Power up @ your library: Milner Library

Contact: Megan Humphrey

For Immediate Release
September 2001

Power Up @ your library™: Illinois State University promotes Milner Library to students and faculty

How do you get college students' attention as they return en masse to school this fall? How do you sell new services and remind students that what you offer sets you apart? Simple. You give them free stuff with your logo on it, that's how.

Pencils. Pen lights. Sticky notes. Bookmarks. These all were given out to returning students at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill, by Milner Library in an effort to remind students that in a sea of information, ISU's Milner Library would help them sort it all out.

Brightly designed in the school colors of red and white, the free merchandise tells students to "Power up @ your library" and provides students with the library's Web address: www.mlb.ilstu.edu. The Milner Library also placed ads in the student newspaper, a poster-size calendar of events and in a student planner that was given to all freshmen and transfer students.

"I am always looking for ways to promote Milner Library on campus and in the community," said Toni Tucker, assistant to the dean for Grant Writing, Development and PR. "I liked the idea of having a national campaign in which an academic library can be a participant. When students and faculty see the @ your library brand, we want them to think of Milner Library, Illinois State University."

Tucker decided to join the @ your library campaign after attending the campaign's very first training session held last fall at the Alliance Library System in Bloomington, Ill. 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, the campaign will introduce its first "mini-campaign," which will feature academic libraries.

"Illinois State University's library campaign is a great example for other academic libraries to follow in the coming months," said Deborah Davis, manager of The Campaign for America's Libraries. "The Milner Library's clever ads and give-aways are a great way to remind its users that the library is there with guided access to information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

"The student response to the campaign has been wonderful," said Tucker. "Students come to the library needing paper and pencils. Now we give them what they need with a message — that Milner Library is their library — their place to go for information, research, help and connections."

The academic mini campaign will be rolled out to the library community during the next year. The academic mini campaign will feature key messages and various PR tools and materials especially designed for academic libraries. Academic libraries will be encouraged to utilize the campaign materials in their own publicity efforts.

"As a membership organization, ALA responds to what our members tell us," said Davis. "And our members said they wanted an adaptable public education campaign that focuses on the different types of libraries, which is the point of the mini-campaigns."

Libraries that use @ your library™ in their public relations efforts are encouraged to send samples to: Sara Groves, 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.

September 26, 2001