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M.N. Spear Memorial Library built 1902. Where would you be without your library?. A little history. Our 110-year-old, one-room library (without running water) was inadequate to meet the library needs of the community.

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M n spear memorial library built 1902
M.N. Spear Memorial Librarybuilt 1902

Wherewould you be without your library?


A little history
A little history

  • Our 110-year-old, one-room library (without running water) was inadequate to meet the library needs of the community.

  • The MBLC awarded Shutesbury a provisional grant of $2,093,084 toward its $3.5M new library project.

  • Efforts to secure the local funds needed through a debt exclusion override ultimately failed.


Why we turned to social media
Why we turned to social media

  • The debate had moved off-topic and local fundraising efforts had been tapped out.

  • We needed to return the discussion to focus on the case for a new library.

  • Local fundraising continued, but the need for wider participation became obvious.


How do you tell your story
How do you tell your story?

  • We made a video to show the actual size of the library, and demonstrate the community support.

  • Our goal was to share the video with as many people as possible.

  • We asked supporters to tweet, share, tumble, and email--spread our story any way they can.

  • We asked for help sharing our story at every opportunity.


Where would you be without your library
Where would you be without your library?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUQ1vdJQWn0


How to go viral
How to go viral

  • Library website

  • YouTube

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Tumblr

  • Social media fundraising platforms

  • Press releases to local media



It all started with boingboing
It all started with boingboing…


John hodgman immediately tumbled saying he cried human tears of happiness
John Hodgman immediately tumbled, saying he cried “Human tears of happiness…”


Right this minute found us
Right This Minute found us

Online web TV, based in Phoenix, talks about emerging video releases before they go viral



Some authors and celebrities who shared our story
Some authors and celebrities who shared our story

  • Neil Gaiman

  • David Anthony Durham

  • Suzanne Strempek Shea

  • Roland Merullo

  • Cindy Lord

  • Guy Kawasaki

  • Paul F. Tompkins

  • Jeri Ryan

  • Wil Wheaton

  • Tim Daly

  • Paula Poundstone

  • Elijah Wood


Target sites that promote social causes
Target sites that promote social causes

  • Email video to potentially interested sites

  • In the email, brag about who has shared it

  • Ask them to feature your story

  • Offer a personal contact for more details

  • Don’t be shy!


The daily dogooder picked us up
The daily doGooder picked us up

They share one video via email each day.


New earth daily found us
New Earth Daily found us

They considered us “positive news”


The daily good featured our story
The Daily Good featured our story

Delivers one good story to subscribers emails each day



A partial list of library and book blogs
A partial list of library and book blogs

  • Goodreads

  • Swiss Army Librarian

  • The Cardigan Librarian

  • The Scholarly Kitchen

  • Yours In Books

  • Shelf Awareness

  • Book Shelf Porn


Contact the media
Contact the media

  • New Yorker's Book Bench: “The tiny Shutesbury public library might not have running water, but it does have a bunch of determined and creative book lovers on its side.”

  • Huffington Post (twice!): “If you'd like to help the Shutesbury Library stay afloat, watch the video below then visit mnspear.org to make a donation.”

  • WBUR: Interview for Radio Boston, March 8, 2012

  • The Boston Globe: Front page, March 25, 2012


You never know what might happen
You never know what might happen

  • Singapore blogger asks: do you feel using social media like this to humanize something like a library has helped your efforts in a significant way?

  • United Arab Emirates

  • Italy ~ Mia’s Library

  • Germany

  • Argentina

  • Canada

  • …and many more (20+)


Be open to possibilities that hadn t occurred to you ukuleles
Be open to possibilities that hadn’t occurred to you—Ukuleles!

Jim and Liz Beloff, Uke Out

Denver Ukulele Club


Volunteers are indispensable
Volunteers are indispensable!

  • This project would not have been possible without our volunteer film maker, Lindsey Van Dyke, who brought creativity and talent, experience with social media, and a love of libraries to the project.

  • Emily Bloch promoted the video through social media and online news sources.

  • Townspeople enthusiastically particpated in its making.

  • Shutesbury residents shared the video and our story via Facebook, Twitter, and email.


It s a lot of work but we needed it to succeed to save the library
It’s a lot of work but we needed it to succeed to save the library

  • In the beginning we got lucky.

  • Quickly, the task becomes sustaining the momentum.

  • Promoting the video became a full-time job.

  • 50,000 people viewed the video; it raised $60,000. (Ultimately, unfortunately, that was not enough as time ran out.)

  • Now, there is a message on the video thanking viewers for supporting our dream.


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