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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kathy's Monday at ALA: Legislative Advocacy and John Cotton Dana Awards

On Monday, I sat in on a wonderful program on legislative advocacy. I don't recall seeing anything like this at past ALAs, but hey, I could've easily missed them in the enormous preliminary programs. This was one serious session -- in fact, it was a 4-hour-long ACRL President's Program. (ACRL is the Association of College and Research Libraries.)

The main speaker was Stephanie Vance, who bills herself as an "advocacy guru." I was skeptical when I first saw that, but boy did she live up to the moniker! (If you ever have a chance to hear her present, GO.) I heard lots of great info even though I couldn't stay for the whole thing. (You can read my original post here.) If you're in an academic library, you'll want to read up on ACRL's official legislative agenda. And one of the main goals of this session was to get people to sign up to be legislative advocates. You can learn how to do that here. It's important! Without your input, most legistors simply don't understand how libraries work or why they still matter. We need to inform them!

Then, just in time for afternoon tea....
The ceremony for the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards is always a posh affair. This year's event at the Ritz Carlton was no exception.

Back in February, shortly after the 2009 winners were announced, Nancy posted their names. The JCD Awards jury does its judging at ALA's midwinter meeting each January, then announces the winners so they have the opportunity to arrange to be at the annual conference in the summer to accept their awards.

It always renews my faith in library marketing to hear what these smart, innovative librarians have done and to know that library champion H.W. Wilson understands the importance of this work. As someone who is personally and professionally invested in making sure that librarians learn about true marketing so they can continue to serve society, I want to thank The H.W. Wilson Company and The H.W. Wilson Foundation yet again for sponsoring these important awards (this is the 63rd year!) and for letting me attend to cover them. And when I say "sponsor," I mean it -- each winner gets $5,000 to further their marketing and promotional efforts. (Yes, that's five thousand -- for each of 5 or 6 winners.)

You can read all about the contest on Wilson’s website. Go learn more about these award-winning projects and get inspired about things you can do!

What a wonderful ALA Conference. If you couldn't attend, or you did but couldn't make it to these events, I hope these posts help fill in gaps in your knowledge.

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