National recognition is hard to achieve, but INFOhio, Ohio’s PreK-12 Digital Library, has done it! INFOhio is one of only eight libraries to win one of the most coveted and prestigious of the American Library Association’s awards – the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award recognizing marketing and public relations excellence.
INFOhio submitted a narrative, “Saving Ohio’s PreK-12 Digital Library,” and 80 pages of supporting documentation, describing their 2015-2017 advocacy campaign. This narrative told the story of INFOhio’s 42% slash in funding in 2015, and how their efforts to reinstate the funding that year failed. INFOhio knew they had to rally their troops going into the 2017 budget year.
Known as the #INFOhioWorks campaign, this unsurpassed advocacy squad lead by school librarians from every county unified INFOhio’s voice across Ohio. The “One Goal, One Strategy” philosophy was born – restore $1.1 million in funding through a single strategy of encouraging students, teachers, and administrators to share their personal INFOhio stories with their legislators, confirming how INFOhio works in the classroom each and every day. With this approach, INFOhio supporters convinced legislators to reinstate INFOhio’s digital content funding back to 2015 levels – a challenging feat in a most challenging budget cycle.
When she learned INFOhio was selected as a winner, Theresa M. Fredericka, Director of INFOhio, stated, “This award belongs to each and every student, teacher, parent, school librarian, administrator that helped tell our story. All Ohio students, no matter where they live, need equity of access to the high quality digital content INFOhio provides to all schools. We owe them a great deal.”
The John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award is named after the first librarian to make use of public relations to publicize library activities and was inaugurated in 1946 by The American Library Association and the H.W. Wilson Publishing Company. For more information about the award recipients visit http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2018/05/2018-john-cotton-dana-award-winners-announced. For more information on the John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award, please visit the America Library Association’s Library Leadership and Management website.
For questions regarding INFOhio’s Advocacy Squad, please reach out to Melissa Higgs-Horwell at 614.947.7900.