Tales from Library Advocates: the Libraries Changed My Life Blog

I learned about this fantastic tumblr blog from School Library Journal, and I just had to share it.  Ingrid Abrams and Natalie V. Binder, two librarians from different parts of the country, created Libraries Changed My Life to provide a place where people could tell stories about how their public library impacted their lives.

The blog developed out of their desire to spread library love, change perceptions about the value of public libraries and persuade critics to support them.

Some of the stories are inspirational, while others are very moving. But theyre all representative of the stories we hear everyday in our libraries:


  • How one visitor applied to library school using a library computer;
  • How one young girl found peace and refuge from a difficult childhood in the public library;
  • How one patron learned plumbing and another how to play poker;
  • How big families gained access to books they couldnt afford;
  • How Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever, wrote large pieces of his first novel in the public library.


Storytelling is the most powerful and effective form of marketing, which is why its one of the hottest buzzwords in the field today. Brands that are able to develop and share compelling, interesting and emotional narratives will be successful not just at capturing and holding their audiences attention, but theyll be more effective at influencing, too.

Ingrid and Natalie have created a powerful marketing tool for public libraries by encouraging patrons to become storyteller advocates.

Here are a few ways that you can incorporate Libraries Changed My Life into your own advocacy plan and at the same time help Ingrid and Natalie expand their grassroots effort:


  • Encourage your own patrons to contribute their stories to Libraries Changed My Life by running a campaign at your library;
  • Promote it in your newsletter;
  • Write a post about it for your own blog;
  • Reblog posts that appear on Libraries Changed My Life on your tumblr account;
  • Share and tweet new blog posts as they appear on the blog;
  • Use the anecdotes in presentations, discussions and speeches.


About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.