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My latest obsession, when I’m not volunteering with my library’s millage campaign, is sorting through the Library of Congress’ Flickr Photostream. Rarely do I look through a Flickr account and feel consistently excited or impacted by the images. In another life, I was an aspiring documentary filmmaker; maybe that’s why these photos speak to me so much.

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Maybe it’s the nostalgia for my grandparents’ generation that the set 1930s-40s in Color evokes. I could go on all day about these photos, but your time would be better spent perusing these images yourself.

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A final note: If you love old-timey music in addition to vintage photographs, I recommend listening to Carolina Cotton Radio on Last.fm while clicking through the photos.

All images used in this post are in the public domain and are available at the Library of Congress’ Flickr Photostream.

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Here’s a roundup of some of my favorite recent library advocacy/awareness articles and websites. This post was definitely inspired by my library’s upcoming millage renewal election, and all of the research such an endeavor entails. I’ll be short on prose with this one. After August 3, I’ll have more time to blog again!

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When perusing Craftzine, I came across a great use for old books – as a counter! Click for pics:

In the post at re-nest, the author says, “for all of those don’t-destroy-books-for-the-sake-of-your-next-craft-project people, this is a nice creative reuse alternative that keeps all those wonderful books perfectly intact!” Coming from a library perspective, we weed books, guys! Libraries also don’t accept all donated materials that literally show up on our doorsteps. I mean, some books are gross or falling apart, but some of our weeded items would be perfect counter-building material.

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This video from the New York Public Library is a fantastic use of video/YouTube and text donations in a library advocacy campaign. Bonus: A library made a video with high production value. Doesn’t always happen.

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I’ve been struggling for a while to decide which category to file this post under: Just for Fun or Library Links? Obviously, as you can see above, I’ve opted to file this one under Library Links. This video is too serious to be called “Just for Fun.”

I tweeted this video about a week ago, but I decided to blog it because I think the video, simple as it is, really speaks to an attitude a lot of people have today about my generation and publishing. Plus, I ❤ palindromes. (And puns, but that has nothing to do with this post!) Please be patient with this video and share it with the people in your life who feel that people under 25 don't care about anything – let alone "old-fashioned" books.

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OverDrive’s Digital Bookmobile will soon be visiting my library, which inspired me to do some cursory web searching on downloadable library materials. My searches led me to No Shelf Required, a great blog dedicated to discussing eBooks in libraries. Downloadables are a complex beast for public libraries and this blog delves in to a host of related issues. No Shelf Required also has a book coming out this summer. Can’t wait to download.

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I have been singing this song all day. Move over, Gaga, the librarians have co-opted your melodies!

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support CADL Support CADL is a website that is all about library advocacy, particularly for the Capital Area District Library. If  you’re interested in reading about library millages and seeing what one library’s advocacy group is doing to promote their library, this is the place to go.

A Bit About Library Millage Campaigns and Social Media

Library millage campaigns are actually very interesting. A lot of people don’t realize that when a library is up for a millage election or renewal, the library and its staff, whose fates are at stake, are not allowed to advocate for a yes vote. They’re allowed to educate their community that a millage is in fact happening, but they’re not allowed to say, “For the love of god, vote yes so I can continue to provide for my family!” Supportcadl.org isn’t run by staff paid and on the clock. It’s run by volunteers, many of whom also work full-time, some at the library, some not.

Earlier I mentioned how interesting millage campaigns are – they get even more interesting when social media elements are involved. Social media really does muddy would-be crystal clear lines between the on-the-clock library awareness campaign and the volunteer-based advocacy (“Vote yes!”) group. Does a patron comment on an official (on-the-clock) library blog post saying, “You’ve got my vote!” constitute breaking the vitally important rules? If someone Tweeted, “You’ve got my vote!” would this still be an issue?

I’m inclined to say that, unless a comment is coming from a library’s staff member, it’s not rule-breaking. The comment didn’t originate from a library source. The library can’t claim responsibility for something Bonnie Readsalot says on their page.

There’s more than one side to this sticky issue. What do you all think?

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Stitches illustrationThe graphic memoir Stitches by David Small, a nominee for the National Book Award, is a fantastic and gripping read. for more information on the story, check out this website or any of the following links.

Not being from the publishing marketing world, I won’t embarrass myself by trying to compare and contrast things I know nothing of. Instead, I want to share what appeals to me about their marketing strategy.

Why does Stitches need an online marketing strategy?

It’s not your traditional graphic novel. I’m no expert, but I get the impression that the marketers assigned to Stitches knew that they had something unique on their hands. The book is full of amazing illustrations (as you’d expect coming from a Caldecott Medal award winner) and has an amazing story to share. I’m glad the book’s marketers didn’t just rely on award buzz to promote Small’s work. Here are some of my favorite Stitches promotional elements.

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The PDF-sharing website, Scribd, was used to share the book’s first 23 pages, a great way to rope in potential readers.

Video

First great social media marketing move re: Stitches: their Vimeo account. (Vimeo, like YouTube is an online video sharing site that tends to be used more by video professionals rather than amateurs. Read a great comparison of online video sharing services here.) The folks responsible for marketing Stitches chose to use a Vimeo account to share this cinematic graphic novel in moving form. If you’re unsure what I’m getting at here, just check out this video:

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Last, but not least, the Stitches website rules. This post is getting long, so check it out for yourself.

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This is the most “just for fun” post I’ve ever written for Book Mobilize (sorry).My fiance made me a mix the other day called “Cruisin’ to the Library” that I thought I’d share with you. Find the track listing and a d’load link below!

Hot Chip – She Wolf
Karlo Aliev – Lukovitsko Horo
Jay-Z – Empire State of Mind (feat. Alicia Keys)
Girls – End of the World
Pantha Du Prince – Stick To My Side (edit)
Free Energy – Dream City
Carolina Cotton – Three Miles South of Cash (In Arkansas)
Black Van – Yearning
Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Money
Drake – Over
Owen Pallett – Lewis Takes Off His Shirt
The Boogaloo Crew – Calling All Dancers
Joanna Newsom – Esme
Amanaz – Khala My Friend
Jeff Mangum – Sign The Dotted Line
Four Tet – Love Cry
Click here to download Cruisin’ to the Library