Past Programs

LLAMA PRMS logo (Public Relations and Marketing Section)

The Public Relations and Marketing Section is the home of the prestigious John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations awards, generously sponsored by the H.W. Wilson Foundation, and the PR Xchange (formerly Swap ‘n’ Shop), featuring the Best of Show PR and Marketing awards. This section (PRMS) focuses on 1) calling attention to the importance of strong public relations and marketing practices in public, school, college and university, and special libraries; 2) serving as public relations liaison between LLAMA and other ALA units; and 3) recognizing and furthering excellence in library public relations and marketing.

PRMS invites you to get involved on its committees: options include PR Xchange, Education and Training, and the Nominating Committee.

2011 ALA Annual: PR Xchange offers inspiring public relations ideas for libraries

Would you like to start or add to your idea file of interesting, eye-catching, beautiful bookmarks, brochures, fliers, posters, magnets, and other materials to promote library services and resources?  This is your chance to collect samples of promotional materials, to network with others, and to get inspired!  You’ll also get to view some very cool, innovative YouTube videos and other web-based promotion.

Please join us at the PR Xchange event, located in the Morial Convention Center, Room 260-262 between 11:00 and 1:30 on Sunday, June 26th, to pick up great promotional materials from North American libraries of all types. 

Also, join us for the Best of Show awards ceremony at 12:30, where the winners and honorable mentions for achievement in a number of areas of library promotion will be awarded. 

Be sure to check out the large display showing the work of the Best of Show honorees at the PR Xchange.  You’ll also have the opportunity to see this year’s John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award winning entries. 

See you there!

 2009 ALA Chicago Update:

Partnering with Service OrganizationsLibrarian panelists will discuss best practices in seeking assistance from service organizations like Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Altrusa and Soroptimist. The panelists will discuss successful initiatives in their communities and in the international arena. Some of the successful programs include reading programs for children, adult literacy, children’s book drives, fundraising for programs, cultural events and more. Co-sponsored by the Public Library Association and the Association for Library Service to Children. Saturday, July 11 from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at McCormick Place West, W-194b.

PR Makeovers, Book Release and Best of Show to Highlight Swap & Shop 2009

Swap & Shop, held at the Annual Conference since 1974, features promotional materials from libraries across North America, available for all attendees to peruse and take home as they seek ideas for their own public relations efforts.

This year Swap & Shop will feature a book release for The Accidental Library Marketer by Kathy Dempsey.  Ms. Dempsey will sign copies at Swap & Shop (from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 12, in the Special Events area of the exhibit hall) and will offer a 25% discount to attendees.

The “PR Doctors,” Peggy Barber and Linda Wallace, of Library Communications Strategies, will be available to advise on your library’s communication challenges and promotional materials.  Barber and Wallace are the authors of a new book, Building a Buzz: Libraries and Word-of-Mouth Marketing, to be published by ALA Editions this fall. Critiques are limited to two items.  Be sure to bring copies.

The Best of Show winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m., with Best of Show award-winning materials, selected from hundreds of entries in the national competition, on display. 

John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award Winners to Receive Awards and Checks for $5,000 from Award Sponsor H.W. Wilson Company

The John Cotton Dana award is the most prestigious award in the library field, honoring excellence in the design and execution of strategic communication.  The John Cotton Dana honor has been awarded continuously since 1946 and is sponsored by the H.W. Wilson Company, the H.W. Wilson Foundation, and the Library Leadership and Management Association, a division of the American Library Association.

Out of 63 applications, six were selected to receive JCD awards: Baltimore County Public Library; Gwinnett County Public Library; Houston Public Library; The Library Foundation of the Multnomah County Library; St. Paul Public Library and Ypsilanti District Library.

The awards will be presented at a tea on July 13, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Ballroom of The Ritz-Carlson Hotel.

"Marketing @ the Library--Making Yourself and Attractive Target": Presentation (flash-version hosted at Slideshare)

  • Education and Training Committee:
    • The Education and Training Committee conducted a program titled "Are you in the game? Millennial Learning Strategies to Market Your Libraries." About 80 people enjoyed the early Saturday morning program.
  • Swap and Shop Committee
    • The 35th year of Swap & Shop was a resounding success, with more than 600 conference attendees visiting "Swap & Shop: Hot Ideas for Cool PR" to view and pick up samples of the best public relations and marketing materials from the previous year. Swap & Shop also gave attendees opportunities to talk to such marketing experts as John Cotton Dana award winners and the PR Docs from Library Communication Strategies (hosts of the annual PR Makeover competition). As always, a popular aspect of the show was the Best of Show awards display. The Best of Show awards this year recognized the growing importance of electronic marketing by adding two new video categories, which drew about 20 of the nearly 400 total entries for the juried competition.
  • John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award Committee:
    • The JCD awards reception sponsored by the H.W. Wilson Company was a lovely and well attended affair. Winners receiving certificates and checks for $5,000 were: Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, Illinois; Hamilton Public Library, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Metropolitan Library Service Agency, St. Paul, Minnesota; Richmond Public Library, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada; and the University of California at Santa Barbara.


The Public Relations and Marketing Section meets these responsibilities in the following ways:

 1. Reviews association, division, and section activities to identify changing public relations developments and needs.

 2. Initiates and oversees activities and projects appropriate to the section, especially those relating to friends of libraries, public relations institutes, the John Cotton Dana Awards, publications, and public relations services to libraries, state libraries, and state library associations.

 3. Presents and interprets library public relations to interested groups outside the profession, especially people in library services areas.

 4. Aids the professional public relations development of librarians and other library public relations professionals by encouraging the exchange of ideas and participation in relevant programs, institutes, and other continuing education opportunities.

5. Uses all appropriate media to facilitate communication about public relations theory and practice among library and library-support groups and associations.