Branding Iron Award Winners

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Public Relations Branding Iron Awards Winners

Index: 2017  2016  2015  2014   2013  2012   2011  2010   2009   2008   2007

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BEST OF SHOW: Biblio Techno Trekker,  Bulverde/Spring Branch Library, Bulverde


Midland County Public Libraries, Literacy is the Answer TEDxACU (winner)

San Marcos Public Library Summer Reading Program videos (winner)

Community Engagement
Allen Public Library Chinese Story Time (winner)
University of Houston Libraries LinkedIn at the Library (honorable mention)

Digital Promotions
University of North Texas Libraries Willis the Albino Squirrel Instagram campaign (winner)
Tyler Public Library Sid the Llama promotional videos (honorable mention)

Printed Promotions
Plano Public Library Partnership Prospectus (winner)
Weatherford Public Library Event Guides (honorable mention)

Public Relations & Marketing Campaign
Irving Public Library North Texas Teen Book Festival (winner)
Cedar Park Public Library Read, Learn, Explore (honorable mention)

University of North Texas Libraries The Nest (winner)
Pasadena Memorial High School Library MAVLibrary (honorable mention)

Special Events
Plano Public Library Dare to Dream: A View from the Starts (winner)

Reeces Creek Elementary School Family Maker Night (honorable mention)


BEST OF SHOW: MLK Celebration,  Zula B. Wylie Public Library, Cedar Hill


  • Advocacy Campaign:  Austin Public Library Volumes radio show
  • Honorable Mention: Texas State Library & Archives Commission Public Libraries ROI study
  • Identity Campaign: San Marcos Public Library logo redesign
  • Honorable Mention: Grand Prairie Public Library rebranding
  • Digital Promotion: Harris County Public Library MILL-E promotion
  • Honorable Mention: Texas Tech Digital Media Studio promotion
  • Printed Promotion (tie):  Baylor New Student Orientation stickers, UTSA Survival Guide
  • Public Relations Campaign (tie):  Plano Artist in Residence, Texas A&M All are Welcome campaign
  • Special Events (tie): Socorro ISD Comic-Con, University of North Texas Escape the Library
  • Advertising:  Amarillo Public Library AMA-CON
  • Honorable Mention: University of North Texas Library Resources
  • Powered Up Libraries Award: Lemon Battery, Wm. J. Clinton Elementary, La Joya ISD,
  • Honorable Mention: Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library


BEST OF SHOW: The Human Library, University of North Texas Denton


  • Special Events:  University of North Texas, The Human Library
  • Honorable Mention: Plano Public Library System, “Show us Why You Love the Library” Bookmark Contest
  • Campaigns: Houston Public Library, MyLink Library Card Campaign
  • PR Plan: Plano Public Library, From Reading to Robotics
  • Honorable Mention: Round Rock Public Library, Heroes of the Library, 2015 Round Rock Public Library Annual Report for year-round activities
  • Broadcast Advertising:  Flower Mound Public Library, Summer Reading PSA
  • Honorable Mention: Amarillo Public Library, 17 Things You May Not Know About the Amarillo Public Library TV spots
  • Outdoor Advertising: San Antonio Public Library, Digital Library Community Project touchscreen kiosks and digital library wallpapers
  • Print Advertising:  Houston Public Library, Advertisements, My Link Card Campaign
  • Honorable Mention: University of Texas Libraries, promotions on UNT history
  • Social Media, Online, Nontraditional: #txlchat, Sharon Gullett, Michelle Cooper, and Marsha Edney
  • Honorable Mention: Texas A&M University – Commerce Libraries, #TriviaTuesday and Social Media Activities
  • Editorial Page Strategies:  One for the Record Books, Sharyland ISD
  • Brands and Logos:  North Richland Hills Library, the maker spot logo
  • Collateral Materials: Texas Woman’s University, 21century services booklets and giveaways
  • Honorable Mention: Dallas Public Library’s Coloring Book


BEST OF SHOW: Klein ISD “O.S.C.A.R.” Awards

The O.S.C.A.R. (Our Students Care About Reading) initiative began as an idea from Wunderlich principal’s participation in TLA’ Strong Libraries Strong Scores mini-conference in 2012. This innovative approach to campus-wide literacy reinvents the idea of traditional reading incentive programs. Students have the opportunity to select from high-interest books are given 75 minutes of independent reading time per week in English language arts and math classes to read and discuss. The culminating event in this effort is an Oscar-style awards ceremony where student creations – everything from performances to book trailers and summaries – are nominated for awards and the winners selected. Capturing the imagination and participation of students, teachers, community partners, and administrators, this extraordinary program is now in its second year.


Special Events: Klein ISD “O.S.C.A.R.”

See above.

Campaign: Zula B. Wylie Public Library: Read Across the World & Get Energized with Summer Reading Programs AND Door to Discovery

The Zula B. Wylie Public Library is being recognized for two of outstanding campaigns: its summer reading program and Door to Discovery, a campaign designed and implement to broaden the public’s awareness of library resources. These campaigns involved planning, the careful development of promotional materials, interacting with stakeholders, the implementation of programs, and the use of digital media strategies. Broad thinking and creative, the campaigns successfully promoted the library and demonstrate a commitment to engaging and information the public.

