PLA premieres library advocacy video series at national conference

Heather Cho
Media Relations Specialist
hcho@ala.org

DENVER — At the intersection of practice and advocacy is the story of libraries’ and library staff’s positive impacts on individuals and communities. Better understanding and capturing these impacts drives the work of Project Outcome and a new video series featuring library users—both of which are being featured at the Public Library Association (PLA) conference in Denver.

The series showcases the impact that today’s public library has on the community, with subject matter that intersects with the National Policy Agenda for Libraries, including how libraries support education, employment and entrepreneurship. The videos were developed in concert with PLA President-Elect Felton Thomas and American Library Association (ALA) President Sari Feldman, as well as with PLA, the ALA Office for Information Technology Policy and the ALA Office for Library Advocacy as tools that the library community, allies and decision-makers can use to show how Libraries Transform.

“Before I walked into the public library, I knew nothing about 3D printing,” says Cleveland Brewery owner John Fuduric, who used library resources to print unique beer taps for his business. “The library is a great resource, but with the technology, the possibilities are endless.” More than 5,000 public libraries provide small business development programs and resources, according to the Digital Inclusion Survey.

Shot in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County public libraries by award-winning video production company Goldfarb Weber Creative Media, the series of six videos will be available for libraries nationwide to download and use. In addition to those mentioned above, other videos highlight themes of empowerment and community engagement, as well as an overview video bringing together all of the threads.

“Cleveland Public Library, like many of our colleagues, is using video more and more to share our services with more people in an increasingly visual world,” Thomas said. “But I know this is a catalog we need to build, and I hope these diverse videos will be used in our social media, public presentations and outreach to better reflect today’s library services and resources.”

Video has become increasingly important for communications and reach—particularly for younger audiences. Click-through rates, for instance, increase two to three times when a video is included in an email, and 91 percent of 18-24 year olds are watching online video on a regular basis.

“Policy makers, community decision makers and funders do not always recognize the expanded roles and capabilities of libraries nor recognize the extent to which libraries can be catalysts for opportunity and progress,” Feldman said. “We must shift outdated perceptions of libraries. This is why I’ve been proud to launch the Libraries Transform public awareness campaign, and why Cuyahoga County Public Library supported the development of these videos.”

All of the videos will be available for download and use from the ALA YouTube channel, and additional tips and examples for ways to leverage the videos will be developed and shared. Libraries Transform is a public awareness and advocacy campaign of the ALA. Designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals, the Libraries Transform campaign will ensure there is one clear, energetic voice for our profession. For more information, visit www.librariestransform.org.  

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Public Awareness Office
312-280-4020
American Library Association