The Public Library Association's Smartest Card campaign moves forward

Contact: Barbara Macikas



For Immediate Release

January 17, 2006

The Public Library Association’s Smartest Card campaign moves forward

CHICAGO - The Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has hired the Metropolitan Group (MG) to build on the existing PLA Smartest Card @ your library® campaign. Metropolitan Group is a strategic communications and resource development firm with offices in Portland, Oregon, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

MG has extensive background working with public libraries across the country, as well as in creating effective advocacy platforms. Over the past 16 years, MG clients have included Multnomah County Library, Brooklyn Public Library, Maryland State Library, Sacramento Public Library, and ALA’s AFFECT to name just a few.

MG will work with the PLA @ your library taskforce and librarians across the country to create a toolkit that can be adapted by local library staff to showcase the value of public libraries based on demonstrated impact, research and stories. The toolkit will be available in a variety of formats, including online, and will be easily adaptable to local needs.

The PLA @your library taskforce was created in June 2004 and, with the help of Peggy Barber and Linda Wallace of Library Communication Strategies, has been able to create a strong foundation for this public library advocacy and recognition campaign. The PLA @ your library taskforce members include: Chair Kathleen Reif, Mary Fran Bennett, Kerry Bierman, Clara Bohrer, Kathy Coster, Luis Herrera, Susan Hildreth, Pam Jaskot, Sallie Johnson, Polly Koenigsknecht, Peter Persic, Jan Sanders, and Gary Shaffer.

Information about the progress of the campaign will be available through a variety of forums:

  • PLA’s web site:
  • At the 2006 PLA National Conference in Boston, March 21-26, “Smartest Card? Prove it. Use Stats & Stories at your Library” on Thursday, March 23, at 2 p.m. will provide an overview of the project.
  • The toolkit will be introduced at a program on Sunday, June 25, 2006 at 1:30 during the ALA National Conference in New Orleans.
  • An electronic newsletter is being developed to alert public librarians of campaign news and to provide tools and resources. PLA members who have indicated as part of their ALA member communications preferences that they are interested in receiving PLA emails will automatically receive the newsletter. Others interested in receiving the newsletter can subscribe to the PLA Campaign News list by emailing, subject line: Subscribe me to the PLA Campaign News List. Please include your full name and contact information in the body of the message.

For further information, please contact Barb Macikas at PLA,