Broadcast Advertising: University of North Texas  (UNT)  - A Day in the Life of UNT: Portal to Texas History Video

The Day at UNT program is an exciting partnership with Denton ISD and university departments. The program rings in local 7th graders and introduces them to college life and academics, including library resources. As the program has grown, the staff of UNT libraries has broadened the reach of this program through broadcasts of a fun and informative video highlight the day’s events and library resources.

Print Media: Benbrook Public Library – “All walks of life. Every step of the way.”

The Benbrook Library purchased an advertisement in the Benbrook Area Chamber of Commerce Directory and determined to use one simple image and tagline that conveyed the breadth of what the library. No easy task, library staff came up with a simple yet ingenious image to create with a message to match: Picture an open book with silhouette figures spanning the cradle to old age. The message: Benbrook Public Library – All walks of life. Every step of the way. 

Speeches, Speakers’ Bureau: Zula B. Wylie Public Library – “Library on the Go”

Expanding on its commitment to reach out to its public, the Zula B. Wylie Public Library offers a speakers’ bureau on its services and resources. The library’s talented staff stepped up to the creative plate by working together to create messaging about the library. The staff developed several vignettes – featuring dramatic skits, musical numbers, you name it! – that are humorous and informative about the library’s services. These speeches/presentations have been offered at numerous venues, and the public can request any of these speeches for a local event or activity. And just to help get the word out: the staff has prepared promotional handouts (complete with a QR code) for folks to learn about these presentations and to request one at their next function!

Honorable Mention Speeches:  Nicole Cruz, “The Importance of School Libraries”

Logos and Brands Winner: University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries

The UNT Libraries brand has grown over the years from a set of visual standards to a diverse but complementary set of targeted logos and brands designed to let stakeholders identify their interests. The “Label Me” brand initiative allows individuals to represent their unique perspective.  Whether through self-identifying buttons, coffee house style brew flavor tags, or digital portal t-shirts, the UNT Libraries brand is personified through flexible yet interconnected messaging. This winning combination gives students and faculty a chance to establish their own relationship to the library.

Collateral Materials: Zula B. Wylie Public Library’s “A Summer Reader Lives Here” yard sign

Along with fun t-shirts and library give-aways, the Zula B. Wylie Public Library offered summer reading program participants a fun way to show off their efforts at home – while offering good PR to the library. “A Summer Reader Lives Here” yard sign allowed kids (and parents) to proudly proclaim reading accomplishments but also offered a great means for neighborhoods to learn about library services and want to get into the action.

Honorable Mention Collateral Materials: Benbrook – Library brochure: Inform-Imagine-Innovate.


BEST OF SHOW: Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge (Special Events Category), Frisco Public Library

Frisco Public Library transformed its summer reading program into The Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge in 2013. The library branded summer reading with a new logo, strong message, and undertook an aggressive campaign to promote and conduct the reading program. From creative posters and social media messaging to clever collaborations, the campaign brought users into the library, had an entire city reading, and gained champions among the city’s leadership.


Broadcast Advertising Category: Denton Public Library, Library Larry’s Big Day movie trailer

Denton Public Library teamed up with Denton Television (DTV) and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum to produce a movie trailer promoting an episode of the library’s literacy-based television show Library Larry’s Big Day. The trailer ran for two months at Cinemark 14 in Denton as well as airing on DTV and on YouTube.

Print Media Category: Nicholson Memorial Library, “Got your card yet? I did.” part of the celebration of the Library’s 80th anniversary

The Nicholson Memorial Library System celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2013. To honor the milestone, the library designed a campaign illustrating the institution’s longevity of service. Campaign materials included print advertisements, posters, and images for online publication. Each image featured the tagline – “Got your card yet? I did.” –and cardholding citizens announcing what year they got their library card. The series featured city leaders, first responders, community members, and representatives of local groups.

Honorable Mention Print Media: Austin Public Library, Read Poster – READ … and you will become more powerful than you could possible imagine!

Special Events: Frisco Public Library, Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge

See Best of Show.

Honorable Mention Special Events: William T. Cozby Public Library Coppell Reads

Editorial Strategies: Vicki Chiavetta, “Neighbors Go” Section in Dallas Morning News

The Community Leader’s Message column in the “Neighbors Go” section of the Dallas Morning News offers consistent and positive exposure of the diverse activities and resources at the William T. Cozby Public Library.  Each month Library Director Vicki Chiavetta writes about programs and services available to the Coppell Community and thus raises awareness of the value the library brings to the community.

Non-traditional Media: Victoria Public Library, YouTube videos on activities for family and children

In 2011 Victoria Public Library developed a strategic plan to guide the growth of services. The enhancement of family and children’s services was central to this plan. Guided by the strategic plan, VPL added programs, consolidated activities, added resources, and then sought to promote these new efforts to the community. By creating informative and fun YouTube videos, the library highlighted its programs and talented staff in a cost-effective manner. Through careful promotion of the videos through social media, the library worked to create a larger audience for its efforts.

Brands and Logo: Fort Worth Public Library; Logo: Worth Reading 365 – year long literacy campaign

In 2013, the Fort Worth Library launched Worth Reading, its year-round literacy initiative. The program’s goals are to establish a culture of reading, lifelong learning, and self-improvement. The project is a collaborative among many organizations, including Fort Worth ISD as well as museums and organizations. The logo embodies the program’s key message.


