Building a National Brand for Libraries is a poster in the 2020 PNLA Virtual Poster Session. We encourage you to engage in discussion by leaving a comment on the page. The author of the poster will respond to comments the week of August 4-7, 2020.

Presenter: Stephanie Hlywak

Track: Academic, Public, & School Libraries

Since 2015, Libraries Transform has endeavored to create a national “brand” for the modern library in all its permutations. In the years since, the campaign has mobilized library lovers across the world with easy-to-use graphics and messaging for marketing, advocacy, fundraising and more.

ALA’s poster will share statistics and information about the campaign, including its original goals (Increase AWARENESS of and support for the transforming library; shift the PERCEPTION of libraries from “obsolete” or “nice to have” to essential; ENGAGE and energize library professionals and build external advocates to influence local, state and national decision-makers), key messages (Libraries transform lives; libraries transform communities; librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning; libraries are a smart investment) and results (more than 15,000 libraries and supporters have joined Libraries Transform from all 50 U.S. states as well as international libraries in more than 100 countries). Additionally, we’ll share our formula for creating the central building block of the campaign: the “Because…” statement. We’ll also have plenty of examples of how libraries across the US have used Libraries Transform in creative and effective ways to increase awareness and funding.

Finally, our poster will also share some of the challenges and lessons learned along the way. Attendees will gain an understanding of the opportunities and obstacles to implementing any kind of public awareness campaign for a cause or concept.

Learning Objectives
Attendees will leave the session informed and inspired about creative ways to use ALA’s free Libraries Transform toolkit. Specific topics include print and digital marketing tactics, raising public awareness on a tight (or nonexistent) budget, and finding the right messaging for your unique audience.


About the Presenter: A communications leader with extensive experience in all aspects of public relations, digital marketing and social media, Stephanie Hlywak is the director of the American Library Association’s Communications and Marketing Office. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and her master’s degree in the humanities from the University of Chicago, where she concentrated on creative short fiction. A committed educator, she currently teaches online courses on Social Media Marketing at The New School. Stephanie lives with her family in Chicago.


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Pam Henley
3 years ago

I’ve always liked this campaign – easy for libraries of any size to use and adapt for their programs and community. It might be time to include a few pandemic-related examples! Thanks so much for being part of the PNLA virtual poster session.

3 years ago

Thank you – this is so helpful! I became a member some time ago, but I haven’t really used the materials. This inspires me! I hope you will add these slides to the LT site as a resource.

3 years ago

Interesting! Thanks for your presentation; I hadn’t seen these posters before. That’s cool that they are customizable. Just curious, are they CC-licensed?

3 years ago

I have always loved this program. It makes it easy for libraries to get some snappy and effective marketing off the ground. — Can you share your thoughts about the intersection of a program like this or marketing in general and effective library assessment/evaluation?

Jay Peters
3 years ago

Nice! This would make a good article for the PNLA Quarterly.