Australia libraries promote @ your library campaign with Library Lovers Day

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/18/2014

Contact:

Steve Zalusky
Manager of Communications
PIO
312-280-1546
szalusky@ala.org

CHICAGO – The @ your library public awareness campaign has found success in the land down under.

A recent article in Information Today written by Victoria Anderson, a consultant in the Public Library Services branch of the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, documents the history of Library Lovers Day in Australia.

You can find the article by visiting http://www.infotoday.com/mls/sep11/Anderson-Library-Lovers-Day-in-Australia.shtml.

Anderson, who works for the organization that supports and advises the public libraries of New South Wales, as well as administers funding for local libraries, writes that in 2003, “NSW Public Libraries Marketing Working Group successfully applied for Library Council grant funding to roll out the ‘@ your library’ public awareness campaign that was developed by the American Library Association.”

She says that South Australian libraries had already adopted the campaign, “but in NSW we decided to rebadge and repurpose the campaign with more generic themes so that all libraries could easily buy in. Themes included Holiday Fun; Lifelong Learning; Read, Escape, Connect; and our standout winner, Library Lovers Day (LLD).”

The first LLD, which is held Feb. 14, was launched in 2006, as “public libraries across NSW gave away more than 50,000 love libraries wristbands in green, blue, and orange and invited their clients to wear their hearts on their wrists.”

By 2007, the campaign went national under the umbrella of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and Public Libraries Australia (PLA), combining for the first time on an advocacy event.

Wristbands were chosen as a promotional tool because teens considered them cool and they were inexpensive to purchase and send out in the mail.

Publicity was conducted by utilizing the distribution channels of the NSW @ your library campaign, while organizers at the State Library of NSW asked librarians to add their stories and photos to the campaign blog and also to Public Library News, which is published three times a year by the state library.

Over the years, LLD has been celebrated in a number of creative ways, including a renewal of wedding vows by a couple in 2011.

Anderson writes, “An old favorite is a blind date with a book. Books are wrapped in colored paper with a blurb or tantalizing staff review on the package; borrowers choose based on the descriptions, without knowing what the book is.”

For example,  Auburn Library “packaged its books as if they were lonely-hearts ads in the personal columns. One ad, describing “I Know This Much to Be True,” by Wally Lamb, called it a  ‘Heart-wrenching, soul-bearing novel seeks reader who likes a sad but satisfying read with good characters. Once you start me you’ll find it hard to put me down!”

The Campaign for America’s Libraries is the ALA’s public awareness campaign that promotes the value of libraries and librarians.  Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe - use the Campaign’s @ your library® brand. The Campaign is made possible in part by ALA’s Library Champions.