Network Bulletin No.05-37
Date: July 22, 2005
Subject: National Outreach and public service awareness campaign
Index Term: State plans, timelines, and telephone logs
This bulletin is to alert you that you may experience increased contacts and requests for service
beginning in the fall of this year. NLS has been working with the public relations firm of Fleishman-
Hillard (FH) to develop and execute a communication plan to promote talking-book services throughout
the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. After discussions with NLS and the regional
conference chairs, FH developed a public awareness campaign presenting Talking Books as a brand for
the free library service administered by NLS and offered through the network of cooperating libraries.
As a foundation for all of the public awareness efforts, which will continue through March 2006, FH
established a nationwide toll-free telephone number (888-NLS-READ) that will transfer a caller to
the appropriate library through a series of voice prompts. An individual calling about service for a
relative or friend living in another state can speak to someone at the library in the state where the relative
or friend resides.
In September 2005, FH will begin providing each regional library with telephone logs listing the names
and telephone numbers of callers to their state/service area. In this manner, regional libraries will
receive feedback on the number of calls they have received and contact information for follow-up as
Enclosed is a copy of Fleishman-Hillard's state public awareness program for your service area. It
defines the type of activities (categorized under four major headings: Public Information, Advertising,
Partnerships, and Materials for Your State/Service Area) that are planned and a timeline for
implementation at the national level. The state program also indicates the goal for the number of new
patrons to be gained in your service area. Please feel free to share this state program with your
administering agency, subregional libraries, and machine-lending agency, as appropriate.
The activities noted in the state program will be conducted by Fleishman-Hillard. However, as a result
of their activities you may be contacted directly by the media for comment and interviews. To help you
communicate with the media, FH will send a public education how-to "toolkit" within the next month.
This toolkit will offer tips on how to respond to media inquiries and provides sample public service
announcements that your library can customize should you wish to distribute them on your own which
we encourage. The toolkit is provided to you for your information and use as a supplement to FH's
activities. When you receive it, please read it and share the contents with appropriate staff.
Two activities mentioned in the state program have long-range implications for the network and NLS.
The first is online advertising. FH has arranged placement of online banner ads at local web sites,
national Internet advertising, and search-engine marketing. NLS anticipates that network libraries will
receive inquiries generated by these ads. The second is the partnership that FH is developing between
Talking Books and AARP. While discussions are still ongoing with nine organizations, AARP has
made a commitment to run an article or advertisement in the September/ October issue of AARP, The
Magazine. This periodical has a subscriber base of 80 million (no, that is not a misprint). NLS
anticipates that upon publication, network libraries will begin receiving inquiries.
Please review your MLA's machine inventories and request additional machines from the NLS
equipment control officer as needed. Between now and the end of the calendar year, your MLA may
order up to one-third of the number of cassette players required by the patron goal stated in your state
program. Please remember to execute proper storage and security of machines as outlined in the
Machine-Lending Agency Inventory Procedures Manual.
[Enclosures (regional libraries only):included as print copies when mailed to the network on July 22,
Sample telephone log
For further information contact:
Head, Network Services
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