What We Talk About When We Talk About Libraries

The unrelenting pace of social media can tire even the most creative of public library marketers. What do you do if you’re approaching burnout? Whenever the well starts to run dry, turn to the Brain Pickings website for inspiration.  

This collection of fascinating items is curated by Maria Popova, herself a writer.  Among her vast trove of literary, science and art picks are numerous tidbits from writers and others about the impact of libraries. Here are a few options to consider for your social media channels. 

Notable and Quotable 

Anyone who has ever shared a quote image on Instagram will understand its appeal to readers. Brain Pickings offers some compelling quotes from writers, poets and librarians. Use PicMonkey or Canva to create a simple image quote to share with your fans and followers. 

Check out how we are using quotes and old postcards and images from our Jerseyana Collection on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/njstatelibrary/

(Another option for good quotes from famous authors about libraries is GoodReads. Search tags and categories for libraries, and you’ll find hundreds of quotes that speak to inspirational power of the library.) 

Knowledge sets us free, art sets us free. A great library is freedom.” – Ursula K. Le Guin 

 

“I can’t bear television sets. But I can afford not to bear them because I read books.” – James Baldwin 

 

 You never know what troubled little girl needs a book.” – Nikki Giovanni, from: “A Poem for My Librarian, Mrs. Long” 

 

 The library … is no mere cabinet of curiosities; it’s a world, complete and completable, and it is filled with secrets.” – Matthew Battles 

 

“It’s all FREE, that’s the great thing about libraries! Most of you can afford to go to college, but if you wanna educate yourself completely, go to the library and educate yourself. When I was 28 years old, I graduated from Library.” – Ray Bradbury 

 

The Library as Video Star 

Short video clips are very popular with social media users, and Popova has a few that are directly related to libraries. Here are a few to share. 

The Temple of Knowledge from StoryCorps is an animated video short that describes how a library can change a person’s life. 

“By the time I was fifteen, I knew there was a world outside the camps, and I believed I could find a place in it. I had read about people like me and not like me. I had seen how huge the world was, and it gave me the courage to leave. And I did. It taught me that hope was not just a word.”  

~ This quote is by Storm Reyes, now a librarian herself, from an essay accompanying this video short, about the impact the bookmobile had on her life. 

 

Passion that Never Ends 

Another treasure on the Brain Pickings site is this collection of vintage posters, ads and PSAs. Each article is worth sharing in its own right: 

Vintage Posters for Libraries and Reading 

The First Ads for Famous Books 

“In March, Read the Books You’ve Always Meant to Read”: Gorgeous Vintage PSA Posters, 1939-1941 

 

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.