Thursday, February 14, 2013

Case Study No. 0788: Staff of the Douglas County Libraries

"it" Changes Everything - PSA
The "it Changes Everything" PSA created for the Douglas County Libraries.
Written by Katie Damp Klossner, Produced and directed by David Schler & Schler Productions. Photographed by Mark Burr, edited by Dave Wruck, music by Steve Stajich
Tags: Douglas County Libraries+it psa+Katie Damp Klossner+David Schler+Schler Productions+Mark Burr+Dave Wruck+SteveStajich+Colorado Libraries+Library Public Service Announcement
Added: 1 year ago
From: David Schler
Views: 69

[scene opens with a female patron staring off into space]
PATRON 1: [to herself] I have an idea for my own business, but where do I begin?
[camera pans out to reveal a young male librarian standing next to her, as he places a large sticker (with the word "it" in red letters) on her sweater]
[cut to a female teenage patron sitting in a chair, scratching her head and biting her lip]
PATRON 2: [to herself] What's the difference between an ionic bond and a covalent bond?
[camera pans out to reveal another young male librarian sitting in a chair next to her, as he places an "it" sticker on her shoulder]
[cut to a male patron smiling and staring off camera]
PATRON 3: [to himself] I wanna make my wife a romantic dinner, to remind her of our Hawaiian honeymoon ...
[camera pans out to reveal a young female librarian walking up next to him, as she places an "it" sticker on his shoulder]
[cut to the first patron standing in the library with her librarian]
LIBRARIAN 1: Wanna start a business?
[he hands her a pamphlet]
LIBRARIAN 1: I can help you with "it" ...
[cut to the second patron sitting at a computer in the library, as her librarian sits next to her]
LIBRARIAN 2: Online tutors, would be glad to help you with "it" ...
[cut to the third patron in the stacks of the library, as his librarian turns and hands him a book]
LIBRARIAN 3: I can help you with "it" ... Here's a Hawaiian cookbook right here.

Lives. Learning. Communities.
it changes everything.
Douglas County Libraries



January 14, 2010 - what's 'it' all about?

You may have noticed, over the past several months, teasing posters and ads around the county talking about a mysterious red-lettered "it." Now the mystery can be revealed.

This little campaign, done very much on the cheap, and depending on the generosity of our many community partners (all sworn to good-natured secrecy), is about ... the Douglas County Libraries.

Yes, we are it!

Why bother with a library campaign? Well, it's not just to grow use. We know how to do that. Recently, I reviewed trend lines of virtually every service we offer. They all have been climbing sharply over the past twenty years -- consistently outstripping population growth.

But in the business world, increased activity means more revenue. In libraries, increased activity means more expenses. That is, our revenue is not tied to how busy we are. Indeed, the less money people have, the more they need and use us.

That makes the connection between love of the library and the value of the library a little hard for people to grasp. Even our most ardent patrons seem unclear about what we offer, and how we pay for it.

So our intent in this campaign is to try to shine a little light on what we do, why we do it, and just what our citizens get for their investment in this institution.

For individuals, libraries feed our curiosity about stories and ideas. Whether you're a toddler enthralled by one of our master storytellers, or a high-powered attorney addicted to the comforting escape of romance novels, or someone learning how to cha cha by video instruction, or someone deep into home improvement projects, or a student working through community college or online master's programs, or someone with a passion for World War II history, the library is mostly definitely it. For you.

To put it another way, the library is where you pursue your dreams and your passions. Not because somebody told you to, but because it's what interests you. We're an institution that customizes your education precisely to your keenest fascinations, providing millions of dollars of materials and other resources, not to mention professional guidance in the form of library staff, on demand. Nobody else does that.

One topic of interest for me lately has been brain development: not only from birth to 4 (a period of explosive growth and understanding), but from 27 to 50, and from there on into your second century of life. No matter how old you are, your mind, the healthy brain, absolutely depends on exploration, experience, and stimulus.

And do you know where you can find it? That's right!

But libraries also contribute to a smarter community. When it comes to anchor stores, it's all about the library as community center. We did an exit poll once, asking people to describe all the reasons they came to the library that day. Number one and two were checking things out and bringing them back. But number three was a surprise: to meet somebody.

That meeting might have been a study date. It might have been a business meeting. It might have been a civic group. It might have been a Spanish language conversation group (for English-speaking folks about to take a trip). It might have been just a convenient place to meet to walk over to lunch, visible and known to all. But in any of those cases or more, the library was it. In 2009, our door counters clicked over 2 million visits.

Imagine that. An institution that both encourages you to follow your dreams, and connects you to all the other dreamers and builders in your community. The Douglas County Libraries -- maybe this is a good time to take a closer look at "it."

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