BEST OF SHOW: University of North Texas Libraries (PR Plan and Related Activities)

UNT Libraries developed a comprehensive approach to marketing that involved careful planning, research, documentation, and production of resources and products. From a stylistic guide for creating consistent and professional communications to campaigns and promotional items celebrating librarians, libraries, and the institution’s community, the library pushed forward on many fronts. These efforts were creative, energetic, unique, and successful!


Print Media Category: Austin Public Library, “Set Your Imagination on Fire: READ” posters with local firefighter Xochitl Hernandez

The poster, titled Set Your Imagination on Fire: READ, emphasizes the importance of libraries and reading. Featuring a local Austin firefighter, the poster also serves a recruiting purpose for the Austin Fire Department by providing information on where to go to become a firefighter as well as informing adult and children about the different types of stories to find in a library. The poster has been widely distributed throughout APL’s system, other city departments, and the Austin Independent School District.

Special Events: Library Card Signup, Larry J. Ringer Branch Library, Bryan and College Station Library System

In 2012 at the end of August, the city councils and the commissioner’s court made public proclamations encouraging the citizens to get a library card. The library promoted the act of passing the proclamations as a kick-start event for our library card campaign. The event involved local leaders in photo and media opportunities. Political figures held up library cards for a photo opportunity and provided a chance for them to visit with the library director, branch manager, and library board members. It also provided a forum for promoting new e-book and audiobook selections as well as updates on library activities.

Editorial Strategies: Tammy Korns, Plano Public Library, “Ex Libris” Column in Plano Profile Magazine

The “Ex Libris” column featured in each monthly issue of Plano Profile Magazine highlights the library’s activities, events, materials, and new services available to the community of the Plano Public Library System. The publication’s circulation is 50,000, comprising 47,000 direct mail pieces to Plano, Frisco, and Allen households and 3,000 for direct distribution to area businesses and organizations.

Non-traditional Media: Austin Public Library, Literature Live Puppet Show/Booktalk Trailers

The Austin Public Library has created trailers for each of its puppet shows, produced as part of the Literature LIVE! Program in the Youth Services Division. The trailers are posted on YouTube and shared on the library’s blog. Like video booktalks, the puppet show trailers use still photos and a dynamic series of captions to attract viewer interest. Colorful and fun, the puppets (and their creative puppet masters) draw increasing large audiences and serve to educate people about literature and this wonderful art form.

PR Plan: University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Libraries’ Identity Guide

After months of research and planning, the Communications and Marketing Office UNT Libraries’ External Relations Division developed a comprehensive Identity Guide. By crafting consistent messaging and defining stylistic means to reach target audiences, the library increased the perception of UNT Libraries as a progressive, professional, service-focused, and innovative academic library. The guide helps ensure that branding – including messaging, marks, colors, fonts, and design styles – will be consistent across all platforms and media.

Campaign: Texas Christian University Mary Couts Burnett Library, “TCU READ Campaign”

The TCU Library launched a READ campaign in 2010-2011 to promote the true spirit of education. The goal was to encourage reading and to increase college preparedness for potential future TCU Frogs (as well as current ones).  The library partnered with the athletic department to develop, distribute, and promote the campaign and produce numerous READ posters featuring student achievement on and off the field.

Collateral Materials: University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Library Liaison Posters

In 2012, UNT Libraries kicked off an in-house campaign to connect students with librarians who specialize in their field of study. Catchy copywriting and photography were used to present the library liaisons and relevant information, including their specializations and contact information, to students. The posters are scattered throughout and give a great and easy take-away. QR codes, which are included in the posters, also help students on the move walk away with information they need about their librarians and library services.

Outdoor Advertising: Palo Alto College, Alamo Colleges, Library à la Carte

The Library à la Carte is an extended service offered via a utility cart to promote the library on campus. The Carte is wrapped in the library’s signature color purple, and librarians offer a menu of à la carte library services (i.e., research assistance, instruction, interlibrary loan, TexShare cards, databases, etc.) across campus. Offering free refreshments, participating in outdoor campus events, and generally being a vision to behold and a place to stop has heightened awareness of the library and its services.

Honorable Mention Outdoor Advertising: Abilene Public Library, “Novel Destinations” Bus Wraps

“A picture is worth a thousand words” describes Abilene Public Library’s moving billboard campaign. The Friends of the Library commissioned the wraps for two city buses as one way of implementing a library marketing strategic goal. These mobile billboards have been on the move since July 2012 and feature the slogan “Novel Destinations.” Colorful and easy to read, the wrap allows the library to promote its services throughout the city.


BEST OF SHOW: University of Texas at San Antonio (Non-traditional media promotions), Spring 2011 Social Media Campaign for National Library Week

Description: Blending virtual activities with physical ones, UTSA created a campus buzz with a slate of social media and live events intended to raise awareness of the libraries’ services. The campaign featured a Facebook Check-in Deal, a YouTube video quiz, secret password postings, and meet-ups. The campaign resulted in a 40% increase in Facebook “likes,” strong turnout at in-person events, and positive feedback on the libraries’ Facebook page.


Outdoor Advertising: Baylor University, Texas Collection

Description: Outdoor banners displayed along The Texas Collection on Baylor’s campus promoted the archives through large and intriguing images of archival materials. The banners were exhibited outside the building in high traffic areas and created a stir among students and faculty.

Broadcast Advertising: Baylor University, Texas Collection

Treasures of The Texas Collection National Public Radio broadcasting began in November 2009 and now continues to air biweekly. Hosted by Dr. Robert Darden, the broadcasts highlight interesting stories of Texas’ past and invite writers on the show to share more history about Texas. The half-hour shows are run by The Texas Collection and feature its historical archives.

