September 21, 2017

LJ Directors Summit: Totally AWESOME!

Oh, my gosh, y’all! What a great, great summit. Wish all of you could have been here at Columbus Metropolitan Library as we helped present LJ’s third annual Directors Summit: Moving from Outputs to Outcomes.

CML Executive Director Patrick Losinski welcomes guests at the opening luncheon.

Summit Panelists Brad Mitchell, Senior Director, Ohio Appalachian Collaborative at Battelle for Kids; Dr. Clay Marsh, Director, Center for Critical Care and Respiratory Medicine, OSU Medical Center; David Harrison, President, Columbus State Community College.

OrangeBoy, Inc. President Sandy Swanson and Kim Fender, executive director, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County present:  Connecting library strategy with community impact.

The conversation was stimulating as directors tried to dig deep into what community outcomes libraries can tie ourselves to. For me, as a marketing person, there is no more important part of the storytelling than around the value of libraries. Sure we can talk about Summer Reading Club, teen services, online resources. But at the end of the day, in these times, we need to talk about …”in order to what?”

We have Summer Reading Club…but in order to what? What is our goal? How do we know it is worth the effort? Same with everything else we do.

I passionately believe in libraries…but not the library of my youth, where I went to check out a book (Miss Piggle-Wiggle, constantly, for example.) Instead, it is all about HOW we are transforming lives for the better in that slice of the pie that only libraries can deliver. That’s what I’m marketing. And that’s what this summit was about.

I’m sure LJ will post the presentations and summaries. Make sure you check them out!

Alison Circle About Alison Circle

Alison Circle is director of marketing communications for Columbus Metropolitan Library. Previously she was an Account Director at Jack Morton Worldwide, a global branding agency, and her primary client was Target Stores. Prior to that she was the National Marketing Director for Minnesota Public Radio and "A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor." She has advanced degrees in English and Fine Arts, and is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant.



  1. I must be missing something here. What’s wrong with being a library where a child can check out a book?

    • Alison Circle says:

      That’s a great question…and you aren’t missing anything. We still all believe passionately that libraries are a place where kids can check out books. But in today’s funding situation, libraires have to be more than just that… or our storytelling around it has to have deeper resonance.