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Branding Iron Awards

Honoring creative marketing and public relations projects and activities.

Whether they have substantial marketing funds and staff, or a shoe-string budget and marketing is among ‘other duties as assigned,’ librarians are creating amazing work to promote their services, programs, and events. TLA’s Branding Iron Awards honor this inspiring and creative work with awards presented in several categories, and one overall Best of Show winner.

Congratulations to the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library in Edinburg for the 2020 Best of Show Award!  The library won for their International Book Discussion.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of a wonderful event called the
International Book Discussion, which connects children from both sides of the
U.S.-Mexico border. Each year, educators from the Oxford School of Reynosa,
Tamaulipas, Mexico and St. Matthew’s School of Edinburg, as well as the
Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library staff, select a book that is entertaining
and educational, as well as inspirational. Students participate in online discussions with their counterparts across the border, and these meetings culminate in an in-person gathering that is part of the Festival of International Books and Arts.

For a full list of all the 2020 Branding Iron Award winners, see the Summer Issue of the Texas Library Journal.


Community Engagement: activities, programming or events designed to advocate for the library and/or meet community needs; such as letters-to-the-editor, guest columns, editorials resulting from editorial board visits, public speeches to internal and external groups, on-site events including elected or appointed officials, activities or events done partnership with other organizations inside or outside of the library facilities

Public Relations/Marketing Campaign: comprehensive campaigns promoting a particular program or activity, or the library generally, which may include traditional advertising (i.e. radio spots, TV, PSA’s, newspaper,magazine); digital promotion (i.e. social media, videos, online ads); printed promotion (i.e. direct mail, brochures, flyers, on-site signage)

Rebranding: renaming, rebranding of the library including new logo, images, website, social media etc.

Special Events: one-time special events, fundraisers, special programming, etc.

The Rules

The entry deadline is 5:30pm, February 15 (if the 15th is on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is 5:30pm the following Monday). Winners are notified in early March.

  • Eligible entries must be promotional activities conducted in the past two years.
  • Entries are accepted online (preferred) or via email or mail.
  • All entries and supporting materials will remain with TLA. The association reserves the right to publish any and all entries on the TLA website and in other online or print publications.
  • Submitting organizations must have copyright ownership of all items submitted for consideration. Submitter acknowledges that he/she has full copyright authority to assign use rights to TLA

Online entries

Complete the Google Form and upload all materials including, but not limited to, supporting information, photographs, brochures, advertisements,newsletters, posters, etc. If submitting radio spots or other audio, or videos, either include the digital files or a web link to where they are hosted (YouTube, Dropbox, etc.). You may upload up to 10 files, of any file type, with a maximum file size of 10MB.

NOTE: If you use the online form to submit your entry, you will be required to sign into your Google account.

If submitting in multiple categories, complete an online form and provide supporting information for each entry. Online entries must be received by 5:30pm February 15.

Emailed or Mailed Entries

If you prefer not to use the Google Form, complete the  PDF entry form. If submitting in multiple categories, complete a form and provide supporting information for each entry.

Include the complete entry form and responses with copies of all supporting materials including but not limited to, photographs, brochures, advertisements, newsletters, posters etc.

If submitting radio spots or other audio, or videos, either include the files on a flash drive or specify the web link where they are hosted (Dropbox, YouTube, etc.) in your supporting documentation.

Email your complete entry form and responses with all supporting materials to  Wendy Woodland, TLA director of advocacy and communications by February 15. Please compress or zip large files.

Mail entries to Texas Library Association, Attention Branding Iron Awards, 3355 Bee Cave Rd., Ste. 401, Austin, TX 78746. Entries must be received by February 15.


  • Eligible entries will be judged by a panel according to the quality of the final product and campaign/project outcomes.
  • First place and honorable mention will be awarded in each category.
  • An overall Best of Show will be awarded to one entry and will be presented at the TLA Annual Conference.

For more information, contact Wendy Woodland, TLA director of advocacy and communications.

Branding Iron Award Past Winners



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