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LIBRARY = COMMUNITY CENTER. Remaining Vital During Troubled Times. Enthusiasm without knowledge is CHAOS. What Do You Want?. Increased visibility in community? Increased respect from local funding body?

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library community center


Remaining Vital During

Troubled Times

what do you want
What Do You Want?

Increased visibility in community?

Increased respect from local funding body?

People knocking on your door with ideas about new services?

People approaching you with ideas about new partnership opportunities?

More $$$

We want people to listen to our story

what does local government want
What Does Local Government Want?

More for less $$$

Demonstrated success stories that they can relate to (cost/benefit vs dry statistics )

Don’t ask for more funding – ever!

Make them look good

what do your patrons want
What Do Your Patrons Want?

Patrons will tell you what they expect if you listen.

Salesmen/circulation data will not tell you what you need to know

Adjust services to meet patron needs

Services that they may no longer be able to afford

Cost efficient/varied services

making the case
Making the Case

We live in tough economic times

Libraries across the nation are reporting increases in usage of 10, 20, and 30%

We can no longer afford to be passive victims

Make the case for you library about what funding is really needed

Tell your library’s story

katie couric cbs evening news
Katie Couric – CBS Evening News

“Americans are saving money by borrowing books, CDs and DVDs instead of buying them. Borrowing is up 35% over last year in Chicago and 16% in New York while bookstores have seen sales dry up. Barnes and Noble lost $18m in the third quarter.” 12-30-2008


The Mysterious Case

Of the Disappearing Patrons

“On average, a public library will lose from 25 to 30 percent of its customers every three years.” Joseph Matthews

what s on the table
What’s On the Table?


Community Partner


Competent Staff

Meeting Room

Display Space

Ready Audience that includes all ages and economic groups

Programs are accessible to all


Resources to share

Expertise in their area of work


Sometimes funding

An audience


where do we start
Where do we start?


Be visible in the community

Focus Groups or other form of survey

Determine the scope

List potential partners





potential partners

Retired Teachers

Local businesses

Local schools

Local government

Local law enforcement

State park employees

State Arts Council

State Center for the Book

State Humanities Council

State Library

National organizations

Local fraternal and social clubs

Museums, zoos, etc


contacting the partner
Contacting the Partner

Before you make your move…

Making the contact…

Know what the program goal is


Responsibilities (yours and theirs)

Skills/resources required

Time commitment


Orientation/training needed?

Additional requirements

Ask one-to-one, face-to-face

Be enthusiastic

Explain why you think they are the ideal partners

Be explicit about what’s in it for them


Don’t apologize

Answer questions honestly

Give them a personal contact

Don’t promise what you can’t deliver

library related celebrations
Library Related Celebrations

No Cost – Low Cost Advocacy

  • Library Lovers Month – Feb
  • Read Across America March 2
  • School Library Media Month -- April
  • National Library Week Proclamation – April 12-18, 2009– mayor proclamation
  • National Library Workers Day – April 15, 2009
  • National Volunteer Week -- April 27-May 3, 2009
  • National Bike Safety Week – invite local police department to do bike safety inspection and bicycle registration at the library

Library Card Sign-up Month – September

  • National Friends of the Library Week

  • Banned Books Week

resources close to home
Resources Close to Home
  • Hooked on Fishing Program

North Dakota Game & Fish provides equipment

  • Traveling Trunks/Exhibits
    • National Park Service
    • North Dakota State Historical Society
  • Humanities Council of North Dakota -- READ North Dakota
caldwell co needs updated children s area
Caldwell (CO) Needs Updated Children’s Area

“A Novel Event”

  • Contacted authors and illustrators
  • Silent auction
  • Entertainment donated by local musicians and storytellers
  • Food! Fun! Enthusiasm!

