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The Mudflap Girl Gets Read The Riot Act

Posted in General, Newsworthy by Suzanne Denbow | August 4th, 2008 | 3 Responses |

According to Linda Thackey, Publications and Marketing Manager for the Wyoming State Library, the infamous MudFlap Girl has proven to be one of the most effective marketing tools they’ve ever used. Launched by the Wyoming State Library in 2007, the MudFlap Girl ads were created in an attempt to advertise new Internet services that allow library users access to ChiltonLibrary.com, an online database featuring virtual access to Chilton’s incredibly popular auto repair manuals.

In addition to actual mud-flaps; a flood of stickers, leaflets, and posters were sent to auto repair garages and stores across the state in order to get the word out. Said Thackey, “We did research on library cards users and non-users before introducing this campaign, and what we found was that a majority of men in Wyoming did not find the library relevant to them.” [Research filed under: Painfully Obvious].

Slowly but surely, the MudFlap Girl has changed that. The ad’s unique approach earned it widespread popularity, and not just in Wyoming. Sitting up and taking notice, the sphincter-pinching American Library Association began a formal “dialogue” to delve further into the merits and drawbacks of the campaign. The discussion, facilitated on the ALA’s official blog and entitled, “The Status of Woman in Librarianship,” [YAWN] largely consists of dusty cat-lovers extolling the plight of the women’s suffragist movement, with a bold comment or two thrown in by the librarians who actually get laid every once in a while.

Fiercely defending the ads [and their overwhelming success], Linda Thackey further went on to say that, “Men between the ages of 18 and 34 don’t always see the library as relevant to them, and now they are…It really is a great way to get a new demographic of library users to the library.” Yeah, no kidding. One thing we would like to point out however, the Wyoming Library MudFlap Girl and the MudFlap Girl of truckstop lore have noticiably different -ahem- bra sizes.

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3 Responses

  1. iroll says:

    You may want to practice a little more respect on this one. As a group, those same “sphincter-pinching” librarians are aggressive defenders of our civil liberties who routinely go above and beyond for their communities and the individuals in them. Whether one finds it boring or not, it’s hardly worth deploying spiteful stereotypes to malign a discussion that’s clearly taking place in an appropriate professional forum

  2. Suzanne Denbow says:

    I agree with you -librarians not only routinely go above and beyond the call of duty, but they are also most often solely responsible for ensuring that the “freedom” of information is readily available and free to everyone.

    I was not “maligning” librarians as a whole, but rather those individuals within the profession who lack the foresight to realize that in order to stay relevant to society, you have to be willing to embrace “contemporary” advertising techniques.

    Furthermore, and on a purely personal level, my mother is a very dedicated, hard working librarian herself who has taken great pains to keep all patrons of her library well-equipped with knowledge and/or the ease of access to it. It is the extent of the efforts put forth by her and dedicated librarians like those in Wyoming that deserve the applause.

  3. Vito Rispo says:

    I went out with a librarian once. she was a nice girl.