14 April 2022
newsletter and 3D printed gems

“Learning is a treasure that follows its owner everywhere.” — Chinese Proverb

A library card opens the door to so many amazing items and opportunities that it can be easy to let a few go unnoticed. Back in “normal times,” our library staff members were always eager to share news and offerings with patrons in person, but the past two years of pandemic life has kept many visitors out of our buildings and away from valuable material, resources, and services. In an effort to reintroduce the community to what we have to offer and welcome them to come back in, the focus of our spring 2022 newsletter and promotional campaign is on hidden gems that deserve to be unearthed, or at least dusted off! Plus, who can resist a sparkly gemstone?!

Introducing Staff Gems

Our spring newsletter was the first, and most widespread, means of promoting this campaign. The newsletter introduced patrons to a few items our staff thought of as hidden gems. Patrons were able to flip through the pages and spot red gemstones indicating an item, service, resource, or feature that deserves another look. Each of these features shared a bit about why it’s relevant to the reader and how they can find out more.

  • Annual preschool and childcare directory
  • Nontraditional items in our collection, such as the circulating Super Nintendo
  • The Great Courses collection in physical, eVideo, and eAudio formats
  • Our new TikTok account
  • Homebound delivery service
  • Services for seniors
  • Talking Books and Braille Service through the Illinois State Library


Digging In

Once the newsletter was out the door, it was time for us to dig in to our campaign in-house. Bookmarks with staff suggestions and information on how to find out more are stationed throughout our library buildings for patrons to pick up and take with them. We also share staff gems on social media, in our monthly eNewsletters, and in displays throughout our library buildings—3D-printed gemstones were also made to showcase what our makerspace is capable of!


Treasures Unearthed

We also wanted to hear from our patrons, so an online form was set up asking for their favorite library treasure. The form calling for submissions was pushed out in our monthly eNewsletters and on social media. Patrons submitted great (and sometimes surprising!) responses about items in our collection, how they use our spaces, and one response even called out a specific staff member for being so helpful!

  • “The magazines! I used to love reading a magazine article or even cover to cover while my kids were in the children's area.”
  • “The scanner allows me to scan documents and email them to myself so I can send them on to the appropriate agency.”
  • “Joe M. for his never-ending helpfulness with explaining craft projects.”
  • “The newspaper subscriptions like the Wall Street Journal which are very expensive as a home subscriber.”


While other responses enlightened us to hurdles that some patrons may encounter when trying to utilize our services or resources.

  • “Creativebug except it's hard to find. I would not look under Research for this database.”


The ideas we implemented are only a fraction of the many ways this promotion can be expanded. Regardless of how the promotion is rolled out, it is a great tool to communicate the library’s value to the community and, in turn, hear from patrons about how they use and appreciate the library. Every piece of information shared is valuable and can help inform decisions about the best ways to serve the community. We hope that by the end of this promotion our patrons will have learned about an interesting item or service they didn’t know we offered, thus expanding their world and continuing our mission: Through dedicated personal service, we connect our diverse community to resources and experiences that educate, enrich, and inspire.

Library's initial Facebook post announcing Hidden Gems
Patron's Hidden Gem Facebook post 

Our guest post today is from Bronwyn Sill, Communications Coordinator at Cook Memorial Public Library District.