Honorable Mention Broadcast Advertising: Denton Public Library, Library Larry’s Big Day Summer Reading Club Promotion

Editorial Strategies: Larry Justiss, San Angelo Public Library

For many years, Larry Justiss has cultivated local media. From newspapers to TV, Justiss has made himself available to tell the library’s story. Hi contributes regularly to the local paper – discussing everything from the latest book additions to programs and services. This is good old fashioned PR at its best – consistent, local, and interesting. In fact, Justiss has been so successful getting the library’s activities noted by local media, the Stephens Central Library has been called “Larry’s Library” – a testament to the institution and the man working tirelessly to make sure those it serves know about all the wonderful activities conducted on their behalf.

Non-traditional Media: University of Texas at San Antonio, Social Media Campaign for National Library Week

Blending virtual activities with physical ones, UTSA created a campus buzz with a slate of social media and live events intended to raise awareness of the libraries’ services. The campaign featured a Facebook Check-in Deal, a YouTube video quiz, secret password postings, and meet-ups. The campaign resulted in a 40% increase in Facebook “likes,” strong turnout at in-person events, and positive feedback on the libraries’ Facebook page.

Honorable Mention Non-traditional Media: Nancy Jo Lambert, Ruth Borchardt Elementary

PR Plan: Arlington Public Library, “Become a Part of Our Story: Volunteer!”

In 2011, Arlington Public Library (APL) began a campaign to recruit volunteers. The Library decided to take a creative approach and design a program and promotional campaign to let potential volunteers know what their contributions would mean and to have a choice about how they could volunteers. The library designed creative marketing pieces (flyers, slides, web materials) based on volunteer job descriptions: book wrangler, library concierge, creative consultant, cyber coach, and secret shopper, for instance. The library distributed almost 600 applications and now has a corps of 223 support volunteers.

Print Advertising: Austin Public Library, “Read: Your Life Depends on It” Poster

The poster, titled “READ: Your Life Depend On It,” features Austin’s public safety leaders: the police chief, fire chief, and EMS director. Designed in-house, the impressive poster emphasizes the importance of libraries and reading. The poster has been widely distributed throughout APL’s system, city departments, and the Austin school district. It has proven to be popular among city department heads that they are asking if their department can be represented in the next poster!

Brands and Logos: Victoria Public Library, “Where the Journey Begins”

Victoria Public Library underwent a branding redesign to meet the changing needs of the community. From publicity to signage, the brand and logo were used to promote programs and services and to establish an identifying dynamic image. The colorful scheme provides a consistent yet flexible design for communicating VPL’s mission and values: “Where the Journey Begins.”

Honorable Mention Brands and Logos: Friends of Northside ISD, LibraryPalooza 2012

Collateral Materials: Tyler Junior College, “LEAP” materials, including tattoos

Using its new LEAP (Learning Electronic Access Portal) icon, the library created give-away materials, including tattoos, for the college’s Student Activities Fairs and other events. The LEAP icon plays off of a pictograph image of a Plains’ antelope (the college is known as the TJC Apaches) and embodies fleetness and agility – much like libraries need to be today.

Honorable Mention Collateral Materials: McAllen Public Library


BEST OF SHOW:  Sara Stevenson, school librarian (Austin ISD) for Editorial Strategies

When jobs were on the line and districts statewide were looking to Austin ISD to see what would be the outcome of proposals to eliminate school librarian positions, school librarian SaraStevenson stepped up to the plate. Through her leadership and articulate defense of school librarians, she helped galvanize the community to speak up for school librarians. Many school librarians participated in this effort, and all praise Stevenson’s work helping bringing the local media’s focus on school librarians. Her guest editorial (along with other letters-to-the-editor and subsequent submissions) kept school librarians on the pages of the Austin American-Statesman.  

From her published guest editorial, “Why Librarians are Essential”: “Reading is the most important, lifelong skill for school achievement, college readiness, and 21st century careers, not to mention that is essential for an information citizenry…We teach these skills directly, daily, while supporting teachers and building library collections.”


Speeches: Kerol Harrod, Denton Public Library

“All Education is Local” – a speech delivered on November 18, 2010. The speech was given to the Denton Rotary Club in support of the library’s award-winning children’s educational television series Library Larry’s Big Day. The speech weaves together wonderful information about the library, the series, and the value and impact of educational programming. The presentation complemented the other marketing activities undertaken by the library to promote its children’s programming and services.

Outdoor Advertising: Austin Public Library, Bus Signage – Interior Placement, Spanish advertisements for APL’s New Immigrant Centers

The New Immigrants Centers of the Austin Public Library provide information and services to Austin’s new, primarily non-English-speaking, immigrant population. The Library purchased bus cards advertisements with Capital Metro (the city’s transit system) to promote the New Immigrants Centers in Spanish. The design was done in-house and promotes the various services offered through the centers.

Honorable Mention Outdoor Advertising: “Train Tickets Make Great Bookmarks…”

Non-traditional Media: Dowell Middle School in McKinney ISD, Kristen Spain

A wonderfully creative and humorous YouTube video highlighting the fun and power of reading, the Dowell Middle School project shows school wide collaboration and enthusiasm at its best. Complete with original music, wonderful performances by students, librarians, and administrators, the video has everything – even fun outtakes after the credits!