FOLUSA Update 11/08 p. 10

webkinz party
Webkinz Party

Shaler North Hills Library (Glenshaw, PA)

  • Invited children to bring their Webkinz to the party
  • Children introduced their Webkinz to others and described their favorite activity on the Webkinz website
  • Webkinz trivia quiz
  • Paraded through the library chanting “I love my Webkinz”
  • Created a sofa, bed and collars for their Webkinz using small cardboard boxes, fabric, felt, buttons, sequins, elastic cording and beads
  • Contact – Library
  • Contact –
children s fall festival
Children’s Fall Festival
  • Florence County, NC
  • Many local businesses and organizations are involved in the planning
  • Promotes early and family literacy
  • Events: balloon sculpting, face painting, crafts, demos by police and fire departments, steel drum performances, puppetry, and more.
  • Local author/illustrator did a program for kids 8 and older

FOLUSA Update, March, 2008

girls love tech @ santa clara library
Girls Love Tech @ Santa Clara Library
  • Santa Clara (CA) City Library
  • Preteen girls and their parents
  • Met with members of an all girl robot building team
  • Local computer science teacher took the group through a “parity bits” activity to demonstrate the benefits of logical thinking
  • Local college engineering teacher challenged small groups to build the tallest tower possible from 20 straws and unlimited rubber bands
  • Parents were challenged to write specific instructions (ala computer program) for making a jelly sandwich. These instructions were then demonstrated by the robot building team.
  • Contact: (Ellen Klor)
  • For more information about the robot building team contact: and
book swap
Book Swap
  • Mishawaka, IN
  • Held during Children’s Book Week
  • Children and parents are encouraged to bring new or gently used children’s books appropriate for pre-school through 6th grade
  • Each donated book earns the donor a “ticket”
  • Tickets are redeemed during the Swap event

FOLUSA Update, January, 2008

book gnomes club
Book Gnomes Club

Northfield, NJ

  • 3rd and 4th graders
  • Students meet afterschool
  • Students discuss what they’ve been reading, give opinions about the book, and learn about the author
  • Collaborative project with the local school
you ve been ticketed
You’ve Been Ticketed
  • Good behavior incentive funded by the Friends of the Hutchinson (KS) Library
  • Each time a staff member sees a tween/teen using the library appropriately, they give the patron a red slip to fill out with their name and contact information,
  • Those who get “ticketed” are eligible to win $10 coupons for various local restaurants, IMAX shows, movie tickets, and other fun prizes.
  • At the end of each month, 10 tickets are drawn. The parents are called to give them the good news about their child’s positive behavior.
  • Modeled on the Radically Good Behavior Raffle developed by the Longmont (KS) Public Library

FOLUSA Update, January, 2008

read a thon
  • 50 Rochester (NY) teens raised $2500 during 4 hour marathon
  • Same principal as a walk-a-thon – each teen got sponsors
  • Plenty of comfy pillows and blankets are essential
  • Library provided space, books/magazines, munchies
  • Reading incentives were offered by local stores
  • Adult chaperones
  • FOLUSA Update , September, 2008 detailed instructions
  • Fort Collins (CO) created the IRS for teens (Interesting Reader Society)
  • Promotional materials stated:
    • Consider yourself a “heavy reader”?
    • Known to read two books (or more) at any one time?
    • Ever guilty of reading by flashlight under the covers at night?

IF you fit any of these categories, you are invited to join the IRS (p.s. Bring a friend)

This group reads and reviews books, publishes a newsletter, and helps plan teen events.

FOLUSA Update May, 2008 p. 8

anti valentines day party
Anti-Valentines Day Party
  • Salisbury, NC
  • Promotional materials stated: “If pink hearts and flying cupids are a bit twee for your tastes, come dressed in black, prepared to eat luscious refreshments like broken-hearted cookies, make duct-tape crafts, listen to music and meet new people. Be sure to bring your bff so you can introduce him or her to those new people.

