“Show me your library card” were the words that rang out during September, National Library Card Signup Month, in the small town of Hawarden, Iowa. While brainstorming for ways to encourage people to sign up for library cards, the librarians hit on the idea of traveling through town during noon hour on each Monday in September. Individuals were asked to show the librarian their library card. If they could come up with the card, they received five dollars in Hawarden Chamber cash! It was a win-win project for everyone involved.
The promotion was placed on the Hawarden Public Library’s Facebook page, put in the local paper, and placed as an announcement on the local cable station. The first Monday of the promotion, the librarian stopped by a local pizza restaurant and the grocery store. Sauntering up to a table of farmers, she asked if they could show her their library cards. Of the four at the table, one fellow, Carlos, was able to present his card. On the spot, he was handed his five dollars of scrip. It was interesting to see others at other tables scrambling through their purses and pockets to come up with cards! What fun! Everyone was smiling and laughing and thinking LIBRARY! Pictures were taken on the spot to place on the library’s Facebook page.
Our grocery story adventure was even more fun! We made an announcement in the store that the first individual to bring the librarian a library card received the scrip. Shoppers stopped their carts and rummaged through purses; several clerks left their spots to find their cards. By the end of the visit, another person had five dollars.
The next week found us visiting the banks! What better place to give away money! This time, the tellers were ready for us! They had their cards near them, in case the library “cash patrol” came through the doors. Librarians also visited several businesses and someone was always able to come up with the library card. The biggest rush to find a card occurred when we stopped by our city offices. The office staff was ready. They had their cards right by their desks!
The promotion definitely had people thinking library and library cards. It added a bit of humor to everyone’s day as well as linking us to our chamber by giving away Hawarden scrip that could only be used in our Hawarden stores.
Our Hawarden Public Library is located in northwest Iowa. We invite you to stop by and visit us in person or on the web or on Facebook! Our community consists of about 2500 people in an agricultural based economy. We like to think that our library offers our community everything they need to meet their lifelong learning needs!