Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Reverse Psych Saves Michigan Library

Over the past several years, we've watched the sad decline of the American library. Budgets are being cut left and right, doors are closing, the clientele is dropping. So much so that the Huffington Post gives "Libraries in Crisis" its own sub-sect on their Books section. This is where I found out that some libraries, like the one in Gilpin, Colorado, are even offering free coffee and other such perks to pull in residents ("Library Budget Cuts Threaten Communities Across the Country").

It's sad, really. I remember so much of my childhood being spent in libraries, combing the stacks or reading in a corner, carrying out a pile of books bigger than me on a weekly basis as soon as summer vacation began. What's even sadder though, is that so many people just don't care. They have no interest in keeping libraries alive and will go so far as to picket against a less than 1% increase in taxes to save their local library. Like some residents of Troy, Michigan, for example.

But the library lovers in Troy, thankfully, wouldn't take "NO" for an answer. They crafted an immense "Book Burning Party" campaign to use some reverse psychology on their fellow Trojans, if you will.

This video by Leo Burnett, along with his shockingly thorough video synopsis, tells us the story:

The city of Troy, Michigan was facing a budget shortfall, and was considering closing the Troy Public Library for lack of funds. Even though the necessary revenues could be raised through a miniscule tax increase, powerful anti-tax groups in the area were organized against it. A vote was scheduled amongst the city's residents, to shut the library or accept the tax increase, and Leo Burnett Detroit decided to support the library by creating a reverse psychology campaign. Yard signs began appearing that read: "Vote to Close Troy Library on August 2nd - Book Burning Party on August 5th." No one wants to be a part of a town that burns books, and the outraged citizens of Troy pushed back against the "idiotic book burners" and ultimately supported the tax increase, thus ensuring the library's survival.

Find the original video and synopsis HERE 

I've got to say...this is genius. If only more people were willing to take such strides to keep more libraries going strong!

Go, Leo!

P.S. A special thanks to my friend Josh for sending this topic my way via!

1 comment: