In 2011, the New Jersey State Library (NJSL) received the ALA President's Award for Advocacy, sponsored by ALTAFF, for its Snapshot Day project.
The goal of NJSL's Snapshot Day campaign was to find a way to show New Jersey lawmakers the value of library services to their constituents. New Jersey residents were the complete focus of the campaign in pictures, videos and comments they made about the importance of libraries to their lives. In 2009, when the Snapshot Day campaign was initially developed, 288 participating libraries of all types took more than 900 photos of visitors using library services. The statistics gathered from two Snapshot Days, as well as comments, photos, and a summary sheet, were used as both the NJSL and the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) went on legislative visits. Simultaneously, the NJSL and the NJLA encouraged library customers and library staff to send emails, postcards and letters, as well as to make photo calls to their elected officials. Following the Snapshot Days, $3.6 million was added back into the state library’s budget.
New Jersey State Library’s idea for a “snapshot day” has been adopted by ALA as an initiative, and more than 30 states have used Snapshot Day to provide visible evidence of the way libraries change lives every day. For more information about Snapshot Day, visit http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/advocacy/statelocalefforts/snapshotday/states.cfm.