Today, I’m posting the text of the commencement speech I gave yesterday at the December graduation of the UNC School of Information and Library Science. Lots of folks have asked me for it, so I thought I’d put it here. Enjoy – and see you in 2015.
From Manning Hall to the Ice Planet of Hoth: Lessons for SILS Grads from The Empire Strikes Back
There are many books that graduates often receive as gifts – Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss, The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, The Tao of Pooh. They all have some sort of deep and meaningful message for grads as you start out on the next stage of your life and career. But there’s another story that I think resonates just as much for you today. One that is also full of deep and meaningful messages as you start out on your careers. And it’s not a book. If I could, I would give you each a copy of The Empire Strikes Back.
The John Cotton Dana Award is called “the most prestigious award of the American Library Association.” Here’s a little more about it:
“The John Cotton Dana Award, provided in conjunction with the H.W. Wilson Foundation, the American Library Association and EBSCO Publishing, honors outstanding library public relations, whether a summer reading program, a year-long centennial celebration, fundraising for a new college library, an awareness campaign or an innovative partnership in the community.”
“With seven collectible trading cards featuring art inspired by banned books and created by local artists, Lawrence Public Library’s Banned Books Trading Card project sought to raise awareness of Banned Books Week in a unique way, engage the local arts community, and bring wider exposure to the talented artists living and working in our community. The project achieved these goals, garnered national media attention, and resulted in a few surprising outcomes that have given the project an extended life, long after the end of 2012’s Banned Books Week.” Continue reading “OMG! We got a JCD!”→
I am thrilled to announce that I will be the next director of the Chapel Hill Public Library in Chapel Hill, NC. Almost seven years ago, my family left Chapel Hill to come to Lawrence, KS and we are pleased at the chance to return to a town that we love and a town that loves its library. I’ll spend the next few weeks wrapping up my marketing duties at Lawrence Public Library, and will take the helm of CHPL on May 20. I’ve had a great time and amazing opportunities here at Lawrence Public Library, where I’ve helped position the library as a deeply engaged community anchor and essential destination. I look forward to helping CHPL do the same!
Why is this? Clearly, lots of libraries are doing book displays and lots want to do them better. And why are book displays important? I offer this answer in the conclusion to the article:
“And if you are wondering why displays are important at all, I have just two words for you – book discovery. It is the buzzword of the moment for libraries, booksellers, and publishers, with conferences devoted to the concept and new products that aim to make it easier. There are some librarians who will lament that this fancy new buzzword reflects what we have always done – help readers find their next book. However, in an era where readers can find discover books in the supermarket, on their iPhone, via Amazon, and from social sites such as Goodreads and Pinterest, we need to make sure that libraries are engaged in book discovery and consider it a priority. Better book displays are just one way of helping readers discover great books.”
I’m in Seattle for the next few days, attending ALA Midwinter 2013. There’s lots of good stuff for marketers on the schedule – I’ll live tweet from as many events as possible and post a roundup of the conference next week. I’ll be at the PRTalk gathering this afternoon and if you are here in Seattle and want to connect, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Twitter at @658point8.
As a $19 million renovation and expansion project begins, my library – Lawrence Public Library – is in the process of moving into temporary headquarters. We are closed for two weeks while we move our collections and offices into – wait for it – a building that last housed a Borders bookstore!
This is not only a huge logistical undertaking, but it has been a major communications initiative as well. We have successfully used traditional tools – flyers, signs, e-blasts, press releases, etc. – to keep our community informed about the move. However, we have turned to new media methods to keep our community engaged and excited about what’s happening at their library. Continue reading “Social Media on the Move – Part 1”→