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My View: The LibraryAware Community

Post by Nancy Dowd
Posted October 02, 2012 in Special Announcements

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The town where my husband and I raised our children was a mile square with a population of 1500 full time residents. For such a small town we had an awful lot of community establishments. There was the library, school, artist guild, corner store, yacht club and two churches. We also had volunteer fire and first aid squads.

"The library was connected to the town through the relationships...."

I was always amazed at the different roles our library played for different folks. Since the Borough Hall closed at 3 p.m., the library became the place to find zoning laws and pick up permit papers. It was the unofficial welcome center for newcomers and a place where boaters traveling up the coast could walk up from the dock to use the internet to keep in touch with family members. It was a place where kids spent the summer -- mostly hanging out on the stoop reading books before running in to add them to their summer reading lists and where adult friends met up before heading out for the day.

The library was connected to the town through the relationships with individuals as well as organizations. It helped us define our community’s culture as one of curiosity and learning. I could not imagine our little town without the library.

My community was not unique. I have heard stories over the years from hundreds of people whose library played an important role in the success of their communities, large and small. I am proud to announce that my company, NoveList, is sponsoring a new annual award through Library Journal to recognize three LibraryAware communities -- places where the library plays an active role in helping it flourish. The winning library will receive $10,000 and the town will be officially recognized as a LibraryAware community. I encourage you to apply -- details are on the Library Journal website.

--Nancy

Nancy Dowd is product lead for LibraryAware, a new marketing service from NoveList, a division of EBSCO, and co-author of the book, Bite-Sized Marketing, Realistic Solutions for Overworked Librarians. Find more information about LibraryAware at www.libraryaware.com.