Libraries Transform Toolkit
The Libraries Transform campaign is designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals. ALA offers resources and support for libraries participating in the campaign. In addition to the graphics, templates and tools on this page, we offer Libraries Transform graphics in Spanish.
Libraries Transform ensures that there is one clear, energetic voice for our profession, showcasing the transformative nature of today’s libraries and elevating the critical role libraries play in the digital age. That voice becomes amplified as more and more libraries of all types sign onto the campaign. At the national level, ALA and its divisions are working to send the Libraries Transform message through national media, national stakeholders and decision-makers.
Libraries Transform provides a fresh opportunity to position your library as vital to the people it serves and the community at large. It reminds your region, school or campus that the library is an indispensable resource that transforms people’s lives and the community itself, while advertising that the library and the people who work inside it are continually transforming to keep up with—and keep ahead of—evolving needs.
Libraries Transform is a conversation starter. Intriguing Because statements raise questions—and you and your library colleagues are best suited to have the conversation about how these ideas connect to transformation in your library. Libraries Transform can provide you with an opportunity to strengthen relationships with members of the community and colleagues, build relationships with influencers in your library environment and partner with local organizations.
Libraries Transform can help you tell your library’s story. What does “transformation” mean in your library? Perhaps it’s the maker spaces and digital labs that say transform to you. Maybe it’s a basic service as teaching a child—or an adult—to read. Libraries Transform allows you to capture your library’s story using attention-getting “Because” statements that remind the public of the ever-increasing value of libraries in a changing world.
Libraries Transform serves as a platform for your advocacy efforts, allowing your library to localize the campaign to fit your advocacy priorities, while growing the collective impact of a national campaign. Building on a legacy of great advocacy initiatives, ALA offers tools and resources for you to initiate your campaign, refine your messaging, work with the media and more.
The success of Libraries Transform as a whole will build upon the successes of individual libraries. So, the biggest “ask” of ALA is that you share your experiences with ALA, so that we can share them with other participating libraries.
- Please keep us up to date on your Libraries Transform events, programming and advocacy efforts.
- Send examples of advertising, posters, videos, social media efforts and more.
- Share stories of transformation you’re gathering through your community.
- Provide feedback. Let us know how the campaign going. What’s working? What’s not?
We’ll include your work in our e-newsletter, showcase it through social media channels and build it into our resources as models and best practices, as well as facilitate peer-to-peer discussion with participating libraries.
Who can help you achieve what you want? Influential members of the community, whether in a public, school or academic library environment, can help you promote Libraries Transform and expand the educational value of the campaign, ultimately increasing support and funding for your library. These should be people who will benefit from library services and can help influence local community groups or individuals who influence local funding, while promoting library services.
Know what audiences might be able to assist your library and begin to build a relationship with them now. Make a list of people in your community positioned to assist the library. What can you do to strengthen these relationships?
Potential target audiences:
- Library users
- Donors and potential donors
- Elected and appointed officials
- Local business owners or leaders
- Local celebrities (including tv and radio personalities)
- Local journalists
- School administrators and teachers
- School board members
- Civic/neighborhood associations
- Business community
- Local not-for-profit organizations
- Other librarians
- Anyone whose opinion you and other community members trust
- Today’s libraries are not just about what we have for people, but what we do for and with people.
- Libraries transform lives.
- Libraries transform communities.
- Librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning.
- Libraries are a smart investment.
- Libraries are at the heart of our communities—a resource for people of any age to find what they need to help improve their quality of life.
- Our society is at a critical juncture with regard to the changing information landscape and the skills needed to thrive in our digital world.
- Libraries are evolving with these changes in order to serve the public and to continue to fulfill their role in leveling the playing field for all who seek information and access to technologies.
- Libraries also are expanding beyond their traditional roles and providing more opportunities for community engagement and delivering new services that connect closely with patrons’ needs.
- Library professionals facilitate individual opportunity and community progress.
- Libraries are committed to advancing their legacy of reading and developing a digitally inclusive society.
