ACRL to present Best Practices in Marketing Awards at 12th National Conference in Minneapolis

Contact: Megan Bielefeld

ACRL Program Coordinator

For Immediate Release

March 17, 2005

ACRL to present Best Practices in Marketing Awards at 12th National Conference in Minneapolis

CHICAGO - American University and Illinois State University have won the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) Best Practices in Marketing @ your library Award. The awards will be presented at the ACRL 12th National Conference, “Currents and Convergence: Navigating the Rivers of Change,” in Minneapolis, during the keynote luncheon, Friday, April 8, 2005.

Sponsored by the ACRL Marketing Academic and Research Libraries (MARL) Committee and funded through the ACRL Friends, the award recognizes academic/research libraries that demonstrate an outstanding best practices marketing program. A $2,000 award will be presented to American University for first place, and a $1,000 award will be given to Illinois State University for second place.

American University Library: “Developing A Winning Marketing Campaign”

The AU Library engaged in a marketing effort that employed best practices for academic library marketing as described by ACRL. The AU plan was developed to be aligned, sustainable, measurable and transferable. It allowed the library to respond to undergraduate concerns about library facilities and collections by informing students and scholars about major building improvements, enhanced resources and increased awareness of the AU Library’s many outstanding offerings.

Implemented in 2003, the AU Library marketing plan drew upon a rich set of human resources, including library personnel and the AU Offices of University Marketing and Institutional Research and Assessment, and a group of students enrolled in a marketing course in the School of Communication, as well as ACRL’s @ your library Toolkit for Academic and Research Libraries.

“The AU Marketing plan was student-centered, collaborative in design and successfully capitalized on existing resources – such as the ACRL Toolkit and LibQUAL+ survey,” said MARL chair Frank D’Andraia. “The committee overwhelming felt that the American University Library marketing plan is being carried out through an intelligent, focused, and creative marketing plan, as well as exemplary use of partnerships with campus units and the tools developed by professional organizations.

“The program is particularly commendable for its appropriateness for institutional needs and priorities, its transferability to other academic libraries, and its particularly clever method of delivering its message to the Library’s undergraduate constituencies,” D’Andraia added.

“ACRL’s @ your library initiative coincided perfectly with the marketing efforts that were part of American University Library’s strategic plan,” said University Librarian Patricia A. Wand. “It allowed us to bring together the ACRL toolkit with a group of particularly creative minds who comprised the newly established Marketing Team.”

Illinois State University’s Milner Library: “ISU @ your library Campaign”

Illinois State University’s Milner Library developed a marketing plan to address campus and community perceptions about the library’s services and collections and to increase the awareness between these two constituent groups. The plan was customized, incorporating the library’s mission and goals, as well as themes from ISU’s strategic plan. As the campaign unfolded, several @ your library themes were incorporated to provide the appropriate overarching message to brand Milner Library in the minds of various users.

“The marketing project is noteworthy for its effective aggregation of the @ your library message, its successful involvement of a wide range of Milner Library personnel and its ability to insure the plan is effective by having an assessment component,” said D’Andraia. “The Committee was struck by several points: the use of a good survey instrument to identify the challenges, coupled with a combination of good planning and broad based involvement, and the graceful application of @ your library themes to address common perceptions faced by many of the nation’s academic and research libraries regarding collections and services.”

“Libraries on university campuses are so much more than warehouses and have been for a long time. But we haven't done a very good job of telling our story,” said Toni Tucker, assistant to the dean for public relations and outreach at Milner Library. “It takes strong, inventive, unique public relations and marketing programs to ensure both the campus and the community knows and understands all that we can do and can be. Having the ALA @ your library initiative provided the foundation in which to create key statements that carry out the library's message.”

April 2003 marked the official launch of ACRL's Academic and Research Library Campaign, part of the American Library Association's (ALA) Campaign for America's Libraries, to create awareness and understanding of the value of academic and research libraries and librarians in the 21st century.

ACRL is a division of the ALA, representing nearly 13,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals. ACRL is the only individual membership organization in North America that develops programs, products and services to meet the unique needs of academic and research librarians. Its initiatives enable the higher education community to understand the role that academic libraries play in the teaching, learning and research environments. More information about ACRL's programs and services can be located on the Web at

For more information on The Campaign for America's Libraries, please see