Year-Around Campaign: Texas Tech University Libraries, Seeds of Knowledge and Faculty Academic Contributions Exhibits (Face)

Every year, a libraries-wide planning committee spends 10 months planning a celebration of faculty academic contributions. The process strengthens the relationship between the library and faculty.  The project begins with a call for entries and includes print and online information and promotions. News releases, commercials, and an electronic exhibit highlight the project and participants. This highly collaborative and well-planned event has become a staple within academic life and bonds the library with faculty and serves as a creative way of celebrating the academic accomplishments at the university.

Special Events: San Antonio Public Library, Library Summit: A Global Perspective

In this three-day Summit, the City of San Antonio (with Mayor Julian Castro taking the lead) explored the role libraries play in shaping our communities, creating jobs, and developing the economy. An effort that involved multi-national partners, the summit addressed some of the greatest challenges facing public libraries. San Antonio PL also offered a webinar with speakers so that other libraries across the state and county to hone in on the discussions. A model for visioning, collaborating, and promoting, the Summit was a powerful and impressive event that positioned the library at the center of community and economic vitality.

Honorable Mention Special Events: Waco McLennan County, Opening of a New Facility

The Waco-McLennan County Library opened a new facility in September, 2010, the West Waco Library & Genealogy Center. Beginning in the summer of 2010, a public relations campaign was developed. The theme, “A Whole New Library,” was used in promotions which culminated the opening of the new facility.

Print Advertising: Austin Public Library, Broaden your Horizons at the Library

Broaden Your Horizons at the Library was conceived to help technologically disadvantaged citizens cross the digital divide and learn about library services and resources of which they might not be aware.  The 16-week promotion ran as an ad in the weekly Greensheet publication, a popular source of information. The streamline ad incorporated the tagline and noted the key services being promoted.

Collateral Materials: University of Houston Libraries

Since 2009, the University of Houston Libraries has given note card sets to campus administrators and donors. The cards are clever and highlight the libraries’ modern information services while presenting a nostalgic nod to the history of the University and libraries.


BEST OF SHOW: Houston Public Library for Brands and Logo

With a logo that reflects the modern and personal aspect of library service and a dynamic tagline “Linking YOU to the World,” Houston Public Library reintroduced itself to the people of Houston.  The brand and logo have been used to promote several new services and to unveil renovations in facilities.  HPL had used the brand and logo to energize marketing efforts and has established a unique and recognizable signature for the library.


Outdoor Advertising: Austin Public Library

The Austin Public Library has won in the Outdoor Advertising Category. APL has consistently excelled in this category and has done so again this year. The bus wraps are colorful and creative and do a terrific job of promoting literacy and summer reading programs. Congratulations to everyone on staff who worked on these efforts.

Speeches/Presentation: Lisa Pilgrim, Clinkscale Elementary, Burleson ISD

“The board of trustees need to be provided with updated information regarding our Library Media Services budget and any new strategies and instructional practices currently in place through our professional librarians,” said superintendent Mark Jackson. With this, the stage was set for Lisa Pilgrim to make a presentation to the Burleson ISD Board about the desperate need for increased support for the district’s libraries.  With a PowerPoint in hand, narration, and photographs from all the libraries of the most outdated books in the collection, Pilgrim not only created a persuasive picture of need; she also succeeding in getting the Board discussing the need to reverse the minimal funding for the district’s school libraries.

Broadcast Advertising:  TexShare Consortium and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

The State Library partnered with EBSCO Publishing to produce radio public service announcements that aired in major state markets.  The radio spots tell listeners of the powerful community resources (print and online) they have available to them at the library. A file of the spot is available on the State Library website so that libraries throughout the state can download and use the file.

Print Media: University of Houston Libraries “Librarians are a Life Saver”

In 2008, 15 student groups competed to develop an advertising campaign promoting the services of subject librarians at the University of Houston. The winning campaign, “Librarians are a Life Saver,” was implemented in 2009 and incorporates the UH Libraries’ logo into print, electronic, and product advertising. The engaging and clever campaign was featured in the campus newspaper.

Non-Traditional Media: Texas State Library and Archives Commission and  Education Service Center 20 – K-12 Database Promotional Videos

Working in partnership, Education Service Center 20 and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission produced a series of online videos promoting the K-12 databases.  The first two videos have students explaining the use of the databases and the differences between searching the databases and the open Internet. A third video is geared for adults. Engaging and informative, the videos convey important information in an entertaining format.

Special Events: Denton Public Library, “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World”

During May and June 2009, the Denton Public Library hosted the national traveling exhibit “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World.” The library developed a broad range of promotional activities to highlight the exhibit but also used it to partner with other institutions and draw people to the library.

Honorable Mention, Special Events: Westbank Community Library District, Grand Opening of the Laura Bush Community Library

The culmination of a well-planned development and promotional campaign, the grand opening of the Laura Bush Community Library was an exciting event that brought together library stakeholders and the community in a celebration of the new library and of learning.  With creative promotional materials and excellent press coverage, the event proved a wonderful kick off to the new library’s role in the community.

