History of the Campaign for America’s Libraries

The Campaign for America’s Libraries was American Library Association’s public awareness campaign that ran from 2000 until 2015 and promoted the value of libraries and librarians. It was designed to showcase the unique and vital roles played by public, school, academic, and special libraries.

The Campaign used a trademarked brand – @your library® – to unify the communications activities of libraries across the country. Campaigns tailored for academic and research libraries, as well as for school and public libraries, were launched, focusing on the value of those types of libraries and librarians. Also under the @your library umbrella were initiatives promoting children’s library services, rural libraries, the role of young adult librarians, and preservation. Thousands of libraries of all types – across the country and around the globe – used the Campaign’s @your library brand.

The Campaign sought to convey the following key messages:

  • Libraries are changing and dynamic places
  • Libraries are places of opportunity
  • Libraries change lives
  • Libraries change communities

Through the consistent delivery of these key messages, the Campaign aimed to:

·Increase awareness and support for libraries by communicating why libraries are both unique and valuable

  • Update the image of libraries, librarians and all library staff, sustaining and strengthening their relevance
  • Bring renewed energy to the promotion of libraries and librarians
  • Deliver library messages to a more diverse audience

All types of libraries and library organizations embraced the Campaign, highlighting their unique programs, services, and technologies and telling their own exciting stories.

The Campaign for America’s Libraries engaged in a wide variety of initiatives including:

  • Developing promotional tools to celebrate National Library Week and Library Card Sign-Up Month; securing honorary chairs for each event
  • Supporting the Dollar General funded project, the American Dream Starts @ your library
  • Partnering with ALA divisions on their public awareness initiatives
  • Administering the Scholastic Library Publishing National Library Week Grant
  • Supporting the FINRA Investor Education Foundation funded project, Smart Investing @ your library
  • Administering the Carnegie Corporation of New York/New York Times I Love My Librarian Award
  • Supporting the School Library Campaign
  • Promoting the Declaration for the Right to Libraries
  • Collaborating with Univision Radio on public service announcements (PSAs) targeting Hispanic/Latino populations
  • Working with Safeway to develop @ your library branded messages about libraries for the back panel of Safeway-brand cereal boxes
  • Partnering with Scholastic Parent & Child and Lifetime Networks on the Connect with your kids @ your library campaign
  • Partnering with Women’s Day to publish articles on the value of libraries
  • Partnering with National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to promote library use
  • Developing a website, atyourlibrary.org to introduce the public to the wide range of services available at their library
  • Partnering with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) on the Campaign for the World’s Libraries

The Campaign for America’s Libraries was administered by ALA’s Public Information Office and was made possible in part by the generous support of ALA Library Champions.