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ERIC Number: EJ747409
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1041-7915
Starting and Running the "Libraries Matter" Campaign
Pope, Kitty; Chenoweth, Rose; Bersche, Karen; Bell, Lori
Computers in Libraries, v26 n8 p6-8, 55-56 Sep 2006
Sometimes a simple idea, such as selling gel bracelets that say "Libraries Matter" to raise money, can spark something much bigger. In this article, the authors explain how their Libraries Matter campaign grew beyond their own regional system to cover their whole state and eventually other points around the globe. This successful Web-based marketing and fundraising campaign was organized by the Alliance Library System (ALS), a consortium that serves 259 member libraries in Illinois. This campaign was created in response to concerns over the disappearance of school libraries through budget cuts and program eliminations. The Alliance management team decided on the following three goals for the one-year project: (1) develop an alternative funding demonstration project that would be primarily Web-based; (2) raise public awareness of the importance of libraries; and (3) utilize new Internet technology on the organization's Web site. The first target audience was ALS member libraries and their boards; the second was all the libraries in Illinois. The objectives for the first goal were to sell 10,000 bracelets to libraries and raise $5,000 to support the education of librarians. The objectives for the second goal were to create a key message that libraries could use to publicize their campaigns and develop press releases that libraries could reuse for their own purposes. Finally, the objectives for the third goal were to develop a Libraries Matter Web site separate from the Alliance's main Web site, create the capability for libraries to place orders and publicize their project goals on the new site, publicize success stories on there, and, eventually, develop a Libraries Matter blog and online photo gallery. The five phases of the project included the bracelet campaign, booths at state and national library conferences, an e-book called "Libraries Matter," a National Library Week e-card, and the dramatic Libraries Matter poster. The Libraries Matter Web site was launched on November 23, 2004 and was met with immediate success with orders quickly amassing. Publicity for the bracelets appeared on library-oriented blogs, in "Library Journal," some commercial Web sites, and a booth at the American Library Association conference in Chicago in June 2005, which led to more orders and requests for information. An audio e-book was produced with the title "Why Libraries Matter: A Story Long Overdue." The alternative funding demonstration succeeded in selling 63,350 bracelets, well over the 10,000 planned. The project raised $53,540. The bracelet dramatically raised public awareness around the world. "Libraries Matter" has become a rallying cry for librarians to use when advocating for legislation, working on fundraising, and campaigning for recognition, and exceeded all expectations.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois