Saturday, March 28, 2009

Advertising the Library

So let's hear it for my VERY FIRST COMMENT BY A PERSON WHO DOESN'T KNOW ME (woot!).

If I weren't such an idiot I would be able to e-mail her a note, but I haven't found her e-mail yet...

Anyway, apparently the Wyoming libraries' campaign that used mud flaps with a naked woman reading a book (see previous post) was not popular with some ... which reminded me of that 2005 Minneapolis Library campaign that many people didn't like.

As an example, take a look at this post from (and, just for the record, I thought that campaign was clever too):

May 9, 2005

The Minneapolis Public Library is trying to promote the library with an ad campaign featuring "famous" librarians. Their picks? J. Edgar Hoover, Mao Tse Tung, Cassanova, and Batgirl! A concerned individual writes:

The Iibrary is supposed to stand for freedom of information, access to all, and democracy. Mao and Hoover are the antithesis of these things - both of them ruined many lives, prevented free speech, and used fear to gain power. Mao killed, tortured and imprisoned thousands of people. Hoover was instrumental in doing surveillance against people during the McCarthy era. He spied on Martin Luther King, and was a bigot, a homophobe, and a racist. In the 60's, during the Berrigan brothers' trial he even had a real librarian imprisoned because she refused to testify against them! Why then, use these people's images - at all- when there's so many better people to pick from?

Let the library know that you find these ads offensive. Also let them know if you're a person that Hoover or Mao would have silenced (eg. person of colour, an artist, etc.). You can also contact the Friends of the library. You can suggest other famous librarians for their ads.

(Personally, I think these people need to find a sense of humor.)

1 comment:

Susan said...

I think the humor increases over time. The folks who lived through Hoover's administration are less likely to be amused than someone born after the aftermath. I still twinge when I hear the name of the Dead Kennedys band. It brings back too many memories and then it can't be funny.

Think if George, not Laura, were a librarian!!!!

signed, your Old Friend,