Libraries, Mission, and Marketing: Writing Mission Statements That Work

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Does your library have a mission statement? Do you know what it is, when to use it, where it should be posted, and how you should act on it?

Designed to enliven and inspire staff and customers, the best mission statements energize organizations from restaurants to airlines. As tools in planning and marketing, they turn good ideas into action. In libraries, they are often missing in the communications strategy. Linda Wallace, an experienced library communications professional, explains why libraries need mission statements and offers strategies for writing and implementing an effective statement. She compiles 105 varied samples of on-target library mission statements organized by type of library and further divided into sub-categories. Libraries, Mission, and Marketing identifies the criteriathat make for successful mission statements. You will learn:

  • The difference between mission and vision statements and how they're used
  • Power words that eliminate boring mission statements
  • How mission statements can focus library marketing
  • Processes for including numerous voices without succumbing to mission-by-committee
  • Ways to bring it to life in planning, communicating, and day-to-day functions

For every library director and administrator, there is a way to describe your organization's value to the community in a few clear, targeted sentences. Create your mission statement and put it to work! Here's how to do it, alongwith winning models to inspire you in the process. You'll better communicate why what you do is important and how your library makes a difference in itscommunity.

Linda K. Wallace

Linda K. Wallace is currently consultant and partner in Library Communication Strategies, a consulting practice serving libraries and library organizations. From 1985-2000, she served as director of the American Library Association's Public Information Office. There, she developed and implemented long- and short-term communications plans and creative strategies to promote prominent ALA initiatives. Two of her television public service spots ("Books! Check 'em Out" and "Be Cool") were Emmy-award finalists.