- Libraries add value in five key areas: education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment and engagement.
1. Start with an internal launch. Getting your staff on board, excited and educated about Libraries Transform is essential. Have focused discussions about the value of mounting a public awareness campaign at your library. Ask staff to explore the website, videos and Because statements. Ask them to create their Because statements and get them excited about the campaign’s potential. Once they’re on board, set an official launch date because having a firm timeframe in mind will motivate everyone to work together.
2. Choose a date and plan a launch. If you have your launch event in the library, be prepared to host a kick-off party or media event. Remember to invite influential community members, as well as your library board, principals or administrators, and the media. Decorate using Libraries Transform materials. Promote the launch on your website and social networking web sites. If your launch event takes place outside of the library, you’ll be engaging your community from the start. We suggest holding an informal press conference or having a party, tying into a local event where members of the community and the media are going (e.g. high school athletic games and festivals).
3. Don’t forget the media. Prior to launch, write an editorial article and submit to a local newspaper or magazine. Introduce the campaign, and explain how they can take part. Contact local media to explain the awareness campaign and what to expect in the coming months.
Public relations around Libraries Transform is a way to get news, educational information and updates about your library out to intended audiences. This means pitching story ideas about how your library is transforming lives in your community or school, how your community is transforming as a result of the library, as well as how the library and your staff are transforming to meet these needs.
Library communications, such as newsletters, website and social networking sites, should be your primary PR vehicle to get news out. Keep your community informed with regular updates. These communications aid the viral spread of campaign news and information—a critical element of making a lasting impact in the community.
Sample press materials and tips for working with the media are available on the media relations page.
Lives are transformed every day in libraries across the country. While statistics are useful in generating public awareness, stories have the power to create an emotional connection to your library.
If you're not already doing so, encourage people in your community to share their stories about the library's positive impact on their lives. If you are collecting stories, review your strategy and find ways improve your efforts. Ask your staff to always be on the lookout for potential stories in day-to-day activities. If possible, take time to do follow up interviews from program evaluations, comment cards or comments on social media channels. Create a calendar of opportunities to solicit stories, e.g. National Library Week.
If you don't have a form to collect stories on your website, ask patrons to submit their story to the I Love Libraries Story Bank. Since you’ll potentially be using these stories to help showcase your library to the public, be sure to get written permission to publicize these stories.
Try to determine which of your stories connect best to specific target audiences and tie them into your public awareness efforts. These personal stories can be useful in a variety of ways, including annual reports, budget reports and other library publications, as well as social media and pitching stories to local media.
1. Tweet about your most innovative and impactful services using the #librariestransform hashtag.
2. Download and print Because posters and post them around your community. Think about putting them in unexpected places.
3. Download and print the postcards and send them to your stakeholders with messages about new, innovative programs and services at your library. Send them to donors with a handwritten “thank you” note, or use them to reconnect with lapsed cardholders, inviting them to re-visit the library.
4. Include Libraries Transform messaging and graphics in your community newsletters, e-newsletter or regular email blasts to stakeholders.
5. Download the Libraries Transform web banners and embed them on your website.
6. Invite your community members to share their stories of how “libraries transform” on your social media platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.
7. Host an event to build community awareness of a new creative service at your library (such as a maker space, new collaborative work spaces or a new digital collection).
8. Use the Libraries Transform brand on flyers and brochures to promote special programs and services at your library.
9. Include Libraries Transform messaging in your press releases, print and radio PSAs, op-eds, and letters-to-the-editors to local media.
10. Conduct your own creative guerilla marketing stunt to delight and surprise your community. For inspiration, check out the Outside the Lines initiative to see how some libraries have creatively connected with their community. www.getoutsidethelines.org.
BONUS: Encourage your stakeholders to create their own Because statements and share them on social media.
Create your own Libraries Transform graphics with the templates provided below. .
Photoshop templates for social media graphics:
Libraries Transform Logo
Download the Libraries Transform logo and Because statements for print, web or social media.
Low Resolution JPG | PNG | GIF