Dacula Library (File photo)
SUWANEE -- A plan to use bookmarks handed out at library branches as a means for advertising -- and a potential revenue generator -- was struck down unanimously by board members during a Monday meeting.
The original proposal, which was made months back by Chairman Phil Saxton, called for businesses to pay $300 to have their advertisement or coupon printed on about 5,000 bookmarks, which would then be distributed around the community.
Saxton appeared to be the only one sold on the idea Monday evening. He thought the board should consider sending out requests for proposals to marketing firms to see how much it would cost to put together the business plan.
"I'm not thinking we have the expertise from our library staff to implement a program like this," Saxton said. "I suggest we at least take a look at what these firms might be able to offer. We can always reject the RFP if we don't feel it has merit."
Board Member Dick Goodman said the whole plan was "a diversion from the things we really need to address."
Added Goodman: "I think this is counterproductive and will provide the least return from any investment we could make, including all the time we've spent discussing it."
Nancy Stanbery-Kellam, the library's director, disagreed with the idea too, but for different reasons.
"One of the most precious things is the image of the library, and I have concerns when you put that in the hands of other organizations," Stanbery-Kellam said. "We have a brand to protect and sell to the community. Putting that in the hands of a private organization ... makes me very nervous."
Board members voted down the measure, striking it from continued discussion of a six-pillar approach intended to help the system's finances.
Said Saxton: "We no longer have a six-pillar program. We have a five-pillar program."