Ideas to Make Your Library Shine

Sharing ideas from around the system & around the country, on programming, fundraising, grants, free stuff, and more.
Brought to you by the Winnefox Library System.

10 Success Stories You May Have Missed

ImageHere are great ideas and good news from around the Winnefox Library System:

⇒ The 2nd annual creative auction at Campbellsport Public Library raised $2100, which will be used to purchase materials for the library's collection.  Not only did Stephanie build and maintain interest in the campaign by frequently posting to Facebook photos of donations, but she also created a Pinterest board full of creative ideas to encourage donations of handmade artwork and refurbished furniture.

⇒ Neenah Public Library is circulating Roku players to let patrons stream a select number of movies and TV shows. (A Roku player connects directly to a TV and a high-speed Internet connection to deliver content from sources like Netflix.)  They also hosted a Doctor Who party during Halloween week.

⇒ Oshkosh Public Library has launched a Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) campaign featuring people in the community who value the services and resources of the library. "The theme is Are You Library People?  The stories highlight reasons why community members value the library, and are meant to encourage users to tell others about their library experiences. The goal is to generate positive word-of-mouth in the community about OPL, because many experts agree that word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful types of marketing! They plan to post customer stories on the library's website and on the big screen on the 1st floor, share them via social media, and by posters around the library. The stories will also be featured on a billboard (corner of Murdock & Harrison) and on two Go Transit bus boards.

⇒ Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel will receive the Wisconsin Library Association Citation of Merit for his contribution to libraries, an award bestowed upon Wisconsin citizens who have made outstanding contributions to quality library services, but who are neither librarians nor library trustees. Nominated by directors of the 7 Fond du Lac County libraries, the nomination "cited Buechel’s 'unique level of support' for county libraries during a time of financial hardship that included a four-year plan increasing county support for library services to rural residents and a pledge that no library would receive a reduction in funding." Buechel and other award winners will be feted at a celebratory reception at the WLA Conference on Thursday November 6th.

⇒ Spillman Public Library started a Creative Writer's Group which will be a monthly gathering place for aspiring novelists, songwriters, poets, short story writers, and storytellers.

⇒ The Mill Pond Library in Kingston raised $3342 at their fundraising auction at the Dalton Town Hall, which will go towards buying a new photocopier, replacing a pressure tank, and purchasing library materials.  Auctioneer Wayne Yoder of Wautoma donated his skills, and people bid on items ranging from a vintage monkey wrench quilt made and donated by the St. Mary's Quilters, a riding lawn mower, prom dresses, and even 2 Green Bay Packer tickets for the game against the Carolina Panthers.

⇒ Patrons can now check out rubber stamps to use with Patterson Memorial Library's Card Creators Kit to create unique greeting cards.

⇒ As part of the Green Lake Association’s "Urban Education Initiative," the new Ripon Public Library Rain Garden "serves both an educational and functional purpose, increasing awareness about the impact of water runoff in urban areas, while also effectively mitigating the impact through sustainable landscaping."  The library will soon be installing a kiosk that explains the function of a rain garden, as well as identifying the specific plants and materials used for this project.

⇒ The Leon-Saxeville Library in Pine River held a Chocolate Frenzy Event at the Saxeville Town Hall that "received heavy attendance" gathered to taste-test and vote on entries that included chocolate-covered bacon.  (Insert Homer Simpson drool sound-effect here.)

⇒ Brandon Public Library has purchased a 3D printer and is hosting workshops to educate patrons on "how 3D printing works, what it is, how to use it, what the potential is, and what to expect in the future", and has had articles featured in area newspapers.

image credit: Photo Art by Sharon Olk's Facebook Page

Your Library's Amazon Wish List: How to Start One or Enhance the One You've Got

ImageDoes your library have an Amazon Wish List?  It's an easy way for people to add to your library's collection!

Here's help for setting up an Amazon Wish List for your library:

You can even add items to your Wish List from any website; here's how to add the Amazon Universal Wish List Button to your web browser:

  1. Follow the easy directions at the Amazon Universal Wish List Button page to add the button to your web browser
  2. Then go to any online store, and when you see something you want, click the "Add to Wish List" button in your Bookmark Toolbar.

Then let people know about your Wish List with Facebook posts, tweets, and Pins — and use the #WishListWednesday hashtag!

Once you add an item to your Wish List, enhance it with info why the item would enhance your library and your customers.  The article An Unexpected Nonprofit Fundraising Story by Debra Askanase tells the story of how The Center for Great Apes uses their Wish List to "hit on a brilliant merge of fundraising and storytelling" that has "all the elements of a great fundraising appeal":

  • A specific ask (Quantity needed: 10. Has: 1.)
  • Clear statement of benefit (“The orangutans are partial to Fruit Punch Gatorade. It helps keep them cool in the summer, especially when it is frozen in a boomer ball.”)
  • Connection to the organization (Center for Great Apes intro is at the top of the wish list.)
  • Sharing a personal story (“Murray and his group love ‘blue​’ Gatorade, especially in the hot summer months.“)

Debra goes on to note that The Center for Great Apes follows up on donations with posts on their Facebook page of "small moment stories" and photos to share how apes use their new gifts, as a way to thank donors and "continue to personally connect donors with the organization after a gift has been made."

