Appendix: Sample Pitch Letter

Dear XXX,

In times of economic hardship, Americans turn to – and depend on – their libraries and librarians.

As National Library Week, April 10 - 16, approaches, we can offer lively national and local experts to discuss current trends in library use.

With the nation facing tough economic times, libraries offer us all a remarkable wealth of resources. Beyond free access to the books, periodicals and the movies we enjoy, patrons are turning to their libraries for free Internet and e-books, personal finance tools, information for job searches and small business opportunities and, of course, the priceless knowledge and experience of librarians.

Libraries are helping level the playing field for job seekers, and are offering support to people to get back on their feet. With more businesses – including a majority of America’s leading retailers – requiring applicants to apply online, job-seeking resources are among the most critical and most in demand among the technology resources available in U.S. public libraries.

When the economy is down, library use is up. Unfortunately, at the same time, tight city and state budgets are closing library doors and reducing access when it’s needed most.

Twenty-one states reported cuts in state funding for public libraries from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2011. Of these, almost half indicated that the cuts were greater than 10 percent. The previous year, 24 libraries had reported cuts, with half indicating cuts greater than 11 percent.

Key issues that we can discuss:

  • Increase in library use during the economic downturn.
  • The release of the American Library Association’s State of America’s Libraries Report, which is a comprehensive report that discusses library trends.
  • National Library Workers Day – Tuesday, April 12, 2010 is a day for library staff, users, administrators and Friends groups to recognize the valuable contributions made by all library workers – including librarians, support staff and others.
  • April 13 is National Book Mobile Day, which recognizes and celebrates the role of bookmobiles and direct‐delivery outreach services in fulfilling the mission of libraries.
  • Teen Literature Day – Thursday, April 14, hundreds of libraries will showcase the best in teen literature.
  • School Library Media Month – Celebrated during the month of April. Hundreds of school libraries will offer special activities that celebrate the essential role that strong school library programs play in a student's academic career.

Please contact me at 312-280-4393, or if you would like to schedule an interview with a local or national library spokesperson.