The Marion Public Library: Inspiring People to Reach Higher

A couple of weeks ago an enthusiastic crowd of people filled the newly renovated Giving Tree Theater to witness the unveiling of Marion’s branding direction. Guided by a team of community representatives and based on months of planning and community research, Roger Brooks International was looking for a way to help us define a unique identity for Marion. What we saw is no surprise to those of who live here – Marion, the best place in Iowa, and then the Midwest, to raise a family and grow a business.  This identity and aspiration has long been the focus of the Marion Public Library. This brand is at the heart of the library’s vision:

The Marion Public Library is a leader in building and sustaining Marion as a creative city that attracts and nurtures talented people, mobilizes ideas, stimulates innovation, and encourages diversity.  The library is a center of cultural vitality and participation that enhances the quality of life for all Marion residents.

The branding direction’s tagline speaks for the library as well as the City – Reach Higher. Achieve More. This is why we’ve identified our building project with a single word – Inspire.

A year ago we organized an effort much like the City’s branding project to identify the look and feel that Marion’s library should have, one that reflects Marion’s character as the best place to raise a family and grow a business. Here’s our list: 

  • The library should be a living public space where people can connect. 
  • The library should be vibrant, energizing, and inspiring. 
  • The library should be substantial and sustainable, a place of City pride. 
  • The library should be comfortable and warm, a place where people want to be and spend time. 
  • The library should be a place where children are nurtured and feel at home.

In the past, libraries have mostly been about things. Libraries have changed. Now they’re about people and what people can do in them and with them. Instead of being places where information is kept just in case, they’ve become places where information is made available just in time. They integrate tradition and technology. The Marion library needs to be Marion’s “third place.”

A third place isn’t home and it isn’t work. It’s a place that provides a different experience; one that differs depending on the needs people bring to it. As a third place a library can be a place of work and a place of leisure, but it’s always a place of exploration. It’s a place where people connect with each other and the world around them. It’s a place that Inspires and helps people to Reach Higher and Achieve More.