April 23, 2018

Steal This Idea

Looking for ways to create a new library card campaign? Hartford Public Library  invited customers to create  theirs, and it might give you the inspiration you need.

Using Facebook and Twitter, the library asked customers to submit copy ideas for the new cards.

Top ideas made it onto new,branded cards, and customers can choose their favorite:  Show Me Your Card, I’ll Show You Mine; No Brain, No Gain; Anything is Possible With This Card; I Found My Place Like No Other; This Card Makes Me Smart; and Use This Card Until it Falls Apart.

But the library didn’t stop there. 

They created a marketing campaign around the new library cards using posters to promote education and literacy. Posters  feature Hartford’s Mayor Pedro E. Segarra, local business owner Judy Young, Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Cathy Malloy, First Lady and president and chief executive officer of the Greater Hartford Arts Council, and 18 month old Mila Garcia, one of the library’s newest customers.

And they are running  a photo contest, Show Us Your New Library Card. The contest invites customers to submit photos of themselves holding their new  cards in and around the city of Hartford. Three grand prize winners will be selected and featured in posters.

Congratulations, Hartford, for integrating old and new promotion channels with the quintessential icon of libraries: the library card. 

Check it 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.

Engagement Marketing: Put Your Library’s Story to Work
Telling your library’s story is a powerful way to engage your audiences and demonstrate impact. Learn how to tell your library’s story and effectively use social media, innovative tech tools, and crucial partnerships to move your library’s marketing strategy from promotion to engagement in this multi-week online course—May 16 & 30, 2018.


  1. What a great way to get patrons involved in creating something for the library. That makes it more personal, and the library becomes their library! I love the idea of bright colors and having a choice of design. It also ends the problem of finding a library card in your wallet that looks like every other card.

  2. Ms. Horton offers a fresh alaetntrive to many of the boring, johnny-come-latelytalk-show hosts that attempt to address current political and economic topics du jour. Her show is one of the Northwest’s best-kept media secrets. Keep up the outstanding work! :O)

  3. Wow. Way to rip off the Edmonton Public Library. Almost to a tee. Real original :/