What Are Words For?
03/11/2011 3 Comments
Everybody loves ALA’s classic celebrity READ posters. And for good reason. Multi-age, culturally relevant celebrities inspiring multi-age people to read books and get literate. They’re popular and possibly even effective. Still, the READ poster is alone in its work. It wants a family. It needs siblings.
Libraries continue to evolve and struggle against their own underrepresentation. They seek ways to break the mold. The READ campaign advocates literacy and promotes the library as a literacy center or, from a non-LIS perspective, a place to get free books. But isn’t that the very stereotype we’re trying to conquer? For all the good the READ posters may do toward promoting literate communities, they may concurrently, from a library science point of view, perpetuate the traditional stereotype of the library as “a place to get free books.”
LEARN. PLAY. CONNECT. ENGAGE. CREATE. These are the sibling marketing terms that libraries and ALA should advertise along with the classic READ poster. These are the terms that help represent what libraries are all about. What terms would you like to see on that ALA poster at the bus stop?