James V. Brown Library receives Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award

For Immediate Release
Mon, 03/09/2015


Cheryl Malden

Program Officer




CHICAGO —The James V. Brown Library in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is the 2015 winner of the prestigious Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award. The award is presented annually to a library organization for exhibiting meritorious achievements in carrying out a project to secure new funding resources for a public or academic library.

James V. Brown Library developed an annual fundraising campaign that allowed patrons to Own a Day at the library to honor or memorialize someone, or to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. The honoree’s name is placed on the library’s website, the calendar of events and on all the receipts for that day. They are also featured on other electronic media like the emailed newsletter, the library Facebook page and Twitter account.  In 2013 they hoped to sell 120 days to raise $12,000. They were able to meet this goal and increase the amount of participation each year. As of 2015, they are on track to keep up or expand the program with 120 dates already spoken for. Word of mouth has been a vital part of making this program successful. The program clearly works as a supplemental revenue stream to maintain services while it strengthens ties to the community. The James V. Brown Library notes with pride that patrons make a point of coming to the Library on their special day to take pictures of the digital displays reinforcing a sense of ownership and pride in the Library.

“The James V. Brown Library shows how working closely with their community to develop a new revenue stream can really make a difference and help more people feel connected and ownership of the Library. We imagine that this program could be widely replicated by others as well. The jury found that Own a Day showed ingenuity that exemplified the Gale Cengage Award Learning Financial Development Award”, states jury chair Annie Zeidman-Karpinski.

The program started in 2010 and has added days each year. The board of trustees and Friends of the Library group helps with promoting the event. Own A Day supporters get a letter reminding them to sign up again, if they’d like to continue. The program is also promoted within the Library with posters and digital displays all year long. All donors are mailed postcards as of 2014 to encourage them to participate during the gift-giving season. Each year has seen a growth in the number of sponsored days, with over $69,000 raised since the program’s inception.

Members of the 2015 Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award jury were Annie Zeidman-Karpinski, Chair, University of Oregon; Linda Kopecky, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee; Dani Porter-Lansky, Florida Atlantic University; Dominique Turnbow, University of California, San Diego; Jane Tuten, University of South Carolina-Aiken.

The Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award will be presented at the ALA Award Ceremony and Reception on Sunday, June 28th at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

The deadline for submission of applications for the 2016 Gale Cengage Financial Development Award is Dec. 1, 2015.

Guidelines and forms are available on the ALA website.