How is your library cooler than cool?

Notes from the July 21st webinar, "How to Leverage Snoopy to Run a Library Card Sign-Up Campaign for Your Library,"  with Nancy Dowd and Pam Jaskot. Nancy Dowd is Chair of the ALA Public Awareness Committee and Product Manager, LibraryAware at NoveList EBSCO Publishing. Pam Jaskot is a Consultant and Trainer for LibraryAware at NoveList  EBSCO Publishing. Watch the archived recording.

What is Library Card Sign-up Month? It starts by letting people know what your library has to offer.

What's cooler than being cool? Having a library card, Snoopy public service announcementKeep it simple:

  1. Get out into the community
  2. Have fun
  3. Get the word out that your library is cooler than cool… oh and get a few new card holders

Having Snoopy as Library Card Sign-up Month spokesdog is a great opportunity for libraries. Over 100 million dollars will be spent on marketing for the release of “The Peanuts Movie” in November. Major brands are partnering with Peanuts Worldwide including McDonald’s, Nestle, Lufthansa, Horizon Organic, and All laundry detergent. Snoopy and the Peanuts characters will be everywhere.

Think about these four ways to develop around the theme “How is your library cooler than cool?”: Staff, Partnerships, Events and Communication.

Staff

Find out what your staff thinks. Look for ways to get them excited and talking about what makes your library cool. Get them to brainstorm with you at a morning “What’s cool at our library meeting.”

Ideas from webinar attendees about things that make their libraries cool: storytime, digital studio, robots, videos, our PC to iMac 3- session classes, adult classes, Lego club, game club, makerspace, 3-d Printing, book discussion groups, art clubs, staff  blog, newsletter, selfie station.

Partnerships

Having a high-visibility spokesdog like Snoopy provides great leverage to pursue partnerships.

Think about partnerships with:

  • Schools and local organizations;
  • Local media. It’s a great time to talk with editorial boards;
  • Cool businesses and retail stores;
  • County agencies, one of the simplest ways to help spread the word.

Ideas for partnerships from webinar attendees: local eateries, schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, nursing and retirement homes, employment connection, local cable company for customized video, other nonprofits, Head Start, park and recreation, local business - show your library card for ...., YMCA, local hospital, literacy centers, local restaurants, Kiwanis clubs, assisted living facilities, movie theaters, baseball team, grocery store frozen aisles, Friends of the library groups, local restaurants,  drink napkins, community theatre group, family literacy night, film festival, outdoor campus State Game and Parks division, recreational centers, SPCA, local game/cartoon store, health and human services, United Way, 4-H clubs, housing authority, foster children association, local animal rescue, sport teams, laundromat, homeschool co-op groups, tot lot at the park, visitor's bureau, local churches, Chamber of Commerce, Harley dealerships and auto dealerships, local TV station (wearing sunglasses), giveaways /prizes tickets for movie theater, post office, Peanuts movie premier night partnership.

Events

Snoopy is a heavily licensed character. It's important to the Schulz family to maintain the integrity of Charles Schulz’s vision for the characters. We have licensing for some items through ALA. We've had questions about use of Snoopy on other products, like library cards. We're checking into licensing questions, and the possibility of arranging Snoopy appearances, on a case-by-case basis. Contact Campaign Coordinator Megan McFarlane (mmcfarlane@ala.org) with questions. If you're thinking of putting together an event that includes an appearance from Snoopy, we’d like you to think about creating a big event by partnering with the county or a local mall rather than having Snoopy make an appearance at your library.

There are also lots of smaller events that can leverage Snoopy:

  • Snoopy  dance flash mob
  • Snoopy Lego-building contest
  • Snoopy dog look-alike contest
  • Snoopy cartoon contest
  • Snoopy story hour in a public place
  • Peanuts costume party
  • Partner with a hardware store to have a “best snoopy dog house” contest to raise funds for SPCA
  • Hot dog cook off
  • Cool shelfies – books on Instagram – what would Snoopy read?

Ideas for events from webinar attendees: Farmer's markets, job fairs, back-to-school event, love the Snoopy Dance Flash Mob, play it over the loudspeaker encourage people to sign up during mob, kick off to library card campaign in school auditorium with media invited, Humane Society yard sale, fall festival, pop-up library, readathon, kids days, public building spaces, collection drive for SPCA, movie nights, ice cream socials, therapy dog reading program, local shelters & vet offices, all staff will be wearing sunglasses all month, Tails n' Tales - kids come read with dogs, selfie with snoopy, competition between schools countywide, cartooning - create a "cool" book, coolest branch competition, displays created by each library to advertise Library Card Sign-up Month and then awards are given to top displays, Peanuts art contests, Use your library card during the month of September to win a free movie ticket, little free library at a dog park, transform the reference desks into Lucy's booth!, flash mob Snoopy dance in school cafeteria and hold up big signs "It's Library Card Sign-up Month!, have each new card holder will place a dog bone on a giant doghouse - which states I'm cool - I got my library card today, creating and event with a local theater, show "The Great Pumpkin," have a Peanuts movie marathon.

Communication

Think about ways to get people talking about how cool your library is:

Social Media
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Vine: Ask people to post about how cool your library is, or have a contest for the coolest library branch.

Traditional Media
Press Releases, Proclamation, Local Radio/TV, Letter to Editor: Tools from ALA will help get you started.

Print
Print Flyers, Posters, Bookmarks, Stickers: Be sure to get your flyers and posters out to places where people would be able to use your services, the unemployment office, for instance.

Ideas for communication from webinar attendees: city public relations, local paper, TV and radio,  op-ed, civic groups, have teens create PSAs to play on school TV, outreach program to schools, Facebook ads, family resource coordinators at area schools, put up posters in school buses, contact school district's communication officer, create a library delivery truck wrap, bookmobile signage, vote for the coolest library branch via Facebook or Twitter, school guidance counselors, combine Snoopy poster with pictures of patrons holding up their library cards.