New Jersey Adopts @ your library

Contact: Megan Humphrey
312-280-4020
mhumphrey@ala.org

For Immediate Release
October 2001

New Jersey adopts @ your library™ as statewide marketing focus; recruitment efforts showcase national campaign

New Jersey's libraries have chosen the @ your library ™ campaign as the focus of a statewide marketing initiative. The goal of the initiative is to create awareness of services offered by New Jersey's libraries, to increase support for their programs and to recruit more librarians to the profession.

Representatives from libraries across the state made the decision last month at a meeting spearheaded by the New Jersey State Library. Those participating included members of the New Jersey Library Association's Public Relations Committee and the state's four regional library cooperatives.

"We had been trying to find a way to leverage funding from a number different groups to produce a much larger public awareness program. And the @ your library campaign fit the bill," said State Librarian Norma Blake. "It's simple. It's direct. It's flexible. And that's exactly what we needed."

"We are encouraging all of our libraries to use the campaign slogan consistently in their ongoing public relations efforts in order create a visible image that our patrons will recognize," added Leslie Burger, president of the New Jersey Library Association and member of the American Library Association's Public Awareness Committee. "By putting our efforts under one umbrella theme, we hope to remind the public that there's something for everyone @ your library no matter what part of the state you live in."

A network of New Jersey libraries has already spearheaded recruitment efforts in their state by using the @ your library™ logo. The Central Jersey Regional Library Cooperative (CJRLC), in cooperation with the New Jersey State Library and the New Jersey Library Network, have created a number of recruitment tools to support their efforts, including brochures, a Web site, open houses, and a recruitment summit scheduled for this month.

One of the two brochures that CJRLC created is for students making first-time career decisions; the other is for adults making a career change. Both feature the phrase, "Make a difference. Become a librarian. @ your library, The Campaign for America's Libraries." The brochures are being distributed statewide with funding from the New Jersey State Library. Libraries can receive a hard copy sample by e-mailing Connie Paul at connie@cjrlc.org.

The Campaign for America's Libraries is a five-year public education campaign sponsored by the American Library Association. Designed to speak loudly and clearly about the value of all types of libraries and librarians, one of the goals of the campaign is to positively impact recruitment efforts for the profession.

"When our regional library cooperative was planning our campaign to recruit more librarians, we had no question about using the @ your library logo. We wanted to support and also latch onto a theme that would be getting national exposure," said Connie Paul, director of CJRLC. "It is important for the public to recognize that libraries are connected to one another and the @ your library campaign reinforces that concept."

In addition to the brochures, CJRLC has created an entire Web site dedicated to library recruitment. The site, at www.becomealibrarian.org, features information on what librarians do, different types of librarians, scholarships, and links to Web pages about training, including links to ALA's Directory of Institutions Offering Accredited Master Programs Index and Guidelines for Choosing a Master's Program in Library and Information Science.

"We see recruitment of high-quality professionals as our top priority and we want to do everything possible to recruit the best and brightest," said Blake.

To date, CJRLC has hosted four open houses about becoming a librarian that have been attended by over 250 people. An upcoming recruitment summit in October is also made possible by money from the state library and will include topics such as recruiting a diverse workforce and salary issues.

Libraries that use @ your library in their public relations efforts are encouraged to send samples to: Megan Humphrey, ALA Public Information Office, 50 E. Huron, Chicago, IL 60611. Librarians can send campaign questions or requests to: atyourlibrary@ala.org.

To receive regular campaign updates, join the campaign's e-mail list by visiting the campaign's internal Web site at: www.ala.org/@yourlibrary.

Founding partners of The Campaign for America's Libraries include: 3M Library Systems; the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress; the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA); Major League Baseball; and Morningstar Foods Inc., maker and distributor of Hershey's Milk.