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Public Awareness Committee - Meeting Notes from 2009 Annual Conference in Chicago

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Public Awareness Committee
2009 Annual Conference
Chicago, Illinois
Monday, July 13, 2009

Meeting minutes

PAC members in attendance: Leslie Burger, Chair; Sue Tyson, Donna Morris, Kenton Oliver, Sonia Alcantra-Antoine, Judith Gibbons, Brenda Pruitt-Annisette

Executive Board liaison: Charles Kratz

ALA staff in attendance: Cathleen Bourdon, Mark Gould, Megan Humphrey, Megan McFarlane, Macey Morales

Guests: John W. Berry, Elliot Appelbaum, Kevin Walsh

Metropolitan Group: Kevin Kirkpatrick

The committee reviewed and approved the agenda and the minutes from the PAC meeting during the 2009 Midwinter Meeting in Denver.

Public Information Office update

Mark Gould, PIO Director, gave an update of the recent activities of the Public Information Office, highlighting the following items that took place:

  • A communications strategy meeting with then-incoming ALA President Dr. Camila Alire
  • Held media trainings for Dr. Camila Alire and division presidents
  • Media day for Dr. Alire in New York
  • Development of the 2009 State of America’s Libraries Report
  • Maintaining the online press center
  • The growth of Visibility @ your library, an aggressive blog focused on information sharing and  interviews with celebrities.
  • Major media placements were achieved  on key initiatives such as the role of libraries in tough economic times.
  • The creation of print  Public Service Announcements featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Candace Parker.
  • The announcement of Neil Gaiman as Honorary Chair of National Library Week 2010.
  • The renewal of three Campaign for America’s Libraries partnerships

Update from ALA Executive Board

Executive Board liaison Charles Kratz gave an update on the current issues undertaken by the Board. Kratz informed the group that he will continue to serve as the PAC Executive Board Liaison in the upcoming year. In addition, he updated the group on preliminary attendance figures, overall membership figures, current advocacy activity, an update on the 2009-2010 budget, the 2015 Strategic Plan, electronic member participation, creation of a support-staff certification, a new Spectrum fundraising initiative, and the search for a new director for the Office for Intellectual Freedom. 

Campaign for America’s Libraries Update

Committee and staff updated PAC on multiple-year partnerships.  The Univision partnership was renewed for a second year and has resulted in $1 million worth of free advertising to promote usage in libraries in 13 markets to Spanish-speaking audiences.

The Woman’s Day magazine (circulation of 4 million) has renewed its commitment to the Campaign and will publish an article in spring 2010 based on the topic “How the library helped me save money.” Woman’s Day is expected to once again publish 4 pages of editorial content valued at $1 million in donated advertising space.  Over the partnership’s eight years, Woman’s Day has donated a total of 32 pages of editorial content about the value of libraries and librarians, at a value of $15 million. 

The Baseball Hall of Fame renewed its partnership with the Campaign and rolled out year four of the Step Up to the Plate @ your library program.  1,000 libraries registered for the program.

FINRA announced the renewal of its partnership, Smart Investing @ your library.

The I Love My Librarian award will continue in 2009.  Carnegie Corporation of New York awarded ALA $489,000 to support the award through 2013.  In the first year, more than 3,000 library users nominated a librarian for the award, and 10 school, public and university librarians were honored.  Each received $5,000 and were honored at a reception in New York, hosted by The New York Times.  In addition, The New York Times donated 5 full page ads to the award, at a value of $35,000 each. 

The Connect with your kids @ your library initiative has generated strong support from media partners. The Lifetime Network, seen in 95 million households, has given its verbal approval.

Beginning in August 2009, messages about the value of libraries and librarians will appear on the back of Safeway family-brand cereal boxes at 1,500 stores nationwide. 

The Campaign will collaborate with ALCTS on the Preservation @ your library initiative and is in talks with the Office for Diversity to develop a campaign as well.  ALSC launched the second phase of its Kids @ your library program, which targets parents and kids in grades 5-8.  The incoming president of the Freedom to Read Foundation asked the Campaign to explore collaboration with OIF on its new reader privacy initiative.  PIO and the Campaign will collaborate with OLOS and the National Bookmobile Subcommittee in promotion of National Bookmobile Day during National Library Week 2010.

Media relations report:

Macey Morales discussed the extensive media coverage achieved around the 2009 Annual Conference, which include Book TV, CBS Sunday Morning News, National Public Radio, Chicago Sun-Times, and local television and radio stations.  thanked.

OLOS bookmobile report:

Kevin Walsh, chair of the National Bookmobile Day Subcommittee, reviewed planning for a National Library Week 2010 launch of National Bookmobile Day.  The Public Information Office will be providing media support for this initiative.

National Library Week Subcommittee & PR Assembly:

PR Assembly – Approximately 125 people attended the PR Forum entitled Breaking through the Message Clutter @ your library.  

The National Library Week theme for 2010 will be “Communities Thrive @ your library.” Applications for the Scholastic National Library Week Grant are online and will be accepted through October 13. This is the first year that the application process is completely online. 

Dave Baum Media Training

Dave Baum, who has trained 7 ALA presidents and dozens of ALA division presidents, trained 40 participants at the conference in a 2 hour media training.

“Pride and Passion”

“Pride and Passion: The African-American Baseball Experience,” a collaboration between the Campaign, the Public Information Office and the Public Programs Office, drew more than 150 attendees to hear author Sharon Robinson, Kadir Nelson, Professor Lawrence Hogan and Susan Brandehoff of the ALA Public Programs Office.  The program continues the collaboration with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.  ALA partners with the Hall of Fame on Step Up to the Plate @ your library.  More than 1,000 have registered this year for the program.

Verizon Internship

The Campaign worked with Verizon to place more than 200 Verizon interns as volunteers in 44 libraries and branches around the country. Most will volunteer in gaming and summer reading programs.