Libraries feature @ your library brand in their TV and radio programs

Contact: Megan Humphrey


312-280-4020

mhumphrey@ala.org


For Immediate Release


April 17, 2002

Libraries feature @ your library brand in their TV and radio programs

@ your library™, the brand created on behalf of the American Library Association's (ALA) Campaign for America's Libraries to unify the communications efforts of libraries nationwide, is gaining popularity in the form of television and radio programs.

Libraries throughout the United States are creating programming, public service announcements, ads and radio spots using @ your library. The five-year public education effort was designed to increase awareness and support for libraries and librarians by communicating their value in the 21st century, to update their image, increase library usage in school, academic, public and special libraries and promote librarianship as a profession.

Starting this May, the North Suburban Library System (NSLS), based in Wheeling, Ill., will debut its half-hour round table conversation program, "Check in @ your library." The program will run on the Library Cable Network, a cable access channel supported by six public libraries in the northern suburbs of Chicago. The show will discuss topics including the @ your library campaign, how librarianship has changed as a profession, and how library usage has increased since September 11. NSLS also has created a series of one-minute PSAs that are tagged at the end with catch phrases including "You can learn about this and more @ your library."

Four other libraries also have adopted @ your library as the name of their monthly cable television shows. The shows from the Pikes Peak (Colo.) Library District; the Groton (Conn.) Public Library; the Minneapolis Public Library; and the Princeton (N.J.) Public Library all serve to tell the community what's going on at the library and about the library's services and resources.

The Lewiston City Library, Idaho, used funds from a state library advocacy grant for a PSA campaign to promote the library's services. The library's slogan, "The power of information @ your library," was incorporated into a series of four PSAs that began playing on a local cable station in November 2001 and will continue playing through April 2002. Staff and students at a local college produced the PSAs.

"Since I'm not in marketing, I was looking for something that was really easy to use and get my hands on, and @ your library really fit," Library Director Dawn Wittman said.

The Richland County (S.C.) Public Library worked with corporate partners last year to fund a series of TV and radio spots that encourage community members to get library cards. The spots aired 22,000 times on cable television channels and had the potential to reach 300,000 people in the Columbia area.

This past fall, the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) kicked off a statewide @ your library television advertising campaign to raise awareness about the state's 210 public libraries. ODL produced two ads, one for a general audience and one aimed at young adults. The scripts for both ads deliver a series of questions and end with, "The answer: It's all @ your library." More than 1,500 ad slots were purchased in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa media markets during morning and prime time programming on network and cable stations. The spots also are being made available to libraries to tag with local contact information should the library or friends group wish to invest its own funds to air the ads. Radio scripts incorporating the campaign theme also will be developed.

Other libraries and organizations that have used @ your library in radio spots include SELCO (Southeastern (Minn.) Libraries Cooperating); Cumberland County (N.C.) Public Library; the Waverly (Iowa) Public Library; the Vermont Library Association; and the Arkansas State Library/Arkansas Library Association.

ALA has made tools available on its
Web site to help libraries get on board with the campaign, including a variety of videos in English and Spanish, television spots featuring actors Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins that can be previewed online, and sample PSA scripts.

"It was helpful to be able to download the scripts and customize for Arkansas. It also makes our PR efforts more effective because it keeps our messages consistent with those of the national @ your library campaign," said Danny Koonce, public relations chair for the Arkansas Library Association.

For more information on the @ your library campaign and to subscribe to a discussion list for the latest updates and idea-sharing, visit the
Web site. Libraries are encouraged to send multiple samples of their involvement in the campaign to: Megan Humphrey, Campaign Coordinator, ALA PIO, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Samples also may be sent electronically to:
atyourlibrary@ala.org.