Adopt-a-Library Public Relations Plan

The Local Section Public Relations Guide provides a very detailed description of how to publicize a program including the suggested timeline below.

Adopt-a-Library Program Overview

In an “Adopt-A-Library” program, individuals or groups work with a library to provide chemistry programs or resources to support the institution. It can be anything from one ACS member or affiliate doing a demonstration program in one library, to dozens of members at libraries in an entire region. In addition to public libraries in almost every community, there are thousands of libraries in schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, law firms, businesses, the armed forces and more. Because libraries offer free access to all, they bring opportunity to all.

Adopt-A-Library Talking Points

  • There are an estimated 117,664 libraries of all kinds in the United States today (Source: American Library Association).
  • Published in March of 2005 by the National Center for Education Statistics, the 9,137 respondent libraries reported 1,244,348,000 total visits to libraries in the United States in 2002 (Source: American Library Association).
  • Strengthens and improves library programs and creates a sense of personal involvement and interaction between organizations and libraries.
  • Fosters a better understanding of the community's library system.
  • A strong library is basic to the health and growth of a community.
  • Increases public awareness of literacy issues.
  • Conveys our concern for libraries as community resources for information and education.
  • Encourages individuals to take advantage of libraries as resources.
  • This program provides citizens with the tools and training to make better use of libraries.
  • This program encourages partnerships between citizens and their local government or other entities.
  • The libraries benefit from the increased community support and professional assistance.
  • Business and industry receive better-trained future employees, positive public relations, and participation and ownership in education.

PR Timeline

6 months before program begins:

  • Determine the library site for the project.
  • Take “before” pictures and/or record the needs of the library (e.g. the library needs a subscription to ChemMatters) – What did the library look like before the program?
  • Determine the message (e.g. outreach, education, partnerships, service).
  • Determine the audience(s) (local media, national media, partner’s outlets for media).
  • Prepare materials (media release(s), invitations, signage, t-shirts, online products.

Two weeks before program begins:

  • Invite the public through media outlets (television, radio, newspaper, Internet). Check with the library administrator (media relations officer) to find out if they have established media contacts and key talking points.
  • Identify the spokesperson and key messages.
  • Gather sample data from site to use in key messages.
  • Depending on the news outlet timing send media release (Note: do not ignore local media).

Two days before program begins:

  • Make follow-up phone calls to the media.

Day of the event:

  • Send summary of the event and photos to the media.
  • Upload summary of the event and photos to the Service Outreach Projects webpage. (Note: Make sure you have permission from those pictured to post the photos.

After the event:

  • Send notes of appreciation to participants and organizers.
  • Review what worked well and what you will repeat in the future and what you might choose to change.
  • Collect all notices that ran about the event and put them in your file for future reference. Also have one location to gather statistics about all of the library events so that they may be accurately reported in the local section annual report, due February 15 each year.