Creating a lasting legacy with Staffordshires Favourite Reads campaign
Creating a lasting legacy
As the 2008 National Year of Reading draws to a close, the need to create a lasting legacy, something that will continue to highlight the importance of reading and the pleasure that can gained from it, becomes increasingly important.
Staffordshire Library and Information Service has risen to the challenge with the launch of Staffordshire's Favourite Reads campaign.
Staffordshire's Favourite Reads
Staffordshire’s Favourite Reads is the county’s grand finale to the National Year of Reading and the aim of the campaign is simple – to get people in Staffordshire to vote for their favourite book so that the resulting list can inspire future readers.
How it works
Simplicity is the name of the game here.
Anyone in Staffordshire, regardless of age, can vote online, in any Staffordshire Library, in six flagship Children's Centres across the county or in Waterstone's stores in Stafford and Burton.
The campaign was officially launched on November 12 2008 and will run until midnight on December 31 2008 - right to the very last minute of the National Year of Reading.
Promoting Staffordshire's Favourite Reads
When budgets are tight, getting the campaign message as far and wide as possible, for the least amount of money possible, is a challenge.
It's hoped that the support of a well-known local author, R. J. Ellory (author of Richard and Judy bestseller, A Quiet Belief in Angels) will rasie the profile of the campaign.
Roger offically launched the campaign alongside County Councillor and Cabinet Member for Cultural Services, Maureen Compton.
Encouraging people to vote, R. J. Ellory said: "I want to lend my wholehearted support to the Staffordshire’s Favourite Read Campaign. As far as I am concerned, anything that contributes directly or indirectly to more people reading has my vote.”
He continued: “Anything that helps people discover the magic of reading has to be given all the attention it deserves, and the Staffordshire Favourite Reads Campaign is doing exactly that. If you have a favourite book, then make sure you vote and make someone else as much of a book fan as yourself!"
The launch of the campaign has been communicated in the following channels - all of which are free:
- Press releases to local newspapers
- Poster displays and computer 'wobblers' in all libraries and poster displays in the children's centres and branches of Waterstone's that are supporting the campaign
- The county council website
- Parish Newsletters - by contacting secretarys with a pre-written article and launch photograph
- Relationships with schools - by sending Headteachers in each school in Staffordshires a briefing on the campaign along with a campaign poster and a link to an online toolkit where additional promotional materials can be printed. School librarians have also received a briefing note and an electronic copy of the campaign poster via an email from Staffordshire's School Library Service
- Internal newsletters - As one of the biggest employers in Staffordshire, the campaign has been featured in many staff newsletters and in newsletters targetted at partner organisations
- Plasma screen slides - Many libraries, schools and children's centres have plasma screens nowadays, so a Staffordshire's Favourite Read plasma screen slide has been made available for use
- Feature article to be inlcuded in the Christmas Edition of Your Staffordshire - a magazine produced for Staffordshire's Residents by Staffordshire County Council
- The Relationship with schools - All headteachers in Staffordshire (that's over 400) have received a briefing on the campaign, a poster and directions to further online resources to help their school community get involved. School librarians have also received a briefing on the campaign and a link to electonic resources via Staffordshire's School Library Service.
A little extra encouragement - free prize draw
As a little bit of extra encouragement to vote, everyone who takes part will be entered into a free prize draw. The winner will receive a signed copy of R. J. Ellory's new book, A Simple Act of Violence, as well as £20 Waterstone's vouchers.
The legacy list
Now for the important bit - the legacy.
Votes will be counted in the new year and Staffordshire's Favourite Reads will be announced on March 5th 2009 - World Book Day.
Another flutter of promotional activity will ensure that the list is shared with Staffordshire's Residents and libraries across the county will be able to use the list to encourage and inspire readers.