During this past month of February, we issued a Library Card Sign Up Challenge to our neighboring communities. Belmont, Lexington, and Somerville accepted the Challenge. We hosted a wonderful press conference at the end of January in our beautiful Robbins Library Reading Room to issue the Challenge, and it was covered by all of our local media, including ACMi, the Arlington Advocate, the Boston Globe, and YourArlington.com. It worked like this: the library that had the highest percentage increase in new library card registrations in February 2013 compared to February 2012 would be the victor. There was more than just pride at stake. A platter of baked goods would be delivered to the winner from the losing communities’ favorite local bakeries. Additionally, if Arlington didn’t win, I declared that I would visit the winning library’s storytime dressed as Clifford the Big Red Dog!
We partnered with the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and several local businesses to promote the Library Card Sing Up Challenge. Library cardholders were able to get discounts on products and services by simply showing their library card at participating businesses during the month of February.
While we didn’t win the Challenge, it was a tremendous success for all of the communities and businesses that participated. Below is the thank you letter to our community I posted on the Robbins Library blog, which also went up within the library and was sent to the Arlington Advocate. The amazing results of the Challenge are listed in the letter:
The results of the Library Card Sign Up Challenge are in, and I am proud to report that Arlington nearly tripled new library card registrations in February! While we didn’t quite come out on top in our friendly competition with Belmont, Lexington, and Somerville, we did manage to increase new library card registrations in February by 183% compared to February 2012. While we were very close to the lead going into the final week of February, Somerville pulled away in the end with a 320% total increase, followed by Belmont with a 186% total increase.
While we really wanted to be first in the overall standings of the Library Card Sign Up Challenge, we are thrilled with the overall results. Among our goals of this friendly competition were to promote the tremendous value of the library card and promote the many fantastic services our libraries offer in all of our communities, and it is very clear we successfully met these goals.
Somerville’s prize for winning the competition includes platters of baked goods delivered to them from the best local bakeries of Arlington, Belmont, and Lexington, in addition to a visit from me dressed as Clifford the Big Red Dog. I will share with everyone the details of my visit to the Somerville Public Library dressed as Clifford once it is scheduled in case you would like to come and see it for yourself!
I am so pleased with the tremendous support we received from you, our amazing community, and our many great partners which helped make this campaign a success, including the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and the 27 local businesses that worked with us to promote the Library Card Sign Up Challenge. Thank you so much once again for helping us make this campaign such a success.
Director of Libraries
Town of Arlington