Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Love Libraries campaign

The Love Libraries campaign is in full swing in the UK. And it's way cool.
Read through the comments left on their site, by library users. Wow! This is like the Perceptions report, in 3-D. (Side note: I see that the College Perceptions report is now available.)

Check out the 150 writers who have publicly pledged to support the campaign, including J.K. Rowling and Salman Rushdie. Read their quotations! Be Inspired!

Also, someone has taken our Library Makeover cover story to heart: The Love Libraries campaign has identified 3 libraries in the UK to receive makeovers. All in 12 weeks. But not just makeovers--the library staff are attending workshops to help them transform into something akin to the Idea store-inspired spaces that Alane was talking about last week. Certainly, the transformation is planned to be more than skin deep for these three libraries.

Here's a cool thing about the campaign, too: it wasn't created by librarians. It was created by publishers and a charity. It got buy-in from the government and by that point the ball was rolling--and fast. Apparently the site got 36,000 hits within the first 3 days of launch.

I love the fact you can leave comments and read other people's comments. It's repeated little pushes like this that can start a Movement!


Alice said...

Thanks to Eric for sending the original TailRank link!

K.G. Schneider said...

I've never been in a library in the UK. Does the campaign match the perception? When people go to libraries, are their needs met? Or is it a meet-in-the-middle campaign, where the campaign helps modify perceptions? Am I thinking too hard?

Alice said...

Hey Karen,
I can only speak for my limited two-year stint with UK libraries. My very first exposure was with the library at the House of Commons, when I was a research assistant to an MP. It was indescribably fantastic. They expected you to call them with any sort of question under the sun, and they would turn around a studied, in-depth answer in 4 hours or less. This experience set the bar quite high for the rest of my UK library experience.

And it wasn't tooooo bad. But I will tell you that on more than one occasion, I had to schlep myself (buy the train ticket and everything) to London to the University College Library and other places, so that I could attempt to photocopy enough pages of the book to support my dissertation.

If there is an Exeter Uni librarian reading this post, you can see evidence of my very scholarly output in the library copy of Joyce's Ulysses.

So did I use my university library in the UK? Yes. But interlibrary loan was not available.

Did public libraries have the same presence in the culture? Not to my American eyes...of course, this was also (gasp!) 8 years ago and the information space has completely changed since then.

Leslie Burger said...

This looks like a great campaign. It's somewhat similar to what I hope to do with my web based advocacy program this year. In fact, I own the domain names for and Anyone interested in working on this?

Anonymous said...

What is love to libraries! Cool post!