The demise of Library Week and the need for Brand Library


The recent news that LIANZA’s Library Week is no more is regrettable I think. Without the funding it previously had, LIANZA saw no choice but to cut Library Week and instead provide a pool of resources available for all libraries in New Zealand. I’m sure that may libraries will do great things with these – however I still think Library Week had a lot of undeveloped potential. And one potential it had was for the development and delivery of a strong consistent message of what libraries are all about now to the New Zealand market. This potential can still be realised – I hope there is motivation to do it!

I am talking about moving beyond ideas about “Ask a librarian” or promoting different images of librarians (and there is nothing wrong with that!) but getting to the guts of what we need to promote. Is it libraries as a place? Libraries as a gateway to electronic information (that the have-nots cannot afford on their own?) So what are the key images/messages we want to promote? I’m talking about big picture messages, that all types of libraries could embrace. I think there is enormous potential for us to have that collective conversation, make some decisions and get on and do it. Library week would have been a great vehicle to deliver those messages.

It seems libraries are inextricably entwined with the book. The recent OCLC report, Perceptions of Libraries 2010: context and community seems to indicate this is strengthening in the U.S. In 2005 69% of respondents associated libraries with books and this was up to 75% in 2010 (1). With ever-increasing publicity about ebooks where does that leave the library in the minds of our customers? We’ve all seen plenty of things written about the demise of the library – do we have a collective response to this?

I don’t think any of us think the Brand Library is wedded to the physical book, but we need to start strengthening our promotional messages about what customers needs we really are meeting – so we can effectively demonstrate our value to our communities. And I think our best bet is to do that collectively.

(1) http://www.oclc.org/reports/2010perceptions/2010perceptions_all_singlepage.pdf p. 38

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7 thoughts on “The demise of Library Week and the need for Brand Library

  1. Joann Ransom says:

    I too regret that a coordinated national library week is not being held and would love to see some kind of coordinated ‘thing’ happen – even it has to be outside of LIANZA.

  2. Alli Smith says:

    following comment posted on behalf of Carolyn Robertson, LIANZA President
    Great thoughts Alison and I am pleased to advise that LIANZA is working
    on an exciting project which will bring together in a graphic way, that
    will be able to be used in different formats, punchy statistics which
    promote libraries in all sectors. This project is well underway… so
    watch this space.

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