|Weekly News Digest
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“Geek the Library” Campaign Now Available to All U.S. Libraries
Geek the Library, a community-based public awareness campaign, is now available for adoption by any U.S. public library. The campaign is designed to highlight the vital role of public libraries in today’s challenging economic environment and to increase local library support. Geek the Library has proven ability to improve public perceptions about local library funding needs in test communities. Details about how libraries can use the campaign to increase local support are available at http://get.geekthelibrary.org.
With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, OCLC helped libraries in central Iowa and southern Georgia pilot the campaign from June through December 2009. Nearly 100 libraries and library systems participated. Four additional library communities tested the campaign on a more abbreviated calendar and budget: Milwaukee Public Library in Wisconsin; Piedmont Regional Library System in Georgia (covering Banks, Barrow, and Jackson Counties); Shelbyville-Shelby County Public Library in Shelbyville, Indiana; and Zion-Benton Public Library in Zion, Illinois.
Pilot libraries used the campaign to position the library as a critical asset—for individuals (e.g., to find jobs, re-educate themselves, and enhance literacy) and for the community (e.g., access to technology, continued education, and economic benefits). The campaign served as a springboard for initiating and expanding relationships with influential members of the community and the media, and for starting important local library funding discussions.
Libraries and library systems that meet minimal commitment requirements for implementing Geek the Library will receive full access to all campaign material and initial campaign training from dedicated field managers. This team will focus on supporting participating libraries through the planning and launch stages, but will provide ongoing guidance, as needed.
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