26 December 2011

Library Newsletter: THINK... Winter 2012 Issue

The cover of the issue highlights the library's
accomplishment as one of the nation's top
public institutions for 2011.

The latest issue of the Alachua County Library District's newsletter and program guide, THINK...has made its way to the 12 library branches just in time for the first of the year. This issue focuses on the vast diversity of programs, services and public demographics it serves.

Production of a single 12 page issue takes six weeks, beginning with a planning meeting to suss out a common theme for the entire issue, then working through the stages of writing feature briefs, compiling and disseminating program event lists from all the branches, sourcing and styling photography and illustration, creating custom art, squeezing and massaging everything into place through thoughtful editing, and finally allowing the printer to work its magic to turn out 2,500 copies in a five day turn-around. Once the shipment arrives, it takes another day to separate and deliver a pre-determined quantity to each branch. It never ceases to amaze me how much work goes into "twelve little pages." The end result, hopefully, is a product that serves the community well and represents the library in an effective, positive manner.

I feel fortunate to have such a high quality communications vehicle such as our THINK... newsletter to produce. It is a prominent item that goes on display at every branch and has the potential to reach every visitor. Recently, the publication has also begun a pilot program to be delivered to non-library sites such as the chamber of commerce, the regional airport, and a variety of retirement/assisted living communities. If the additional audience appears to appreciate it and feedback is positive or additional library usage is generated from it, then we'll continue the effort and look at additional locations to offer it for public consumption.

Out of curiosity, I look to see what other libraries do for newsletters so that I can get a sense of their content, style and quality. Sadly, it appears few libraries have much more than office copier printouts or a website calendar. The few that do have what I would consider to be higher quality newsletters are extremely rare. A couple of libraries that do produce nicer newsletters include the Columbus, Ohio and Orlando public libraries. Kudos to those organizations, and if you are one of the people who happen to know of other libraries with newsletters to crow about, please let me know. I'd love to see them!

If you're not able to get a print version of this issue of THINK..., you can download a free .pdf from the library website here: http://www.aclib.us/your-library/blog/thinkdetails-national-medal-honor
The Library website news blog and publication download available for download at:
http://www.aclib.us/your-library/blog/thinkdetails-national-medal-honor .

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