For immediate release | April 26, 2011

New interactive website captures stories from library patrons and staff across the U.S.

CHICAGO – The Public Library Association (PLA) and the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Library Advocacy are pleased to announce the launch of LibrariUS, an initiative sponsored by the Public Insight Network at American Public Media (APM).

The aim of LibrariUS is to inspire news content and, more importantly, generate a fresh and meaningful conversation about libraries and communities in the 21st century. It will also give participants future opportunities to share their knowledge and experience on other topics with journalists. Through an interactive website, the LibrariUS program collects details from people using the library. Their responses, along with their first name, last initial and location, will be displayed on a dynamic map, updated in real time. Contact information is also requested for possible media follow-up.

“The more we talk about libraries and the many ways they impact and improve our communities, the better,” says PLA president Audra Caplan. “Participation in the LibrariUS program offers an exciting opportunity [for library patrons] to become a part of APM’s Public Insight Network—ensuring libraries remain at the forefront of media, and therefore public consciousness.”

LibrariUS is designed to easily capture stories from patrons and/or library staff. A simple widget, installed on a library's website, links patrons to the LibrariUS website and enables them to share why they're visiting the library or using the library’s website. Downloadable handouts will soon be available to help libraries encourage patrons to share their stories and support the libraries’ participation in the LibrariUS initiative. All information collected is confidential and will not be sold or used for spam email. For additional details, please read the FAQ.

American Public Media™ is one of the largest producers of public radio programming in the world, with a portfolio reaching 16 million listeners via nearly 800 radio stations nationwide each week. Programs include A Prairie Home Companion®, Marketplace®, Performance Today®, The Splendid Table®, Being™, American RadioWorks® and many others. Founded in 2003, American Public Media’s Public Insight Network has nearly 100,000 sources around the country being engaged for reporting at more than two dozen media partners, including ProPublica, The Miami Herald, WNYC public radio in New York and KQED public radio in San Francisco among others. Demographic information and insights are stored in a secure, searchable database, and participating journalists search the database for knowledgeable sources, query sources to test hunches, identify trends and support production of major projects.

The American Library Association is the voice of America's libraries and the millions of people who depend on them. With more than 63,000 members, ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world and represents all types of libraries and library staff.

The Office for Library Advocacy supports the efforts of advocates seeking to improve libraries of all types by developing resources and training at the local, state and national level.

The Public Library Association is a division of the American Library Association. PLA’s core purpose is to strengthen public libraries and their contribution to the communities they serve. Its mission is to enhance the development and effectiveness of public library staff and public library services.


Amy Sargent