Get Your Geek on at the Library

Geek the Library encourages the public to talk about what they ‘geek,' whether it’s engineering, superheroes or art, and highlights how libraries can support them.

The is participating in Geek the Library, a community‐based public awareness campaign.

The campaign highlights what people are passionate about and how libraries can support them, in an effort to heighten awareness about the critical funding issues public libraries face.

Geek the Library features local educational material that introduces ‘geek’ as a verb and encourages the public to talk about what they ‘geek’—whether it’s engineering, superheroes or art.

The public awareness campaign illustrates the fact that everyone is passionate about something—everyone ‘geeks’ something—and that the library supports them all.

“This campaign is designed to provoke conversation about the vital role that public libraries and librarians play in today’s challenging environment,” said Cathy De Rosa, global vice president of marketing for OCLC, a nonprofit library cooperative which led campaign development and conducted a pilot campaign from June 2009 to April 2010.

“We hope it will spark important community discussions about how public libraries can remain strong.”

The awareness campaign features social networking elements, a Web site and grassroots community initiatives to draw attention to the need for increased library support.

The national campaign Web site provides information about how people can get active and support their local library. As the economic downturn slowly recovers, millions of Americans are turning to local libraries for educational opportunities, job‐searching resources and entertainment.

The increased demand for library services is taking a toll on libraries already experiencing flat or decreasing budgets. And state and local cuts are impacting public library hours, programs and staffing, forcing some libraries to close indefinitely.

While most people have visited their public library and understand its important role in their community, many do not know that libraries are at risk or that local funding for libraries is heavily influenced by community members. This public awareness campaign hopes to start a conversation about library funding to inspire more people to take personal responsibility for keeping their local public libraries vital in their communities.

The campaign will not support or oppose any candidate for public office, nor attempt to influence legislation. Funding for the national campaign was provided by OCLC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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