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Monday, July 20, 2009

Kathy's Sunday at ALA, Part 1: Swap 'n' Shop

Now on to Sunday, which was by far my biggest ALA day this year. Maybe my biggest ALA day ever. There was too much good stuff to fit into just one post, so I'll break it up to make it easier to read.

Savvy marketers know that the annual Swap 'n' Shop is the biggest open event for them. LLAMA's Public Relations Management Section (PRMS) puts this together every year. There are several parts to the Swap:

* The heart of the Swap is a huge display of all sorts of promo materials (annual reports, brochures, etc.) that librarians donate so that others can see them and even take them home as samples.

* The second part of the main floor is the vendor tables, where PR-related orgs (such as consultants and promo-product manufacturers) offer advice and giveaways for attendees.

* The third but not-least-important area is set aside for awards presentations. This is where the Swap committee gives its Best of Show awards to librarians that have submitted their proudest PR materials for this annual contest. [SPECIAL NOTE: Nancy Dowd, Blog Mistress of The M Word, won a Best of Show for one of her NJ State Library Campaigns! I regret that I couldn't get away from my table to see the presentation. Congrats Partner!!]

For a few years now, I've had a table at the Swap where I give away sample issues of Marketing Library Services newsletter. I also benefit a lot from seeing what libraries are producing and from chatting with other like-minded folks. This year, however, the Swap was super-sized for me because I had arranged to launch my book there! This was the first time that The Accidental Library Marketer was available in public, and it was my very first book signing!!

I was thrilled with all the interest that the book drew, and was delighted to talk with many of the good people who were kind enough to ask me to sign their hot-off-the-press copies. As far as Sally Lederer (Swap chair who allowed me to have the signing there) and I could figure, this was the first book launch / signing ever at Swap 'n' Shop. Exciting!!!

One of my Infotoday Blog teammates was kind enough to come by to cover my happy event, and you can see her post here. (If you're interested, you can learn all about the book at my new website.)

This year's Swap was as successful as ever, with more than 800 people coming in during the 2.5 hours it was open. Bravo to the Swap committee on another successful year!

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