Cooley receives AALL Excellence in Marketing award

The Thomas M. Cooley Law School recently received the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) Excellence in Marketing Award, a national award for outstanding achievement in public relations activities. Cooley's Thomas E. Brennan Law Library won in the Best PR Toolkit category for its Food For Fines campaign. The campaign, as part of Cooley's commitment to community service, allowed library fines to be paid in food contributions to the poor and destitute. Students embraced the campaign, giving money and food regardless of whether or not they owed library fines.

Rita Marsala, head of public services at Cooley's Lansing campus and originator of the Food For Fines campaign, felt the students at Cooley Law School were the real heroes of the effort.

"This award is a testament to the generosity of our students who have all been affected by the economic downturn," stated Marsala. "They gave what they could to help those less fortunate, whether they owed library fines or not. Our role in this program was minor compared to theirs. These students exemplify the law school's commitment to service, and I consider it a privilege to work with them. The award belongs to them."

The Food For Fines program ran for about six weeks and any patron had who had a library fine was given the option to either pay the fine or give an equivalent monetary donation in food. A list of acceptable food items was made available at each Cooley campus, as well as on the library's Web page. During the program, a second option also was made available; any patron with a library fine could pay a reduced fine in cash, which was then donated to a local charitable organization.

Duane Strojny, associate dean for library and instructional support, felt that the campaign was a win-win for everyone.

''The Food For Fines campaign was a great way for the libraries to help the communities in which we are located," said Strojny. "Students agree that this is a valuable way to spend collected fine money. It encourages paying fines with an end result that supports the philanthropic goal of Cooley Law School."

Published: Thu, Apr 15, 2010