Librarianship | Theresa Fredericka| February 20, 2019
INFOhio’s, Theresa Fredericka, Director of INFOhio, talks about the “INFOhioWorks” campaign and winning the John Cotton Dana Award.
Our #INFOhioWorks was a grass-roots effort to reinstate funding for the INFOhio project, which provides every Ohio student and teacher with a PreK-12 digital library, along with school library automation. INFOhio is funded through the state budget. In 2015 INFOhio had a 42% budget cut, so we immediately began investigating and planning ways to help educate Ohio legislators to reinstate funding for the next budget cycle in 2017.
Our goal for the campaign was to restore INFOhio’s state funding from $1.4M to $2.5M. We also wanted to remind all Ohio educators that INFOhio provides free access to digital educational content for all schools and to spread awareness of what the cost of the digital content for their school and district would look like if INFOhio funding was lost. Lastly, we wanted to motivate educators to take action and communicate to legislators’ their stories about how #INFOhioWorks for student learning.
We approached challenges in many ways to create a stronger campaign:
Across Ohio, teachers and administrators as well as librarians know about and talk about INFOhio. As a result of the campaign, we were able to identify areas throughout the state that are less aware of INFOhio. This helped us plan ways to address the low-use areas and provide strategic communications with those communities. We were also able to get administrators and legislators involved by joining with teachers and librarians to help decision makers understand the community need for INFOhio.
Each John Cotton Dana winner has found a way to overcome an obstacle by engaging their community. And, in so doing, the community wins.
A few tips for marketing:
I would say know when you have overcome a problem with success. Tell the story so that others can learn. Each John Cotton Dana winner has found a way to overcome an obstacle by engaging their community. And, in so doing, the community wins.
By the end of the campaign, not only was INFOhio successful in achieving all our goals, but we learned a lot along the way:
INFOhio is Ohio’s PreK-12 digital library with a vision that each Ohio PreK-12 student has equal access to high-quality digital resources for a successful education and future. INFOhio transforms student learning by licensing a collection of instructional content—selected to support Ohio’s Learning Standards—and making it easily accessible to all Ohio PreK-12 students, their parents, and teachers from any Internet-connected device—at no cost to Ohio's schools. INFOhio is optimized by the Management Council, which represents and supports the collaborative efforts of Ohio’s Information Technology Centers. Visit INFOhio at www.infohio.org.
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