This evening I went to Marketing Libraries Outside the Echo Chamber. I got there in good time and meet Gary Green and Jo Bo Anderson (apologies for my directions the previous night). We started on time and were presented to the people who worked at City Business Library (whose name I could not remember). All very nice.
Anyhow, the event started with Bethan Ruddock and Jo Bo Anderson. It was suppose to start with Ned and Laura Woods were supposed to start the event, bit Ned was in traffic from Leeds with a 3 month old child (I think most people would call that hell).
Bethan and Jo discussed there work on Voices for the Library which is trying to put public libraries on the map. It started on twitter with a hashtag of #pling. A group of librarians felt that public librarians were under attack and started using social media to contact each other. The group started on twitter and discussed the website and had it up by September of this year. They felt the need for speed to get there message out. They did this all via social media (whoops, repetition). Anyhow, it was mentioned this was the first time four of the group had been together in the same physical area.
Voices for the Library wanted to discuss positive stories of the public libraries. Voices for the Library used facebook and Flickr to get users on board.
Voices of the library sent major press release to all news organisations. Left comments with email on blog post, newspaper organisations etc. They have attempted to use the website so people can say how well we, as libraries are doing. So its shows how a successful campaign can be done via the social media.
There profile has increased and they are getting more hits and attention. They've contacted Unison who have sent out 40000 members about libraries.
Both Bethan and Jo discussed problems of Voices of the library whether it should be affiliated etc. The problem of money. The problem of time. The problem of not meeting in person.
Jo talked about reaching beyond groups you expect to reach and that she'll be talking to the WI (womens institute and not game console) the following day.
The successes as they see it is more press coverage. More people who are not librarians discussing there experiences of libraries and why we needed them.
This is just a brief synopsis. But one final thing. Gary Green mentioned he was the only member of Voices of the library who worked in public libraries, He was glad to have support from fellow professionals.
Both Bethan and Jo are passionate about libraries and it was really an awe inspiring presentation.
I'm now going to listen to the opening first day of the ashes. Oh my life is this.