ALA Launches "Libraries Transform" Campaign


November 06, 2015

On October 29 American Library Association (ALA) president Sari Feldman launched the Libraries Transform campaign, a three-year national public awareness initiative focusing on the ways public, academic, school, and special libraries and librarians across the nation transform their communities. Events kicked off in Washington, DC, as the Libraries Transform team visited a cross-section of transformative libraries, and will continue with contributions from libraries—and library lovers—everywhere.

A NATIONAL CONVERSATION

The festivities were not limited to Washington, however. Libraries across the country are displaying large “Libraries Transform” banners, from the San Francisco Public Library to Oregon’s Multnomah County Library to Boston Public Library’s flagship Copley Square library, as well as academic libraries like those at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, and the University of Maryland in College Park.

Libraries large and small are encouraged to help spread the word through the Libraries Transform Toolkit. Users can download a Libraries Transform website banner, print a variety of posters and postcards with the campaign’s conversation-starting “Because…” messages (“Because more than a quarter of U.S. households don’t have a computer with an Internet connection”; “Because the world is at their fingertips and the world can be a scary place”; “Because students can’t afford scholarly journals on a ramen noodle budget”; and more), access articles and TEDx videos highlighting some of the innovative work going on. Supporters can also check out the list of Top Ten ways to engage with the campaign, including creating pop-up events and guerrilla marketing events. Users can also bring their own library stories to the site.

“What we would love for libraries across the country to do,” explained Rich, “is invite their customers to tell their stories of library transformation…and share the stories of some of the unique or innovative things that the library itself is doing to make a difference to drive both individual opportunity and community progress.” Libraries and customers alike are encouraged to take the conversation to social media as well—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest—with the hashtag #LibrariesTransform.

“I want to stop the question ‘does anyone even use libraries anymore?’” Feldman told LJ. “We know libraries of all types are doing this work, in communities, on campuses, and in schools…. What we need to do is amplify the message and make sure that all Americans know what’s happening and what’s available in our libraries.”

Feldman added, “For me, there can be nothing more important than being sure that the general public—stakeholders, policymakers, funders—are all aware of this transformation, and the kind of individual opportunity and community progress that libraries are making.”

CLICK HERE to read the full Library Journal article.

Visit www.librariestransform.org to get involved!