The winners of the 2007 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award are:
Brooklyn Public Library in Brooklyn, N.Y., for “Brooklyn Reads to Babies.” This model early literacy program, with appealing multilingual materials, had the ambitious goal of reaching every family in Brooklyn. Combining research, outreach through more than 30 strategic partners, and creative use of appropriate communication tools, led to a tremendously successful PR campaign with measurable results.
Douglas County Libraries in Castle Rock, Colo. for “Page to Stage Productions.” The library used the unique power of live theater connected with children’s literature as an outreach tool. A professional production based on James Marshall’s popular book, “Miss Nelson is Missing,” reached over 10,000 children in schools and libraries throughout the county, driving up summer reading participation by 10 percent and doing it all for a cost of less than $1 per audience member.
Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Huntsville, Ala., for their public relations campaign promoting The Big Read: Huntsville Reads ‘The Great Gatsby.’ The library’s thoughtful, comprehensive and well-executed campaign used multiple public relations strategies, including community partnerships, to target diverse audiences. Their efforts resulted in renewed interest and enthusiasm for their “one book” program by the community and the media, and achieved a dramatic increase in participation over the previous year’s project.
Milner Library at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill., for “Honoring Illinois State University’s First Librarian Angeline ‘Ange’ Vernon Milner.” This extensive public awareness campaign brought new life to a legendary library ghost on the 150th anniversary of her birth. A public relations effort refocused local perception, transforming the legend of a very real leader in the library profession from a campus ghost haunting the collections to the groundbreaking professional and scholar she was.
Ocean County Library, Toms River, N.J., for “Hurricane Katrina--Partners in Caring.” In immediate response to the devastation, Ocean County Library raised more than $120,000 in cash to help restore services and established a lifelong bond with the Hancock County Library in Mississippi. Using a variety of creative methods and an aggressive public relations campaign, Ocean County’s initiative and outreach brought staff of both libraries and the two shore communities together to make a difference.
The Office of Commonwealth Libraries in Harrisburg, Penn., for “Pennsylvania: One Book, Every Young Child,” a comprehensive statewide campaign to reach 560,000 preschool children, provided stimulating literacy experiences and encouraged lifelong learning. The program donated the charming book “Inside Mouse, Outside Mouse,” to 641 public libraries and 15,000 early care and education programs. Additional supporting resources included author visits, a museum trunk, print materials and a resource Web site.
The Wyoming State Library in Cheyenne, Wyo., for their statewide campaign, “Wyoming Libraries: Bringing the World to Wyoming,” involving every library in the state. This highly creative and visually expressive public awareness campaign combines Wyoming lore and cowboy culture with global literary and travel icons: a windmill atop the Eiffel Tower fills a watering trough for grazing cattle – raising the profile of the library to statewide administrators and lonesome cowboys, as well.