Friday, April 29, 2005

New library, new ad campaign?

Read about this article from tiny librarian's blog.

Skyway News reports that the Minneapolis Public Library has launched a series of intriguing question as part of a quirky campaign to preview the Spring 2006 opening of Downtown's New Central Library to battle the foes of . Posters, bookmarks and print ads - in space donated by local media - will debut in May.

The first of three ads will compare the Chairman Mao, founder of modern China to the future New Central Library. What's the connection? China sports the world's third largest economy, while the library claims the nation's third largest collection of books (per capita). The other 2 ads will feature J. Edgar Hoover and Batgirl. All featuring librarians... Batgirl was head librarian at Gotham Public Library prior to her career as a crime fighter. Mao Tse-tung became a convert to Marxism while working as a librarian at Beijing University prior to launching a communist revolution in China. Hoover was never a librarian, but worked as a clerk at the Library of Congress while pursuing a law degree.

Singapore will be opening its downtown public library in July. While there's a lot of buzz going on, i think its more of the library building and its features that the public is most impressed with. After all, it's a new swanky 16-storey building situated in the heart of Singapore’s Arts, Culture, Learning and Entertainment hub (not forgetting shopping and stuff). It covers over 58,000 sqm and has facilities such as gardens, a cafĂ©, the National Arts Council’s Drama Centre for public shows and performances, and programme zones. Oh.. and not forgetting the very impressive observatory pod that has a great view of the surrounding areas. There's a virtual walkthrough here. So do check it out for yourself. You can find out more on the new library at

However, the public has been flooding and writing into the press for longer hours from 9am-10pm daily (like get robots to put back the books on the shelves?? Or cast a spell to get the books fly back to the shelves after use, or how about this, people work through the night to get the library ready in the morning?????!! and where to get the money to hire and train more staff???), more facilities.. blah blah blah... honestly.. if everyone does their part in putting the books in the book bins for staff to would make things much easier!

Hey, aren't they bothered about the library's functions and services? That the library will become a full fledged research/reference library manned full-time by librarians, and will have collections covering Social Sciences, Humanities, Science and Technology Collections, the Arts and Business Collections, the Chinese, Malay and Tamil Collections, the Asian Children’s Collection, the Donors’ Collections, the Singapore and Southeast Asian Collections and a Rare Materials Collection. There will also be a lending collection at the Central Lending Library in the basement for award-winning literature for adults, young people and children. The library will also have exhibitions and activites to promote and showcase the collection.

Hence, i do feel that there is a need to advertise to showcase the roles and functions of the librarian and library.. to generate the qualitative usage of its collection and materials. It's a really innovative and creative way how Minneapolis Public Library is doing it with community effort. That's the kind of involvement that it sorely lacking here.

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