Libraries share stories. They share books, have book discussion groups, schedule author book talks, annually present summer reading programs, and have story times for children. But beyond the traditional stories, libraries also share their story. They share their programs, their events, their services, their new initiatives, and their history. And whether it’s called marketing, promotion, or outreach, they are telling the library’s story so they may be viewed as an essential community service.
Last week, I was part of a speakers’ forum that shared how libraries use social media to tell their library’s story. I knew that the audience would be composed of many well-informed, yet budget-starved librarians who came from small-size libraries in downstate Illinois. Although there were technical difficulties that put a wrench in my Power Point presentation, that obstacle transformed the event into a highly engaging, teachable moment with lots of audience participation.
When I travel, I like to capture images of interesting architecture, historical structures, and public libraries. The image above is Bedford Public Library (Indiana) — a Carnegie Library with a modern addition. Open to the public in 1903, the original building is constructed of high-quality Bedford stone. The two rocking chairs on the front lawn are an inviting touch! Their mission statement is, “We bring people, information, and ideas together to enrich lives and build community.”
The image in the upper right is the Owen County Public Library (Indiana). Originally housed in a Carnegie building, the library moved to a new and expanded facility in 1997. Fortunately, the original Carnegie library still stands, and now houses the Owen County Heritage & Cultural Center. Although not an official mission statement, the library has in its history statement, “From humble beginnings to blasting into the new millennium.”