Winners of the 2011 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards

New York, NY, January 20, 2011

Five libraries are winners of the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award, which recognizes and honors outstanding achievement in library public relations. The John Cotton Dana (JCD) honor has been awarded continuously since 1946 and is sponsored by the H.W. Wilson Company, the H.W. Wilson Foundation and the Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). It is considered to be the most prestigious of all library awards in the field of public relations.
“This was a very difficult judging year,” said JCD committee chair, Kim Terry. “The quality was outstanding! We had entries from a variety of libraries – several academic libraries applied with fabulous campaigns. Many of the submissions came from small- to medium-sized libraries. It’s amazing that in these challenging economic times how wonderfully gifted libraries are at leveraging what they have to produce effective marketing campaigns. Libraries have come a long way.”

The following five libraries were honored:

Loudoun County Public Library, Leesburg, VA for “Try Poetry” – a year of building community through the borderless conversation of poetry. The program developed a long partnership with the public school system, created a unique relationship with the juvenile detention center and offered a variety of captivating presentations to the community. Extensive media coverage in the Washington Post and other outlets, as well as highly respected authors, poets and actors helped to inform and excite all ages of the community.

Anythink Libraries of Adams County, CO built a “library of the future” responding to a voter approved funding increase. A new customer service philosophy and branding increased population awareness and use in all areas, including a 42% increase in cardholders and 66% increase in visitors. The distinct Anythink name and orange swirl has become a nationally recognized signature for the library.

The University of California Santa Cruz Library for its hugely successful campaign surrounding its acquisition of the Grateful Dead archives. In addition to coverage in many national newspapers and magazines from the Wall Street Journal to Rolling Stone, the library’s Facebook page for this archive has over 48,000 friends – second only to the Grateful Dead’s own web page – and they have received $1.5 million in donations.

The Edmonton Public Library, Edmonton, Alberta, for “Rebranding the Edmonton Public Library,” a masterful blending of the work of professional designers and library staff that let each do what they do best. The simple, stylish logo and the slogan “Spread the words” were taken by library staff and customers and used in a guerilla marketing strategy that was impossible to ignore and hard to resist. The success of this campaign was built on a strong foundation of shared values, clear assessment, strategic marketing, and a committed and enthusiastic library staff. The result was a colorful, adaptable, effective campaign that also happens to be a lot of fun.

Worthington Libraries, Worthington, Ohio for “Find Yourself Here” rebranding campaign, a unique, informative and fun way to position the library as an information source and inviting destination. Beginning with staff communications guidelines and expanding to service provision, the library was positioned as a place where everyone belongs and is accepted. The net result was a 35% increase in online homework usage and a 36% increase in the circulation of downloadable books.

For more on the JCD Award, visit

About H.W. Wilson
For more than a century, H.W. Wilson has provided libraries with the highest-quality references in the world. The Company offers more than 80 databases on the acclaimed WilsonWeb platform: full text databases: delivering full articles from thousands of periodicals; retrospective databases: the complete journalistic record of people, developments and controversies in a wide range of fields; biography databases: in-depth profiles of newsmakers in all areas of endeavor; image databases, and more. Cover-to-cover periodicals indexing, subject-specific thesauri, and rigorous indexing standards have long earned the H.W. Wilson reputation as the source for bibliographic research. Editorial staff members with MLS or MLIS degrees—multi-lingual trained librarians and subject specialists—ensure relevant and comprehensive coverage and keep Wilson resources at the leading edge of service in libraries. New WilsonWeb tools include ReadSpeaker—conversion of articles into audio files, for listening at your workstation or downloading for later; WilsonWeb Mobile, a streamlined new interface for smart phones and other mobile devices; article translations into any of 13 languages; “My WilsonWeb” individual user accounts; citation tools that help users construct bibliographies according to the latest standards, and others. For more information, visit

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