Awards, Conferences, Innovative Services, Libraries, Marketing

Reflections from the John Cotton Dana Awards Jury 2019

I spent two days last week in Chicago, reviewing award entries as a member of the John Cotton Dana jury. This is my third and last year of serving on this jury, after winning the award myself in 2016.

The John Cotton Dana Award honors outstanding library public relations. Each year, we review dozens of entries representing the diversity of libraries and the work they do to serve the specific and unique needs of their communities.

It is so much fun to meet with my fellow jurors – five library marketing and communications professionals who know their jobs inside and out. Some come from public libraries, and others from academic/special libraries, but we all share a passion for this industry.

One of the things I love about this award is that it recognizes strategic thinking and an awareness of community needs. It’s not just about having flashy creative or slick marketing materials; it’s about conducting a needs assessment and mapping your goals to your results. With those things in mind, you don’t need a huge budget to make an impact or win the award.

We can only select eight winners, and it’s always a hard decision. Many of these campaigns are innovative, forward-thinking, creative and powerful.

I look forward to recognizing the winners in person during a special event the American Library Association conference in Washington, DC this June. Rewarding great work is always a pleasure!

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