Geek the Library: A Community Awareness Campaign

Geek the Library, a community awareness campaign designed to highlight the vital role of public libraries and raise awareness about the critical funding issues many libraries face, was developed based on the research findings included in From Awareness to Funding: A study of library support in America. This study, published by OCLC in 2008, found that increasing funding support for public libraries requires changing community perceptions. This new report documents the results of the Geek the Library pilot campaign conducted in partnership with nearly 100 public libraries in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin. The results are optimistic.

The report suggests that Geek the Library can change perceptions about libraries, librarians and public library funding, and that implementation of the campaign can positively impact public library funding trends. Findings include:

  • Geek the Library gets people's attention. In just five months, more than half of surveyed residents were familiar with the campaign.
  • Geek the Library raises awareness. Perceptions and attitudes around the library's importance and value in the community improved in southern Georgia, and more people said they were willing to fund the library.
  • Geek the Library encourages action. Over two-thirds of surveyed residents in both southern Georgia and central Iowa had planned or had taken an action as a result of the campaign, including talking to friends and family about the library or attending a library event.

The report contains details from qualitative and quantitative research, as well as interesting insights based on the experiences of participating libraries.

Suggested citation:

De Rosa, Cathy, Jenny Johnson, Linn Haugestad Edvardsen, and Patricia Harris. 2011. Geek the Library: A Community Awareness Campaign. Dublin, Ohio: OCLC.

Learn more about Geek the Library.