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The Aspen Institute

Communications, Evolved

Helping Libraries Evolve

The Aspen Institute’s Dialogue on Public Libraries, based in Washington, D.C., is a multi-stakeholder forum to explore and champion new thinking on U.S. public libraries, with the goal of fostering concrete actions to support and transform public libraries for a more diverse, mobile and connected society.

The Institute released a report entitled, Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries, that addressed strategies libraries could adopt to strengthen their role into the future. As The Institute prepared to evolve their communications for the future, we provided counsel and services in a number of areas, including strategic communications planning; social and digital marketing; market research; and email marketing.

A New Chapter

The Aspen Institute wanted to make libraries aware of the report and, just as importantly, equip libraries and their communities with the tools to evolve in a manner that reflected the needs of the people they serve.

Guiding a New Approach

The Aspen Institute engaged PUSH 7 (now Pipitone Group) to provide strategic communications counsel to the Dialogue on Public Libraries. Our team began by facilitating audience mapping and messaging exercises with the program leaders. With the clarity provided through these exercises, we developed and executed a strategic communications plan. Elements included assistance with social and digital media and ongoing strategic counsel and support for five major dialogues held across the country. Our pivotal recommendation was for the development of an action guide that would provide library leadership with a detailed and adaptable plan for how to re-envision their role for the future.


We wrote the action guide, coordinated the pilot and managed the launch that included media relations, a social media campaign, speech writing, a website and a variety of storytelling blog posts. The Action Guide has been downloaded nearly 7,500 times and has since been shared many times over.

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