Thursday, April 28, 2005

Where's the Library Fan Club?

A comment by Jill on my last post and a news story on our local NBC station got me thinking. Where's the big open-source marketing effort for libraries? (psst... you can learn more about open-source marketing from James Cherkoff's manifesto, "What is Open Source Marketing?" on ChangeThis.) Or, in other words, where is the library fan club? I'm not talking about Friends of the Library groups. They're great, but they're not enough. We need to inspire a movement.

How does Firefox come into play with this concept? If you haven't been following Firefox, it is an open-source browser that continues to gain momentum and take some of IE's marketshare. Firefox is succeeding because of the large number of Firefox users that are zealously seeking to spread Firefox. Go to the Spread Firefox site and check it out, the devotion of so many Firefox users is amazing.

So where are the library users? Why aren't they screaming about the proposed cuts to Ohio's libraries and other systems around the country? (have there even been any other editorials in Ohio except for the excellent by Thomas Suddes in the April 27 Cleveland Plain Dealer?) And, even more importantly, why don't they speak up at all except for during financial crises.

I think we have to inspire and cultivate widespread support for libraries on the level of Spread Firefox is we're to stop the trend of decreasing library budgets and decreasing library profiles.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get this ball rolling?

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