The Executive Board of the American Library Association (ALA) extended its commitment to the Libraries Transform Campaign for an additional three years (Sept. 1, 2017 – Aug. 31, 2020) on June 26. Libraries Transform is the ALA’s public awareness campaign and serves to highlight the transformative nature of our nation’s libraries in today’s changing world. Since the campaign launched in 2015, more than 7,100 libraries and library advocates have joined Libraries Transform.
The goals of the campaign are:
- to increase support for libraries by showing the transformative nature of today’s libraries;
- elevate awareness of the critical role that libraries and library professionals play in the digital age;
- update the image of libraries and library professionals;
- attract the best and the brightest from all walks of life to grow and expand the profession; and
- influence key decision makers at the national, state, and local levels to generate support for library funding and information policy positions.
The ALA Executive Board voted to extend the campaign following a presentation from Jodie Borgerding, chair of the Public Awareness Committee, and Jeff Julian, director of the Public Awareness Office and staff liaison to Public Awareness Committee, during the ALA’s 2017 Annual Conference in Chicago. The presentation drew on data illustrating the success of the campaign thus far: more than 75 percent of respondents in a recent ALA survey agreed that Libraries Transform had been used in their public awareness and advocacy efforts. The campaign has had wide reach online, with more than 32,000 downloads from its digital toolkit and nearly 60,000 uses of the hashtag on Twitter.
“The Executive Board is thrilled to extend the vital work of the Libraries Transform Campaign, which has become an essential part of the ALA’s efforts to showcase the value and impact of libraries and library workers,” said Jim Neal, 2017-2018 ALA president and university librarian emeritus at Columbia University. Neal’s “libraries lead” presidential initiative will be a key focus for Libraries Transform over the coming year, with campaign messaging highlighting the leadership of libraries and library workers in their communities. A new “Because” statement reflecting this focus, “Because libraries make leaders,” is now available in the Libraries Transform toolkit.
Recent Libraries Transform success stories include the Missoula Public Library, which utilized the campaign toolkit in their successful $30 million referendum campaign for a new building; the Bay Shore Middle School library, which adapted the 2016-2017 “expert in the library” campaign theme to recognize the talents of their students; and the Ohio Library Council (OLC), which chose “Ohio Libraries Transform” as their 2016 OLC Legislative Day theme. More stories of how all types of libraries are utilizing the campaign can be found on the Libraries Transform website.
For more information about Libraries Transform, please visit http://www.librariestransform.org.