Mercoledì 27 ottobre 2004
Roma EUR, Palazzo dei congressi
Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak at the Associazionne Italiano Biblioteche conference about the activities of the American Library Association and a number of other countries in the 'Campaign for the World's Libraries.' ALA and IFLA were very pleased that that AIB and Italy became one of the first countries to join the world campaign with '@lla tua biblioteca'.
The Creation of the 'Campaign for America's Libraries'
Libraries in the United States have always had a good reputation with the public, but with the creation the Internet in the mid-1990's there was talk amongst administrators and legislators that everything would be on the Internet and that there would be no need for libraries.
Librarians were concerned that the public's view of libraries was based on their impression of the old traditional library with only books and card catalogs. The public did not understand that the libraries have always embraced and adapted new technologies to improve service to users, and that libraries have more to offer than a repository of books.
In response the concerns of members ALA, as part of its five-year strategic plan in 2000, decided to invest in the creation of a sustained public awareness and education campaign to showcase the value of public, school, academic and special libraries and librarians in the 21st century.
The External and Internal Goals of The Campaign
ALA members and staff first worked to create External and Internal Goals and Objectives for the Campaign.
The External Goals are:
The Internal Goals Are:
The Campaign Brand
According to marketers it takes 5-10 years for a brand- a tagline or slogan to be ingrained in peoples mind so ALA needed to create and commit to a brand for the campaign that would be flexible enough to be used by all types of libraries.
Working with members and consultants the result was '@ your library', a tagline that accomplishes the goals of campaign. The '@' used in English for computers is synonymous with 'at' so the @ sign could be used as 'at' and to represent the libraries have 'technology' and are part of the 21st century. 'Your' provides ownership for the public, it is their 'library.'
During the creation of the 'Campaign for the World Libraries' we soon discovered that the brand or tagline would need to be modified to work in other languages, and have been glad to see the creativity of associations in their adaptations such as '@lla tua biblioteca'.
Commitment of Resources
To ensure that the Campaign would be successful ALA realized that it needed to invest both dollars and staff resources into the Campaign. ALA created two staff positions to work on the promotion of the campaign. Over the 4 years of our campaign ALA has invested $650,000, but has been able to get partners to provide an additional $1,000,000 to help finance the campaign.
Associations around the world will not be able to commit the amount of resources that ALA has been able to invest in our efforts, but associations and libraries will need to commit to a long-term use of the brand and commit resources and to this effort if they are to succeed in their goals.
We hope through the creation of the 'Campaign for the World's' that countries around the world will be able to share their ideas and initiatives to make it easier for individual campaigns successful even if they have very limited resources.
Unveiling the Campaign
The value of ALA and other associations such at AIB is that we can work to create national campaigns and provide materials that can be utilized and adapted by regional and local libraries. Libraries in the United States, just as those in Italy and elsewhere, struggle to compete to get visibility.
ALA like other associations can create campaigns but to be successful librarians and libraries need become excited about the campaign, embrace it as their own, and begin to utilize it in their own promotion of their libraries. ALA itself uses '@ your library' on all of its materials now, letterhead, business cards, email signatures, etc. Libraries need to do the same.
To help ensure acceptance the campaign ALA has worked very closely with each of the state libraries in the 50 states and our 50 state library associations that are affiliates of ALA to get them to understand the purpose and value of being part of a national campaign to promote themselves and libraries in their region. Before launching the campaign ALA was able to get a commitment from at least one library in each state to participate.
To get visibility, ALA was able to get First Lady Laura Bush, who is a former librarian, to participate in the initial announcement of the campaign during our 'National Library Week' in April 2001.
Beginning with ALA's Annual Conference in June 2001 and at every meeting since then ALA provides presentations on the campaign, just as you are doing here now with the '@alla tua biblioteca', to provide updates on new programs within the campaign that libraries can take advantage of. ALA has created a website that includes information on the campaign that libraries and library organizations can promote the campaign locally. The site is at http://www.ala.org/ala/pio/campaign/campaignamericas.htm
It includes campaign goals and key messages, free downloadable artwork and logos, sample press materials, information on specific campaigns.
Participation in the Campaign by Libraries
Libraries of all types have participated in the campaign either individually, through library systems, state associations, state libraries or a combination of these. We don't have a specific number of how many libraries are participating in the Campaign but it is a large number based on participation in sponsored programs. To share success stories the Campaign website includes a database where libraries can input information on their use of '@ your library,' which others can search.