You could also register to receive donations through the Amazon Smile program where Amazon donates a portion of an item's purchase price to your Friends of the Library group.  Here's the Friends Of The Muehl Public Library's Amazon Smile page as a sample.

If you'd like to view some libraries' Wish Lists, here are some examples:

Shopping cart Image credit: Poem via FreeImages.com

Apply for These 11 Grants & Awards

ImageUse November to apply for these grants & awards; ten of the eleven grants listed have a deadline date of December 1st.

ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award
Award: $5000
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here: ALA Excellence in Library Programming Award Nomination Form
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/31960/apply

... a library that demonstrates excellence in library programming by creating a cultural/thematic program type or program series, presented during the preceding year (September 1 - August 31), that engages the community in planning, sponsorship and/or active participation, addresses an identified community need, and has a measurable impact.

ALA/Information Today Library of the Future Award
Award: $1500
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here: Library of the Future Award Application
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/213/apply

... to honor an individual library, library consortium, group of librarians, or support organization for innovative planning for, applications of, or development of patron training programs about information technology in a library setting.

Baker & Taylor Entertainment Audio Music/Video Product Award
Award: $2500 of audio music or video products ordered through Baker & Taylor
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here:  PLA Awards Online Application
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/pla/awards/btaudiomusicvideoproductaward

The purpose of the Baker & Taylor Entertainment Audio Music/Video Product Award is to promote the development of a circulating audio music/video product collection in public libraries and increase the exposure of the format within the community.

Presented by the Public Library Association and Baker & Taylor.

EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service Award
Award: $1000
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here:  PLA Awards Online Application
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/pla/awards/ebscoexcellencesmallruralaward

The EBSCO Excellence in Small and/or Rural Public Library Service Award provides recognition and a $1000 honorarium to a public library serving a population of 10,000 or less that demonstrates excellence of service to its community as exemplified by an overall service program or a special program of significant accomplishment.  The award honors a public library for all or any of the following:
  • Uniqueness of service of program
  • Impact of program or service on community
  • How the service or program will affect the future of the library and its community

Sponsored by the Public Library Association and EBSCO Information Services.

Equality Award
Award: $1000
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here:  Equality Award Nomination Form
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/equality-award

... given to an individual or group for outstanding contribution toward promoting equality in the library profession. The contribution may be either a sustained one or a single outstanding accomplishment. The award may be given for an activist or scholarly contribution in such areas as pay equity, affirmative action, legislative work and non-sexist education.

H.W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant
Award: $3500
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here:  H.W. Wilson Library Staff Development Grant Application
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/39/apply

... given to a library organization whose application demonstrates greatest merit for a program of learning activities that is developed by the library organization and develops the on-the-job staff capability and improves the abilities of personnel to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the library organization.

Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced With Adversity
Award: "a generous amount of cash from Mr. Snicket's disreputable gains ($3,000 check + $1,000 travel), along with an odd, symbolic object from his private stash, and a certificate, which may or may not be suitable for framing"
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here:  Lemony Snicket Prize application
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/33498/apply

... honoring a librarian who has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact.
Lemony Snicket is the pen name of American novelist Daniel Handler, who has written several highly acclaimed children’s books. The books often feature the author appearing as a fictional character, a writer falsely accused of crimes and sought by his enemies as well as the police. Snicket himself believes that, in much the same spirit, librarians have suffered enough. Therefore, he has established the annual prize honoring a librarian who has overcome adversity. According to Snicket, it is his hope that, “The Snicket Prize will remind readers everywhere of the joyous importance of librarians and the trouble that is all too frequently unleashed upon them.” About his sponsorship of the award, Snicket said, "This seems like a better way to channel money to librarians than my previous strategy, which was incurring exorbitant late fees."

Romance Writers of America Library Grant
Award: $4500
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here:  PLA Awards Online Application
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/pla/awards/romancewritersgrant

... to provide a public library the opportunity to build or expand its romance fiction collection and/or host romance fiction programming. The grant consists of $4,500 to be used toward the purchase of romance fiction, author honorariums and travel expenses, and other applicable program expenses.

Scholastic Library Publishing Award
Award: $1000
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here:  Scholastic Library Publishing Award Nomination Form
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/awardsgrants/awards/69/apply

... presented to a librarian whose "unusual contribution to the stimulation and guidance of reading by children and young people" exemplifies outstanding achievement in the profession.

Upstart Innovation Award
Award: $2000
Deadline date: December 1, 2014
Apply here:  PLA Awards Online Application
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/pla/awards/upstartaward

... recognizes a public library's innovative and creative service program to the community. Any innovative, cutting-edge program, activity or service will be considered. Has your library developed a dynamic solution to a problem? Have you been able to reach a special population through a unique program? Has your special marketing campaign brought dramatic, measurable results? If so, you're eligible to apply.

