Does your library have a public identity?

 UntitledEven librarians can take tactics and ideas from politics. Recently, Rachel Korman wrote about the idea of “surfacing” on the EveryLibrary blog. “Surfacing is when a candidate emerges into the public consciousness and creates a public identity for themselves.” Libraries are already in the public consciousness you might say, but there are always special instances when properly increasing your public identity can help. That’s what the Findlay-Hancock County Public Library of Ohio ran into when they had a 0.5 levy renewal on a ballot. Asking for money on a ballot, whether for a public library or public school, can be a difficult task. That’s where surfacing comes in! Here are the steps:

Step 1: “Demonstrating candidates’ fitness for office” – communicate your plan
Step 2: “Initiating political rituals” – rallies or campaign events
Step 3: “Providing the public opportunities to learn about the candidates” – get out of the library
Step 4: “Developing voter expectations…” – what does the library do?
Step 5: “Determining main campaign issues” – create and follow a plan
Step 6: “Separating frontrunners from the rest of the candidates” – keep positive perceptions
Step 7: “Establishing candidate-media relationships” – get your voice heard

Read more about surfacing here. Maybe you can apply it to your next library campaign or just increasing your library’s footprint in the community.

Image Credit:, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0