Many state libraries or state associations have created programs around '@ your library' some even working together to increase resources and reach of the campaign. We have found those from smaller states may have taken more advantage of the program because of their limited resources. The Arkansas State Library and the Arkansas State Library Association have teamed up the last three years to incorporate '@ your library' into their summer reading programs for children.
State libraries or state associations have committed their own funds for the programs or have also gone out and applied for grants that they are eligible to apply for from state and federal sources.
The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) used a federal grant to conduct a statewide public relations and television advertising campaign promoting its 210 public libraries using the @ your library theme. They produced and placed two of these types of television spots – one focused on a diverse audience and another focused exclusively on young adults.
Maine State Libraries Library Outreach Service created "You CAN get there from here . . .@ your library" to get the message to blind, visually impaired, and geographically isolated citizens throughout the state that the library provides Books By Mail, Talking Books, and Large Print materials to the people who need them.
The Clearwater Public Library in Florida created posters and banners for local buses throughout the county with a photo of the library's teen volunteers. All of the library teen groups were represented on the poster. The caption was, “Got books? Find them @ your library.” Twenty buses displayed exterior banners, 158 buses featured interior signage and approximately 32,000 riders were reached each day. Over 1000 people signed up for library cards that month and each received a copy of the poster for free.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa Libraries has highlighted the rich collections and services of the state's only public university system with the theme “Ideas flow @ your library” during National Library Week 2002. The slogan's artwork included a volcano with an “@” sign rising above it. "Infoliteracy @ your library" is the name of a Web tutorial about the services that are available at the libraries.
Expanding To Campaigns For Specific Library Types
The 'Campaign For America's Libraries' was designed to be used by all types of libraries, and the resources created by ALA at the start of the campaign in 2001 were generic. To expand the campaign and infuse momentum the ALA divisions for academic, school and public have now created targeted campaigns to help address the particular needs and concerns of their libraries.
Information on these library type campaigns and their specific toolkits and resources can be found on the website. As with other materials produced by ALA for its campaign encourage other participants in the Campaign for the World's Libraries to adapt these resources to their needs.
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of ALA has a campaign designed to help foster a greater collaboration with other types of libraries; to enhance the professional development of school library media specialists; and to provide customizable tools and resources that support the advocacy efforts of school library media specialists.
The goals of the campaign are to:
During 2003, academic and research libraries and librarians are featured as part of a new Academic and Research Library Campaign developed in collaboration with the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
The goals of this new initiative are to:
This September ALA's Public Library Association (PLA) has launched it's “Smartest Campaign-Get it Use it @ your library"
The goals are:
ALA as AIB has honors libraries with the best promotional effort with the '@ your library' slogan and we have gotten the Grolier Company to sponsor the award togive the winning library funding.
Utilizing Partnerships To Expand the Reach of the Campaign
Even though ALA is a large organization with financial resources we do not have the resources to conduct a full-scale national campaign on our own. We needed to enlist partners who had an interest in the value of libraries, information, and our campaign approach. Associations should have in place criteria for the approval of partners, not only for the campaign, but for any cooperative venture. ALA has partnered with a variety of organizations and companies to get messages out to diverse audiences.
As I mentioned these partners have provided $1,000,000 in support for the campaign in addition to the visibility. These partnerships provide an opportunity for libraries and library users to participate and benefit from the created programs.
3M became the initial founding partner of the 'Campaign for America's' Libraries by providing in kind support to promote the campaign.
ALA has partnered with Major League baseball to “Join the Major Leagues @ your library celebrates and promotes two of America's oldest institutions -- baseball and libraries -- while heightening awareness of 21st Century literacy skills.
The American Library Association and Walgreen's, a national pharmacy chain, have teamed up on "Be well informed @ your library," a national health information initiative that will address national health topics such as Medicare drug discount cards, how to manage rising healthcare costs, new medications and other topical health issues.
'Register to Vote @ your library', is a voter registration and education initiative co-sponsored by ALA and Working Assets. Nearly 2,000 libraries have signed up to participate in 'Register to Vote @ your library.' ALA will work with the League of Women Voters (LWV) to distribute voter education materials to libraries in the next few weeks. Each participating library will receive 100 copies of materials created by LWV that feature tips about the "5 Things You Need to Know on Election Day" and "3 Ways to Make Voting a Breeze."
'Get on Board and Read @ your library program', sponsored by Dean Foods and featured skateboard legend Tony Hawk, had a record-setting 3,500 libraries registering for program and 1,500 entries from teens nationwide.
