations include the PTA, Rotary Club and AARP. Highlight how your library's resources can benefit them. Integrate the three core messages into your remarks. Use the "quotable quotes" on the campaign Web site to add to your speech.

Ask local businesses to sponsor a series of flyers that list library resources relevant to their own patrons' interests (ex: health and nutrition resources in doctors' offices and grocery stores, resources related to home buying in a realtor's office). Ask them to display the lists in their places of business and post them on their Web sites.

Invite local celebrities—local officials, university presidents, school principles—for a tour of your library. As a "thank you" and a good photo opportunity, present them with  giant @ your library cards. Sample downloadable art is available on the campaign website.