February 16, 2018

John Cotton Dana Awards Announced

This weekend the John Cotton Dana Public Relations Award winners were announced. Congratulations to the six winning libraries. I’m so pleased to see this year a deeper and more meaningful selection of efforts — efforts focused on real community need and which reflect our times: job help, fine amnesty, a new branch. These have lasting value beyond some of the winners in years past — a recognition of the central role libraries are playing in our communities.

And the winners are:

Hackney Library at Barton College, in Wilson, N.C., for the "Band Book Tour," a music festival that more than tripled the attendance at the library’s annual open house.

King County Library System, Issaquah, Washington: With 89,000 local workers unemployed, the library system reacted by creating the "Look to Your Library…Especially Now" campaign, designing an outreach program guiding residents to free resources available from the library. 

New Jersey State Library, Trenton, New Jersey, for "Tell Us Your Story," a library advocacy campaign that motivated and mobilized staff from 240 New Jersey libraries to identify messages and cultivate customer stories. These stories were used locally and in a statewide media campaign that reached millions of people.

Pasco County Library System, Hudson, Florida, for "Rockus Maximus: Battle of the Bands," a library- and community-sponsored Battle of the Bands competition. 

San Francisco Public Library, San Francisco, California for "Return the Books," a low cost effort using the tag line "What’s your excuse?" The library began an overdue fine amnesty program to help library patrons cope with the economic downturn by removing an obstacle – overdue fines –allowing them to resume using library resources. 

Westbank Community Library District, Austin, Texas, for "One Library: Two Locations; Building a Branch and Expanding a Community" which raised over a million dollars to construct their first branch library.

Congratulations to all the winners!

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.