Tag Archives: library promotion

Demonstrating Our Value: Thoughts On the 2012 Project and Beyond

6 Feb

Are libraries dying? American librarian Karen Jensen has set out to prove they’re not by creating the 2012 Project, an ever-growing collection of pictures of teens using libraries. She hopes to have 2,012 photos by the end of this year (click here to see a scrapbook of photos already collected).

Official 2012 Project Promotional PosterMost teen library services advocates (whether librarians or otherwise) spend time and energy trying to communicate the value of teen library services to colleagues and the public. (We also spend time communicating these to teens, but that’s a different story.) It is especially challenging to communicate the value of certain core jobs that appear unglamorous (like stock editing) or considered to effect specific demographics only (home library service).

How do you communicate the value teen library services the value isn’t always quantifiable?

There are always clear PR moves: inviting councillors to teen events, notifying local papers of all that’s on offer for young people. I wonder, however, if sometimes the essence of the service gets lost. Last year I was inspired by Meanwhile, The San Francisco Public Library, which captures some of the more ephemeral benefits of the service. That’s one of the reasons I like the 2012 Project: it’s one thing to be told that teens use our services, and quite another to see photos of happy, engaged teens in the library.

How do you think we can communicate some of the less articulable qualities of our service to teens? What are the best ways that our libraries do this, and what are our biggest blind spots?

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