The Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) has awarded eight libraries across the country with this year’s John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards. One of those receiving the award was the Delaware County District Library.
Each library receives a $10,000 award provided by the H.W. Wilson Foundation. The awards were recently presented at a reception held by EBSCO Information Services during the American Library Association’s 2019 annual conference in Washington, D.C..
In 2017, the Delaware County District Library knew that within the next 21-months they faced two major challenges: passing a funding levy that almost failed ten years prior and maintaining their own identity as they joined a 17-member library consortium. The “Your Library” campaign was developed around three goals: building awareness of library services, increasing number of cardholders, and ultimately passing a funding levy. Using vibrant visuals that focused on real library materials, they created posters, trade show pop-ups, bookmobile wraps, and a mailer, they created a campaign promoting the library as part of your daily life, with highlights including “Your Game Night,” “Your Recording Studio,” and “Your Next Career Move.” By the end of 2018, it was clear their campaign had been well received because Delaware County District Library cardholders had increased to 75 percent of the service area and the levy passed by a 30-point margin.
The John Cotton Dana Awards were inaugurated in 1946 by The American Library Association and the H.W. Wilson Publishing Company. The award is named after the first librarian to make use of public relations to “publicize” library activities. The award is one of the most coveted, perhaps the most prestigious of the awards recognizing marketing and public relations excellence. The award is managed by the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) division of the American Library Association.