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Previous Marketing Excellence Award Winners


Shetland Libraries for “eServices on the Up!": Shetland’s entry showcased the usefulness of local knowledge when it comes to marketing activity. The range of activities they undertook to promote their digital services to residents in a geographically diverse area showed that staff considered their goals and how best to achieve them in a challenging environment.

Solihull Libraries for “They made it happen! Solihull's self-build revolution”: Solihull showed that libraries can directly support and impact local communities, via their campaign “They made it happen! Solihull’s self-build revolution”. Excellent use of non-financial resources and evidence of impact on local decision-making marked this entry for an award.

Staffordshire Libraries for “Burton Bedtime Stories”: Staffordshire’s “Burton Bedtime Stories” are short films of local people reading picture books, which are shown on social media in ‘series’. This successful campaign shows the power of using social media channels to reach new audiences when you have limited or no budget.


Silver Award: Plymouth Libraries for “Lunch at the Library”, a summer campaign to engage with disadvantaged children and their families. The judges were impressed by the campaign’s engagement with the community and the high quality promotional materials used. 

Bronze Award: University of Birmingham Library Services and Service for “A Hidden Gem – promoting the overlooked site library” which showcased their campaign to promote “hidden” study space to their students. The campaign combined traditional marketing techniques with contemporary approaches to impact of their users experience. 

Bronze Award:Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Library & Information. Lancashire’s “Summer reading journey – escape with a good book” encouraged users to engage with the hospital library via their fiction collection. Great use of resources and well-designed promotional materials marked this campaign for a bronze award. 

Social media Award: RNIB Library’s “World Book Day at RNIB Library” effectively used social media to make the ten World Book Day (WBD) £1 titles available in accessible formats AND to give away a free audio or braille version to every child with a print disability who wanted one. With no budget and limited staff time, the campaign used social media to great effect to exceed its targets.



Silver Award  - Hampshire County Council Library Service for Promoting EMagazines.  The marketing team designed a promotional campaign to inform three target audiences within Hampshire about free eMagazine downloads from Hampshire Library Service. The objective was to re-position the library service in the eyes of non-users and increase not only e-magazine downloads but also membership and usage of the library.

Bronze Award - Libraries NI for Two Cities One Book - Belfast Dublin. During April 2016, with a modest budget, Libraries NI launched a ‘Two Cities One Book’ initiative by partnering with Dublin City Libraries, in association with Penguin Random House book publisher, to encourage people in Belfast and Dublin to read and discuss ‘Fallen’ by author Lia Mills.

Bronze Award - Shropshire Libraries for Picture This. A creative innovative arts programme in libraries across Shropshire for young people aged 11-14yrs. In the 2 day workshops in the 6 main libraries, 60 young people developed original pieces of performance and set design. Performances in each library and a touring exhibition showcased what had been achieved.

Bronze Award - Staffordshire Library and Arts Service for J.R.R. Tolkein in Staffordshire - Touring Exhibition. This project created a touring exhibition celebrating the importance of Staffordshire in the early life of J.R.R.Tolkien, in particular the influence of his time in the County on his early writings and development of Middle-earth. This involved developing a HLF bid, touring and promotional plan and working with a voluntary organisation

Bronze Award - University of York Library for UoYTips: Marketing the library to new users. The UoYTips project was based on running the annual library induction for new students as a marketing campaign, rather than merely an orientation exercise. The results were a huge increase in engagement from new library users, and increased credibility and respect for the library from academic Departments.

Social Media Award - Islington Library and Heritage Services for #islington50s campaign. This project was to draw awareness of the wide range of offers available from Islington Libraries, to suit residents of all ages and interests. #islington50s included images from our local history archive, plus book, music and film recommendations - all from the 1950s



Gold Award - Durham University’s Palace Green Library for Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt, an exhibition to mark the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta. It had impressive economic and social impact and far exceeded its original aims.

Gold Award - Oldham Council Libraries for live@thelibrary, a programme of literature and arts events delivered from the newly refurbished Performance Space in Oldham Library. The project has significantly increased library membership and has demonstrated an adaptive, reflective approach to marketing strategy throughout its first year.

Silver Award - Durham University Library (again!), this time for their 2015 Student Induction Week, brilliantly and extensively themed around a quote from J.K Rowling’s book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, “When in doubt, go to the library”.

Bronze Award - Leeds Library and Information Service for #whatsyourstory, which used human-interest storytelling to demonstrate how their libraries had played a significant part in the achievements of local people.  Not only did it engage the local community, but the generic appeal of the campaign created a worldwide reach. 

Social Media Award -  Edge Hill University Library for #WhereforeArtThouWilliam, a week long social media campaign and competition to celebrate the life and works of William Shakespeare (Shakespeare 400) and promote reading for pleasure with World Book Night. The project achieved a number of diverse objectives in a very coherent way to great effect on an £18 budget, and was pitched to offer light relief to students during their stressful exam/dissertation period. The Social Media Award will become a permanent Award category in future.



Silver Award: Aberdeen City Libraries - A School of Dolphins, Amanda Matheson. In Summer 2014, Aberdeen City Libraries participated in the Wild Dolphins project which saw life-sized sculptures appear on the streets of Aberdeen. They volunteered to display small sculptures designed by schoolchildren in libraries and created the Library Dolphin Trail to encourage families to visit and find out more about library services and resources.

Silver Award: University of Huddersfield Library - MyReading campaign, Kate McGuinn and Alison Sharman. Focus groups had revealed a lack of student awareness about how to find and use reading lists. The library’s response was to create a narrative-based, multi-channel promotional campaign for its reading list system, MyReading. An animation was commissioned and promoted via social media. The strapline and images became a brand that was re-utilised across a range of communications channels and promotional materials.

Bronze Award: Leeds Library and Information Service - Library Fest Leeds, Alison Millar and Lisa Faulks. This was the first ever festival run by Leeds Libraries, which took place in February 2015. The aims were to showcase the range of activities and services they provide, raise awareness of their work and engage with new and existing customers in a fun and innovative way.

Impact Award: Stellar Libraries - Cityread London 2014, Andy Ryan. Cityread London is an annual initiative which promotes reading for pleasure and redefines the capital’s libraries for emerging generations of Londoners. Every April it selects a novel set in London and brings it to life, through a month-long programme of author talks, interactive performance, book groups and other events.



Gold Award  - Popping up a library - Newcastle University
Bronze Award - Conversations with students - Open University
Bronze Award - Reborn - Manchester Central Library 

Specially Commended for Induction Award
- Like Your Library - Aston University
- Hello Library! Hello IT! - Kent University



Gold Award - Changing Library customers' perceptions and attitudes to the planned closure of the Library building, Loughborough University Library. Read Emma Walton's report on the impact of winning the Marketing Excellence Award

Gold Award  Norfolk County Council Libraries "Great Big Read Goes to the Movies"

Bronze AwardBarbara Band (Emmbrook School) "Guinness World Record for the most people writing a story at multiple venues"

Impact Award - The British Library "Capturing the Digital Universe"



Gold Award  - University Library Services, Sunderland - "Adventures in Conversation"

Silver Award - The University of Northampton - "Library and Learning Services Conference 2012"

Bronze Award - Norfolk County Council - "The Great Reading Takeaway"

Read about the impact of winning a CILIP PPRG Marketing Excellence Award.


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