"Put it in Writing @ your library" is designed to promote the wealth of opportunities that all types of libraries offer to spark writers' imaginations and creativity and help develop a community of writers. 15 community college and public libraries across the country hosted workshops for writers on April 20, during National Library Week. The workshops, which offered tips and suggestions on how to get published in a magazine, and were led by writers from Woman's Day magazine.
Media coverage, television, radio, and print are crucial in helping to get the message out.
ALA has also worked to get ABC Television Network, one of the 4 major networks in the US, to create public service announcements using ABC's primetime stars that are air nationally and locally giving the library community tremendous exposure worth millions of dollars.
ALA creates sample radio announcements, press announcements, and letters to the editor that can be used by libraries to promote their own efforts with '@ your library'
Evaluation of the Campaign
As part of the Campaign plan is the need to evaluate the program every year to see what is working and what might not be working. A strategic plan is necessary but the association also needs to be flexible to adapt the plan as it goes forward.
The plan also needs to be evaluated to see if the campaign is being used, is the message getting across to librarians, and finally is it getting across to those you want to influence most, the public, school administrators, legislators. Before the Campaign began ALA surveyed the public through a survey firm in 2000 to benchmark what the publics attitude was about libraries. At the end of 2005 ALA will once again survey the public to gauge their attitudes toward libraries and to see if the '@ your library' brand has become generally known.
Last year ALA did survey a random sample of 1,000 ALA members about the campaign
The Future of the Campaign for America's Libraries
ALA has committed to funding the Campaign, and understands that it needs to take a long-term approach in making the '@ your library' brand known and used within the library community and resonate outside the library community.
The Campaign For the World's Libraries
One of the most important decisions of ALA was to partner with IFLA to turn the 'Campaign for America's Libraries' into a global advocacy initiative. John Berry was ALA president in 2001 when the 'Campaign for America's Libraries' debuted. Since the IFLA conference was scheduled to be in Boston that August President, Berry conceived the idea of expanding the campaign.
Twenty-five countries have signed up for the 'Campaign' so far. Though some have not actively pursued the campaign many have taken this opportunity to for the first time ever to create a promotional campaign and as importantly tie it to a global campaign.
For those associations that do not have many resources it becomes something that they can offer their members, use it to advocate and secure support from the government, and become involved in influencing decisions.
ALA has coordinated a program at the last two IFLA conferences where countries can come and provide presentations on their Campaign activities and to share ideas with other participants. We plan to continue to do this in upcoming conference and would like to AIB to present in Oslo.
The IFLA website on the Campaign is very basic right now but ALA and IFLA will be working in the next few months to make it a resource site similar to 'ALA's Campaign site. It will include information on activities of the countries involved in the campaign, resource tools in various languages, campaign strategic plans, links to individual association websites.
ALA has also created a discussion list to be used by participating countries to share ideas and ask for advice in between IFLA Conferences.
IFLA has selected 'advocacy' as one of their four key action areas for the future and the 'Campaign for the World's Libraries' will serve as a base for their advocacy efforts. It will be important for individual countries to also use their campaigns to further the message that IFLA wants to convey to international organizations and events such as the World Summit on the Information Society.
Other Country Campaigns
Other countries have successfully incorporated and used the brand to achieve results.
ALA has worked with the Association of Mexican Librarians to develop their 'en tu biblioteca' campaign. Mexico also launched is campaign with the First Lady of Mexico as a sponsor of their efforts. Mexico has adapted and translated ALA's 'Library Advocates Handbook' to their needs and received funding from their Ministry of Culture to print and distribute 16,000 copies to libraries around the country.
A number of other countries in South America have recently joined the Campaign (Venezuela, Uruguay, and Argentina) and we hope that they will collaborate regionally to increase each other's effectiveness as well as encourage other countries to join.
The State Library of South Australia, which is part of the Council of Australian State Libraries that joined the Campaign, last year created a monthly campaign using '@ your library' targeted at specific audiences. One month it was 'Treasures @ your library' for those interested in genealogy, 'Business @ your Library' for the business community.' The result was a 10% increase in the use of libraries around the state.
For the last two years the Federation of Brazilian Librarians have used 'na sua biblioteca' in their national conference theme.
Singapore used '@ your library' to target the commuter businessman and worked with the transportation ministry to get free posters placed on the subway trains around the country.
Small countries such as Armenia and Georgia have used '@ your library' to celebrate their national library weeks and national library months, and have been able to get famous authors to pose for posters extolling the library.
Libraries around the world need to promote themselves, their services, and their value to society and the 'Campaign for the World's Libraries' allows all of us to share in an international effort to speak in different languages with one voice. I am glad that ALA and AIB are part of this effort and we look forward to working with you as we go forward.