PR Plan/Campaign: Arlington Public Library: GOcard Campaign

Between September 2008 and August 2009, Arlington Public Library held a GOcard (library card) campaign for pre-K through 6th grade children who attend Arlington school. At the end of the campaign, 17,344 children had signed up for library cards, and the library realized a 21% increase in the number of children’s books checked out.  The campaign included a kickoff at City Hall, a video PSA, elementary school rallies, and sign-up incentives.
Brands and Logo: Houston Public Library

With a logo that reflects the modern and personal aspect of library service and a dynamic tagline “Linking YOU to the World,” Houston Public Library reintroduced itself to the people of Houston.  The brand and logo have been used to promote several new services and to unveil renovations in facilities.  HPL had used the brand and logo to energize marketing efforts and has established a unique and recognizable signature for the library.

Honorable Mention, Brands and Logo: South Texas College

The logo for the South Texas College (STC) Library represents a recursive cycle of knowledge and change. It represents the potential for improvement of the self and the world around us through the acquisition of knowledge. The transformative nature of education and the library’s role in that process are reflected in the slogan:  “Discover, Create, Change.”

Collateral Materials: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Library

Using a creative logo design and play on the @ your library campaign, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Library created engaging promotional pieces for the library’s services including eye-catching library “business cards.”

LIS Student YouTube Category: Deborah Tomaselli, TexShare Databases


BEST OF SHOW: University of Houston for Broadcast Advertising
Description: In 2007 three University of Houston librarians received an in-house grant of $1800 to produce three commercials in collaboration with the Student Video Network (SVN) to promote the Library’s resources and services. These videos focused specifically on 1: remote access to library resources; 2: subject librarians’ services; and 3. reference and instructional services. The commercials aired on SVN’s cable channel and were uploaded to YouTube.


Outdoor Advertising: Austin Public Library
Description: During August through October 2008, Austin Public Library introduced a billboard campaign to raise awareness of the library’s valuable online databases. Using themes from Texas music for the billboard designs, the library promoted business, health and medical, and Spanish language databases. Slogans included: “Expand your Business across Miles and Miles of Texas” and “Medical Questions: Deep in the Heart of Texas.”

During this time period, these subject databases saw an increase in usage. The health databases saw 17% increase, and the business resources saw an overwhelming 67% increase in use.

Editorial Page/Ongoing Media Coverage: Boerne Public Library
Description: The supporters of Boerne Public Library are relentless in their enthusiasm, work ethic, and creativity. From the library director and assistant director to the foundation members and newspaper staff, the citizens of Boerne truly care about their library and work diligently to keep the local population informed about the library, its programs, and goals.

Over the last year, numerous articles about the library have run in The Boerne Star.  The variety, frequency, and depth of coverage are impressive. That commitment of media coverage speaks to the efforts and support of library supporters.

Print Media: Denton Public Library
Description: Denton Public Library invested its talent and resources into a year-long commitment to promote new materials and programs.  The library purchased advertising in the Denton Record-Chronicle to 1) publicize new materials of a topical nature that were related to the time of year in which the ads appeared and 2) promote adult and youth programs, both regularly-scheduled and unique events.

The ads, designed by library staff, are direct, timely, and catchy. They include such memorable lines as: “Death and Dessert: A Mystery Reading Group for Adults; Come for the conversation, stay for the dessert.”  “Gasoline is $4 a Gallon: The Library is Free,” is also a standout.

Non-Traditional Media: Visual Resources Collection, University of Texas School of Architecture
Description: The Visual Resources Collection (VRC) launched the Know You Know campaign in the fall of 2008. Part of this effort involved the creation of educational videos to both promote use of resources and to teach students how to search for and use the VRC’s vast materials and tools. The videos are posted on YouTube and the website and were promoted through email message, the VRC’s blog, and website.

Special Events: Abilene Public Library
Description: The opening of the new Mockingbird Branch gave Abilene Public Library (APL) and Friends of APL the opportunity to re-introduce the library to the people of Abilene. APL used the PR activities for the opening as a broader campaign to raise awareness of the library itself, the modern services of today’s libraries, the role of APL in the lives of area residents, and (of course) the actual opening of the new branch.

APL used targeted resources to craft a broad theme, “Open you Mind. Open a Book.” With diverse products, including billboards, print and broadcast ads, and mailers, the APL message was delivered broadly into the community. The opening of the Mockingbird Branch served at the catalyst for positive community buzz and proved to be a huge success generating vast interest and a high number of visits and circulations for the new branch. The branch opening is a wonderful example of using one event to build a broad campaign with important and long lasting messages for constituents.

PR Plan/Year-Round Activities: University of Houston
Description: The University of Houston formed a marketing committee in late spring 2008 to create an aggressive library orientation plan. The goal was to market library services to a sizeable number of new students, staff, and faculty members.  The results were very positive and reached a greater number of new members of the U of H community.

The committee devised an energetic plan to ensure the librarians participated directly in orientations for new students, parents, staff, and faculty. While previously UH librarians had generally held their own separate orientations, the scheme planned for librarians to target existing orientations. To support this effort, subject librarians also crafted special resources, and promotional materials were distributed.

Collateral Materials: Austin Public Library
Description: “Keep Austin Weird” has become a mainstay of Austin. Originally created by a librarian, the slogan truly captured the essence of the city. While many groups have created derivative forms of the phrase, Austin Public Library’s “Keep Austin Reading” hits high marks for translating a brilliant idea into collateral materials that also capture the heart – and quirkiness – of a community.

From elaborate book bags to the essential Austin bumper sticker, APL’s collateral materials have made the leap from representing library supporters to speaking to the ubiquitous and representative interest of Austin.


