Google Alerts are amazing. Instead of spending time crawling the web for news on librarians, librarianship, programs, privacy, etc., Google takes care of it for me, leaving me time to do the other librarian things I do. So imagine the eye-rolling annoyance that comes over me when I see the countless Google Alerts of late that amusingly cover stories like Son Pays 85 Years’ Worth of Library Fines or Library Book Returned After [Insert Number of Years Here]. It’s not that fluff news doesn’t have its place in the hearts and minds of readers. But this kind of clickbait is the opposite kind of the coverage libraries need right now.
But journalists, bloggers, and internet writers don’t know that. They know the nostalgia of a public library. They know what headlines get the best shares. They know how to write for the web (most of the time). What they don’t know is what you DO for a living. And why libraries are just as important as ever.
So tell them!
Tell you local newspapers, bloggers, freelancers, school newspapers, journalist friends, friends with connections. In print. Online. It doesn’t matter! Pitch!
Pitching an article isn’t arcane. Google it
! You don’t even have to write
the article. What’s important is the content. And context. Tell people we’re more than books and fines and messy buns and cat-eye glasses. Tell them what you
provide for your community that isn’t well know. The large-print book collections, the homework help, the free WiFi, the classes, the tax help, the legal advice, the Veteran’s groups, the code clubs, the teen spaces, oh my god I could go on!
It’s always obvious to us what goes on in our libraries. But think about the times you’ve had to explain what you actually do everyday to someone outside the profession. Until we begin to share our stories and news about what makes our institutions so vital to our communities, the public at large can never really know what we’re good for.
Now let’s kick ass in 2017. And tell everyone about it!