Loleta D. Fyan Grant
Award: up to $5000 total for one or more projects
Deadline date: December 19, 2014
Apply here:  PLA Awards Online Application
Details & criteria: http://www.ala.org/offices/ors/orsawards/fyanloletad/fyanloletad

Loleta D. Fyan, for twenty years State Librarian of Michigan, believed that every individual, regardless of residence, is equally entitled to high quality library service and that librarians must be adept in using the political process to acquire this "right of citizenship". A pioneer in extending library service to rural areas and small communities and a proponent of library cooperation, Fyan was a driving force behind LSCA funding.
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Attend These Free Webinars in November

ImagePlan to attend these free webinars; all you need is your computer & speakers or headphones (no microphone needed.) If you attend a live webinar, it may be counted as a Category B continuing education activity towards renewing librarian certification.

Webinars with a ★ are the ones I think you'll find most useful.

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Make it Easy to Donate: Create an Amazon Wish List

ImageOn a recent site visit to the Mill Pond Library in Kingston, Sara and I talked about ways to make it easy for the public to donate items (books, DVDs, supplies, etc.) to the library.  After discussing some options, Sara agreed that setting up an Amazon Wish List for her library would be a good fit for her & her customers too. Here are some resources that can help you set up your library's Amazon wish list (updated from my earlier post on The Ides): Help setting up an Amazon Wish List for your library:

Here are examples of some libraries' Amazon wish lists:

Instructions on adding the Amazon Universal Wish List Button to your web browser:

  1. Follow the easy directions at the Amazon Universal Wish List Button page to add the button to Firefox or Internet Explorer.
  2. Then go to any online store, and when you see something you want, click the "Add to Wish List" button in your Bookmark Toolbar.

photo credit: Poem

Attend These Free Webinars in October

ImagePlan to attend these free webinars; all you need is your computer & speakers or headphones (no microphone needed.) If you attend a live webinar, it may be counted as a Category B continuing education activity towards renewing librarian certification.

Webinars with a ★ are the ones I think you'll find most useful.

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Browse the Stacks, Not the Racks: Black Friday @ Your Library

ImageYou probably don't want to think about how many "shopping days 'til Christmas" there are, but it's a good idea to plan now for the holiday season at your library.

Take for inspiration the "Black Friday at the Library" campaign run by the Lester Public Library (Two Rivers, WI) last year, in what director Jeff Dawson said, "What began as a tongue-in-cheek idea to raise visibility in an un-library-like way became a very successful marketing campaign" which included these "deals":

  • ... a “doorbuster” (a short-term, super-low-price deal). We decided to offer 50% off fines from 10 a.m. until noon.
  • We decided to offer three all-day deals. The first was a Buy One, Get One Free deal from our perpetual book sale. With bargain prices already set at 50 cents for hardcover books and 25 cents for paperbacks, we were looking to raise awareness of the ongoing book sale rather than to make money.
  • Our second deal was the chance to check out one extra DVD for free. Our normal limit on DVDs is seven at a time, but on Black Friday, patrons could take home eight.
  • Our third special promotion was a “guess the pod” competition... The DVD cases on the shelves are empty, so when patrons choose a title, they have to bring the cases to circ for check out. ... So for each DVD a patron got, he or she had a chance to win a $1 Off Fines coupon for future use by guessing which pod the disc would pop out of.

Jeff quantified the success of their event with these figures:

In terms of real numbers, I compared Black Friday stats to those of regular Fridays in 2013. Our average Friday door count was 426 patrons; on Black Friday it was 745, a 43% increase. The average Friday haul for fines was $43.32; on Black Friday it was $243.04, an 82% increase. The average Friday income for the perpetual book sale was $5.25; Black Friday’s total was $61.35, a 91% jump.

Read the whole 2-page article to get details on their newspaper ad strategy, see the ads they ran, and figure out if you'd want to do something like this at your library.

Take note: "Black Friday" (the Friday following Thanksgiving Day in the U.S, often regarded as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season) falls on November 28th this year.

P.S. Information Today has made all the articles in their Sep/Oct 2014 issue of Marketing Library Services free on their website.

Get more ideas at ‘Tis The Season: Ideas for Public Library Holiday Campaigns for ways your library can help the less fortunate in your community by running holiday giving campaigns to collect donations for the needy. As Tiffany McClary says, "Holiday giving programs are a meaningful and important way to establish connections with your community."

sources:
Black Friday Ads for — Lester Public Library?, pp. 4-5 of the Sep/Oct 2014 issue of Marketing Library Services
‘Tis The Season: Ideas for Public Library Holiday Campaigns from New Jersey State Library's It's Time to Rediscover Your Library

image credit: Harris County Public Library's Facebook page via The Wisconsin Library Association's Facebook page

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