BEST OF SHOW: Travis Vanguard Academy (Dallas ISD), Testimony before the House Select Committee on Higher and Public Education Finance in the Speeches Category
Description: Anna Gomez and Samip Sheth, junior high students from Travis Vanguard Academy in Dallas ISD, wowed members of the House Select Committee on Higher and Public Education Finance at a hearing in Austin held February 7, 2007.  The Committee met that day to hear invited testimony on the use of technology in the classroom and the uses of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) Technology Allotment.

Susi Grissom (librarian) and Linda French (technology teacher) prepared a demo for the committee, whose members experienced the search process through the work of the students, who answered: Why is March 2, 1836 important? The kids handled their testimony like seasoned litigators and delighted the committee. Knowing that Chairman Dan Branch was a history buff, the kids searched research and primary documents. The members of the committee expressed their support for the program, a successful first step in securing continued and expanded funding.


Editorial/Newspaper Strategies: La Marque Public Library
Description: Kathy Nixie, the director of La Marque Public Library, submitted feature length articles to her local paper, The Post, every single week. This task, given all her other duties running the library, is impressive and speaks to her leadership. Despite her heavy workload, Nixie made time to promote her library’s services.  From detailing new materials to encouraging attendance at ongoing programs, she helped keep the La Marque Public Library and its services on the minds of community members and increased library usage in the process.

Special Events: The Spirit of Place, a gala event, Texas State University—San Marcos
Description: The Spirit of Place, which was held on May 27, 2006, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Southwestern Writers Collection and the 10th anniversary of the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern and Mexican Photography. Held at the Four Seasons in Austin, the star-studded evening recognized the rich legacy of the region and increased support for an important repository of learning and cultural resources.

The gala raised funds for acquisitions and the general endowment and served as a tribute to the vision and creativity of Bill and Sally Wittliff. The printed materials, publicity, and the event itself attested to the elegance and significance of the body of materials held at the Wittliff Collections.

Honorable Mention, Special Events: Teen Tech Week
Description: Teen Tech Week, celebrated by K. White Jr. High School the week of March 5-9, 2007, drew over 350 students. The event taught students about innovations in technology and increased their awareness of library resources. Using their skills (and learning new ones), students developed wonderful products, gained new insights, and had a marvelous time!

The week’s activities included creating PowerPoint presentations on why “K. White is the Best,” crafting pictures and art using computer graphics, designing brochures and promotional pieces (including text and graphics), participating in online scavenger hunts using databases, and learning to assemble and troubleshoot hardware and software.

PR Campaign or Plan: “Let’s Get Literate” Campaign, Clear Creek Independent School District
Go to:
Description: Librarians Ty Burns, Melissa Wiland, Joe Perez, Elaina Polsen, and Janice Scott created this multifaceted “Let’s Get Literate” campaign which brought together dynamic events and activities to promote and support the district’s literacy efforts. The videos, promotional materials, day events, and funding effort exhibited professionalism, vast planning, and great organization.  Moreover, parents and students really enjoyed the campaign and learned more about literacy efforts and the need to support the library—a tremendous public relations effort.

The use of the district’s radio and podcasting capabilities also added a dynamic element to the campaign. By broadcasting information about the campaign and the library, organizers provided a fun, ongoing way of keeping the campaign alive and fresh—and a way for students and parents to stay involved.

Non-traditional Media: Harris County Public Library
Mascot iStar:
YouTube videos:
Customer blog:
Description: Harris County Public Library’s wonderful YouTube videos, the iHCPL blogs, and promotional materials are fun, informative, and strictly librarian made! The project was lead by Grace Lillevig, eBranch Librarian, and Linda Stevens, Coordinator of Programming and Marketing. The blogs and videos really showcase both the library itself and the library’s services. Deploying user and staff training through these popular and growing tools is exactly the future of library services and a prime way for maintaining the library’s visibility online and beyond.

From September through December 2007, Harris County Public Library offered “iHCPL: A Learning Experience” to staff and customers. Staff created this new program on Web technologies using Web 2.0 tools. They created a mascot logo, two blogs, videos, and promotional items. In just three months, over 850 unique visitors accessed the blog and viewed it thousands of times!

Honorable Mention, Non-traditional Media: Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Go to:
Description: The State Library’s excellent YouTube videos promoting TexShare are professional and informative.  The choice of YouTube is a natural venue for showcasing digital content. The tailoring of videos for both public and academic libraries will help libraries use and share these products within their communities.

Since I included the TexShare YouTube videos in our Northwest College website, I’ve received quite a lot of compliments about them. It has motivated more of our college faculty to apply for HCCS library cards after they became aware that they can have 24/7 access to our databases after watching the brief video.        ... George Teoh, Northwest College

Brands and Logo: Austin Community College, “Know How”
Description: “Know How” is the brand for the library services integrated information literacy (IL) initiative at Austin Community College (ACC). The “Know How” brand/campaign emphasizes the knowledge, skills, and abilities that classroom faculty and faculty librarians expect and desire for students. The branding has increased faculty, staff, and student awareness of ACC’s array of course-integrated instruction, class presentations, online tutorials, and study guides, all of which include the logo. Project leads included Pam Spooner and Melinda Townsel.

ACC’s “Know How” brand and logo capture the essence of the library within its broader academic setting. A clever play on words, “Know How” is both the product and skill of library service. The whimsical materials produced help deploy the brand in a simple yet classic and fun style—very Austin appropriate!

