YDL Wins National Award

Thursday, July 16, 2009

YDL was one of six libraries feted at a reception July 13 in Chicago for its public relations efforts. Publisher H.W. Wilson, sponsor of the John Cotton Dana Award and the reception, provides a $5,000 cash award to each winning library to use to enhance their promotional strategies. YDL’s Assistant Director, Lori Coryell, accepted the award on behalf of the library. Other libraries selected for the 2009 John Cotton Dana Award were from Baltimore, Gwinnett County Georgia, Houston, Portland Oregon, and St. Paul. More about the public relations campaigns of these libraries may be found here.

The award named for John Cotton Dana, a progressive librarian from the early 20th century, has been given out by the American Library Association since 1946. Dana strongly believed that public libraries needed to maintain rigorous and innovative public relations efforts to inform the community of library resources in the hopes that the more they knew, the more likely they would be to use them, and thereby become strong supporters of libraries.

YDL was recognized for its “Second Annual Ypsilanti Songwriting Festival” which took place in October 2008 and featured singer/songwriters Paul Burch and Jon Langford. “The judges enjoyed reviewing the many submissions and were impressed by the quality and creativity of the public relations campaigns being executed by libraries of all types and sizes from across the country and Canada,” said award committee chair, Linda Holtslander. “Public relations and marketing efforts are more important now, than ever, to communicate the many valuable services and programs provided by libraries to meet the increasing needs of their customers in these challenging economic times.”

Judges cited the festival as “a unique public library program which used music and performing arts to appeal to non-library users, teens and men ages 18-45. Creative, nontraditional marketing strategies and community partners helped the Library reach the targeted demographic: 75% of attendees at events were men.”

Preparations are underway for the Third Annual Ypsilanti Songwriting Festival which will take place on Saturday, October 10 at YDL-Whittaker Road, 5577 Whittaker Road. The award-winning Ypsilanti Songwriting Festival returns for YSF’09 on Saturday, October 10. It’s bigger and better than ever featuring Jason Ringenberg—“the rockingest folk singer that ever lived” according to Miles of Music, Nashville gem Paul Burch, and West Texas rocker Colin Gilmore. The day will include a local talent showcase, one-on-one sessions with accomplished songwriters, and a DIY session to assist people wishing to do their own home studio recordings. Jason’s alter ego, Farmer Jason, will do a program of children’s sing-along favorites in the morning. More information will be posted to YpsiSongFest on Twitter and on myspace.

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