#APLambassador 35 | Award-winning Ambassadors 🏆

Dear Social Media Ambassadors,

The Urban Libraries Council, the organization of North America's leading public libraries, has honored you with a 2018 Top Innovator Award. As an innovator in social media, you set an example – of words, images, action, passion – that other libraries in the U.S. and Canada can follow. Congratulations!

Currently a librarian at the Terrazas Branch, I am part of the Austin Public Library team that launched this group in November 2015. At the time, to the best of our knowledge, there was no library fan group like you, anywhere. (This is no longer the case, but more on that shortly.) Three years of emails and sneak previews later, our reason for bringing you together hasn’t changed. In fact, it’s become more urgent.

Recent editorials arguing for the commercialization of libraries showed an alarming lack of awareness about how libraries benefit communities. Social media is meant to raise that awareness. It does, but only to an extent. That’s where you come in. At a time when networks increasingly limit pages from reaching their own followers, you extend APL’s reach into the Austin community. You help the library break through congested social newsfeeds by functioning, essentially, as word-of-mouth marketers - speaking through shares, retweets, favorites, hearts, likes and reactions for the library you love.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Take pride: other libraries in the U.S. and Canada are already following your example. The public libraries in Edwardsville, Illinois; Prince Frederick, Maryland; Cheshire, Connecticut; and Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada recently launched their own social media ambassador groups.

Here in Austin, Texas we’re well on our way. Here’s a snapshot of the group today in September 2018:

# of ambassadors

1,245 and counting

Networks you’re most active on

Instagram and Twitter

# of times you’ve used #APLambassador

1,709 and counting

# of times you’ve surprised us

Counting the times you surprised us with reading recommendations, news flashes, book stamps, artwork, babies and books, animated gifs, library views, song lyrics, library swag photos, summer library tours, hurricane survival skills, an op-ed in the Statesman — OK, there are too many to count.

Not surprisingly, there is strength in numbers. Encourage others to join our social media army of library fans at Use #APLambassador. Share the love in this challenging world. Again, congrats and thank you!

Cesar Garza
Terrazas Branch
Austin Public Library

In June 2018 we gave ambassadors a sneak preview of #APLafterdark, enjoying the Central Library after closing time. This quarterly event premieres September 28 with a fun theme: BYOV (Bring Your Own Vinyl). Share faves from your own record collection or pick out a song from our selection of Carver Branch LPs. Get tickets on Eventbrite and join the event on Facebook.
What You Can Do as an #APLambassador at Any Time
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