Collateral Materials: The Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas Reading Club
Go to:
Description: The promotional materials produced for the State Library’s Jubilee Celebration (happy 50th!) of the Texas Reading Club are outstanding. From the colorful posters to the bookmarks, the collateral materials will benefit libraries by offering truly inspirational and beautiful products to give to children.  

Additionally, a handbook is created each year to aid in planning summer programs. The Texas State Library uses these materials to encourage participation statewide. The sweeping success of the Texas Reading Club is, in part, related to all of the wonderful products made available to libraries. Almost half a million kids participate in the Texas Reading Club every summer! This year’s give-aways and materials are truly outstanding.

Broadcast Advertising: State of Tomorrow [TM], UT System
Go to:
Description: The University of Texas System, working with other partners, developed a 13-part special, State of Tomorrow. This documentary series explored the most critical issues facing Texas today. With personal stories from cancer patients, hurricane survivors, farmers and teachers, and interviews with researchers, students were able to learn about people, organizations, and universities working together to identify and solve our toughest challenges.  

State of Tomorrow aired last spring and summer on Texas PBS stations and, through support of the Meadows Foundation, has been sent as a DVD set to every middle and high school library in Texas. The documentary series has served in promoting research and education and the importance of inquiry into solving life’s biggest challenges—the ultimate goal of our institutions and libraries.

Print Media: Austin ISD Librarians
Description: The work of Austin ISD librarians, including Jill Stimson, getting media coverage for the plight of school libraries in the district deserves praise statewide. The rousing article “Libraries short on money, books” by Laura Heinauer brought the plight of AISD librarians to the forefront of city news; and, it delivered results. Heinauer’s insight about the school library crisis spoke to her care in developing the story and the strong case for support made by AISD librarians, who worked together to get their message before the public and school authorities.

The newspaper coverage served as an important component of district librarians’ overall effort to increase support for AISD libraries. See the article on page xx for a full breakdown of the district librarians’ strategies.


BEST OF SHOW: University of Houston Libraries in the Brands and Logo Category
Description: The University of Houston Libraries for its elegant and flexible library logo which was created as a cornerstone for the campaign to renovate the library.  The logo, which now appears on all the library’s materials and is part of the renovated building’s architecture, gives both a sense of structure and innovation.


Outdoor Advertising: Austin Public Library
Description: APL developed creative uses for its delivery vans, establishing them as mobile billboard advertising.  The library developed three concepts using APL’s core messages of books, library cards, and “Keep Austin Reading.” Every Monday through Friday, the delivery vans and staff of APL deliver materials across the city to 22 library location traveling on average 120 miles per day! Now that’s visibility!

Editorial Page/ Newspaper Strategies: Ranger Public Library
Description:  Every week, librarian Diana McCullough submitted columns to The Ranger Times. Every week, she detailed all of the library’s news – from programs and services to new materials and events of interest. From small details to large events, McCullough’s tireless work helped keep the library and its services on the minds of her community members.

Speeches and Speakers Bureaus:  Josè Garcia De Lara, Supporter of the San Antonio Public Library
Description: Josè Garcia De Lara, champion and patron of San Antonio Public Library, offered moving testimony before the Senate Finance Committee. He stated in part, “I owe my life to my parents and the San Antonio Public Library.” Reading all the architecture books in the library over 10 years, Mr. deLara petitioned the state to take the architect’s licensing exam and is now the owner of a successful architectural firm whose office has a view of the enchilada red San Antonio Public Library building. The audience in the hearing room broke out is spontaneous applause at the conclusion of his testimony.

Broadcast Advertising: Austin Public Library for PSAs
Description: APL developed television and radio public service announcements. These ads included bilingual TV spots promoting the Wired for Youth Centers for Austin area teenagers. Specifically geared for the teenage audience, the ads helped increase awareness of the APL resource.

Non traditional media promotions: The University of Texas at Austin’s Fine Arts Library, website promotions

Special Events:  Martin Luther King Early Childhood Center, Voter Education
Description: The school developed an innovative approach to voter education. The school focused it programming on four and five year olds and teaching them the importance of voting and learning about candidates. The library held a mock election in which parents and children participated in voting in the November election. The project taught both young children and their caregivers the process of voting and drew attention from the Houston media.

Honorable Mention, Special Events: Grand Prairie Public Library System, Elizabeth I Exhibit
Description: The library offered and promoted its exhibit on Elizabeth I and created diverse programming to create an effective, broad event and sustained programming.
PR Plan:The University of Texas at Austin’s Fine Arts Library
Description: The library developed an extensive marketing and outreach plan, which included a broad range of strategies over the short and long term. The project was based on extensive user research and focused on providing quick and pertinent information and “how to” information on the most used services. 

Collateral Materials: Grand Prairie ISD, Read Across the Prairie Materials
Description: Grand Prairie ISD developed the wonderful materials, including key chains, wristbands, T-shirts, and reading pledge cards created to celebrate the ISD’s successful, Read Across the Prairie campaign. The widely popular effort that encouraged parents and students to read was recognized by resolution by the Texas House of Representatives.

Honorable Mention, Collateral Materials:  University of Houston
Description: The U of H Libraries developed  classic and professional materials, including a briefcase/notebook holder, bookplates, and wax seals, using its logo.

Contact: Gloria Meraz

Created on Jul 19, 2011 | Last updated May 01, 2018