FOLUSA Update, March, 2008

group activities library people do know how to have fun
Group ActivitiesLibrary People Do Know How to Have Fun!
  • Parades – floats, book truck drill teams
  • Participate in local events such as the Dragon Boat Races on Lake Bemidji
  • Storytelling at the local swimming pool
  • Storytelling and/or crafts at the Mall during holiday season
  • Ghost story tell-a-thon at Halloween
activities for all ages
Activities for All Ages
  • Don’t limit reading clubs to children under 12. Adults and teens also enjoy competing for prizes
  • Speakers at the Library – Noon Time Nature program invited all interested to bring a lunch and enjoy talks by a local naturalist.
  • Interactive Murder Mystery event can be fun for all ages.
bonus ideas
Bonus Ideas

Green Weeding

  • B-Logistics is offering free freight on a single pallet of pre-sale materials, including books, CD’s and DVD’s. B-Logistics will pick up your materials and connect you with millions of online book buyers. You will receive 50% of the net sales, monthly sales reports and checks! Items not sold are recycled or donated – nothing ever goes to the landfill. Contact LeeAnn Langdon toll free 1-866-587-0889, ext 204 or email (reference FOLUSA in the subject line) to arrange for your free trial shipment of pre-sale materials. Offer expires 4/1/09
black white and read gala an evening in the stacks
Black White and Read Gala : An Evening in the Stacks
  • Harford County Public Library Foundation (Maryland) used a black and white movie theme and showcased classix literature for this sell out gala. They got over 130 sponsors and sold 400 tickets to the event. Guests were greeted by “paparazzi” when the walked the red carpet to enter the library. Food selections were themed aroud movie favorites such as The African Queen, Casablanca and Moby Dick. Guests were also served a classic drink from the Great Gatsby Martini Bar and indulged in desserts from the Pride and Prejudice dessert table. Guests listened to jazz music and placed bids on auction packages. Over $155,000 was raised. Harford County Public Library serves 180,000 registered patrons and circulates over 4m items annually.
gift wrap center
Gift Wrap Center
  • Sherwood Park, Alberta , Canada sponsored a gift wrap center on the upper level of their local mall. Staffed by volunteers. Two weeks before Christmas. Raised $6,600.
  • Lots of volunteers needed for this one.
ideas for auction items
Ideas for Auction Items
  • Load of mulch from local recycling center combined with a donated dump truck delivery
  • Rides to birthday parties in a fire truck
  • Stay at a local bed and breakfast
  • Material for a 12 X 20 deck
  • Guided fishing trips or pheasant hunts
  • A progressive dinner sponsored by board members or teachers from the school or library staff
  • Gift baskets
  • A day at a spa (or a one hour massage a month for three months)
  • Guided river kayak trip
  • Dinners and overnight stays as local restaurants and motels
  • Family passes to a local zoo, planetarium, cave or similar destination
  • Family passes to the local water park or similar fun destination
  • Fly fishing lessons
local library and daycare centers
Local library and daycare centers
  • Local library created 50 book mini-libraries for local day-care centers. Harrison (AK) created such packages by using gift money. Packages are rotated monthly among the centers. Daycare staff use bookcards to track which child has books.
  • Library takes storyhour to the daycares. Daycare centers have difficulty transporting large numbers of kids to library.
  • Library provides materials daycare personnel need for continuing education credits needed to maintain certification.
teacher appreciation event
Teacher Appreciation Event
  • Harrison AK provides teachers with a $5 certificate that can be redeemed for purchase of books at the library’s book sale.
  • Library sponsors an annual luncheon for all new teachers in district and provides the teachers with a tour and demonstrations of library resources.
senior tech days
Senior Tech Days
  • Rogers (MN) Public Library staff teamed up with Best Buy employees to provide high quality, high tech training for Seniors as a way to celebrate Older Americans Month (May). Staff identified a lack of understanding of and access to technology as a hurdle the prevents senior citizens from participation in community activities. The library could provide a safe and nurturing environment for seniors to learn simple skills. Focus on five skills: downloading an audio book to an mp3 player; using a digital camera and printer; highlighting the Jitterbug cell phone which has senior friendly features; providing information and coupons for digital TV conversion; and showing seniors an easy to use laptop, convenient for smaller spaces. Warmed up crowd with Wii bowling. In Sept repeated event and encouraged seniors to bring in their own equipment to receive one-on-one help with any features that were confusing them.
thank you for your participation

Thank You for Your Participation

Dorothy M. Liegl