Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chrastka: Take library card sign-ups door-to-door

Mug shot: John Chrastka
John Chrastka
At Library Journal, John Chrastka has a great idea to energize library card sign-ups: going door-to-door or tabling. His commentary is a valuable resource during Library Card Sign-Up Month.
“To shake a person’s hand, look them in the eye, and introduce yourself as their librarian is powerful. The library is one part of civil society where people don’t laugh when you say ‘I am from the government and I am here to help.’ For staff, friends, trustees, and volunteers, this is a powerful opportunity to say to someone ‘I am here as your neighbor. Let me tell you about our library.’”
Chrastka presents analogies from other sectors of society: voter registration, medical home visits and community policing. He provides step-by-step instructions for door-to-door sign-ups and tabling:
“Getting the librarians out into the world will change local perceptions of the institution, humanize your staff, and build bridges with non-users and isolated populations. You will be their personal librarian. You’ve been by to visit.”
Chrastka is executive director of EveryLibrary, an organization chartered to work on library ballot initiatives.He is a trustee member of the American Library Association and served as its Director for Membership Development.

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