2006 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award winners announced

Contact: Fred Reuland

ALA News Release

For Immediate Release

January 21, 2006

2006 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award winners announced

Six libraries are winners of the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award, which recognizes and honors outstanding achievement in library public relations. This award, jointly sponsored by the H. W. Wilson Company and the H. W. Wilson Foundation, Bronx, N.Y., with the Library Administration and Management Association (LAMA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has been awarded continuously since 1946.

“The applications received this 60th anniversary year came from a variety of libraries and library organizations and provided a wonderful picture of the amazing, innovative and creative public relations campaigns being carried out in libraries across the country,” said Tim Wadham, award committee chair. “The winning entries represent impressive public relations campaigns that ran the gamut from reading and library card sign-up promotion to reaching teen audiences to the opening and renovation of library facilities. What they all had in common was a remarkable success in raising public awareness of facilities, programs and services.”

The 2006 awards will be presented to:

Charleston County Public Library (Charleston, S.C.), for its innovative project, “Remembering the Cooper River Bridges,” an aggressive public relations effort with local media partnerships, which dramatically increased the public’s awareness of the significance of Charleston’s bridges, and raised the library’s public profile with nearly $800,000 in free news coverage.

The James B. Duke Library —Furman University (Greenville, S.C.), for “ICU: Life in the Library” and “Year of the Library,” a two-phase building renovation and expansion campaign.
Staff members injected a humorous medical theme to ease stress during the construction phase, which was followed by a yearlong celebration of the library, its new building and capabilities.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (Cincinnati), for a dynamic and comprehensive library card sign-up campaign.
In partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, the campaign used a fun and appealing wildlife theme with multilayered marketing strategies to reach and motivate students county-wide to sign up for library cards.
The campaign resulted in record sign-ups, increased awareness of library services and invaluable community and media relationships.

Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (Charlotte, N.C.), for “Bringing the Story to Life,” a campaign to celebrate the opening of ImaginOn, an innovative new space that combines a library and children’s theater.
Staff overcame a number of hurdles, including some last-minute negative publicity, and responded with a magnificent public relations effort that resulted in attendance and media coverage at their grand opening events exceeding all expectations.

Calgary Public Library
(Calgary, Alberta, Canada), for their innovative and unique program “The Great Alberta Reading Challenge.” Calgary Public Library invited all libraries across the province to join in a friendly competition with prizes for the highest participation.

Loudoun County Public Library
(Leesburg, Va.), for their program “Hanging Out Rocks!”, a campaign that responded to the needs of teens in their growing county by giving them a place that they could call their own.
Teen participation, and the many strategies utilized in this thoroughly analyzed and detailed public relations plan, was key to moving the campaign forward and led to additional resources granted for a popular after-hours teen center at the library where “Hanging Out Rocks!”

Winning entries will be displayed at the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award booth in the exhibit area during the 2006 ALA Annual Conference, June 22-28, in New Orleans. Conference participants also will be able to view the winners Sunday, June 25, from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the "Best of Show/Swap and Shop" program sponsored by LAMA.

Other members of the committee are Denis Cunningham, Marsha Iverson, Nancy Magnuson, Patricia Ann Marvel, Amy Shaw, Sherrill Smith, Mary Ann Tricarico, Michele Russo and Judith Gibbons.

For information about the 2007 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award Contest, go to
The deadline for entries for the 61th annual competition is December 8, 2006.

LAMA, a division of ALA, promotes outstanding leadership and management practices and identifies, encourages, and nurtures tomorrow’s leaders and managers.