Help Support IMCPL With a Read-In January 24th

Are you tired of seeing quality public resources get the shaft due to budget cuts? Are you worried about the recent vote to permanently cap property taxes at 1 percent, cutting off important sources of funding for public schools, transportation and libraries?

Are you tired of watching city leaders take tens of millions of dollars from Indianapolis tax payers, only to turn around and hand pass that money off to the Pacers so they can pay millionaire athletes?

I sure am.  

I use the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library system a lot. But it’s not just me. There are thousands of people in the city who rely on the library system for basic resources most of us take for granted: things like Internet and e-mail access, or a warm place to sit and read a good book on a cold day. How many families rely on libraries to be there as a safe and affordable place where they kids can spend a summer afternoon? Too many to count.

It’s absolutely despicable that IMCPL is seen as an afterthought when it comes to public funding in this city. Cutting funding to public resources is short-changing the future for thousands of Indianapolis children.

I want to help our city leaders realize just how important the library system is. Thankfully, the Sustainable Library Citizens Coalition, is helping to organize proactive folks looking to do just that.

There’s a two pronged strategy underway. The first is a letter/e-mail writing campaign designed to to encourage City County councilors to ask the State Legislature to pass legislation clearly allowing Marion County to use County Income Tax revenue for library operating expenses.

A resolution failed in December and January’s Council meeting is probably the last chance to get the Council to support the plan. Essentially, this is the only opportunity to persuade the Council to even ask state lawmakers.

State legislators have already said they won’t support new legislation without local support, so it’s vitally important to make your voice heard before the Council meeting.

The Sustainable Library Citizens Coalition is asking concerned citizens to:

Write or e-mail your district councilor as well as the at-large councilors asking them to support a resolution “asking for state legislation that clearly allows Marion County to use COIT funding for library expenses.”
The other part of the plan involves a Read-In at the Council meeting itself:

READ-IN on January 24th at 7 p.m. at the City County Building.  Bring a book and an 8” by 11” sign in support of the Library.  We want to fill up the council room and the halls outside the room with Library supporters from 7-8 p.m.
If you write an e-mail to a district councilor, let The Sustainable Library Citizens Coalition know about it by forwarding a copy to 

They’d also like to know if you plan on attending the Read-In. You can RSVP through that e-mail address or through their facebook page here.

Here is the contact info for the entire City County Council. Please take a few minutes to let them know where you stand on this important issue.

Without proactive action in January, the Sustainable Library Citizens Coalition expects to hear the announcement of further cuts in library services coming in May.

Councilors At-Large:
Angel Rivera-
Ed Coleman-
Barbara Malone-
Joanne Sanders-

District: Councilor:
1 Jose Evans-
2 Angela Mansfield-
3 Ryan Vaughn-
4 Christine Scales-
5 Virginia Cain-
6 Janice McHenry-
7 Maggie Lewis-
8 Monroe Gray Jr.-
9 Jackie Nytes-
10 William Oliver-
11 Paul Bateman Jr.-
12 Michael McQuillen-
13 Robert Lutz-
14 Marilyn Pfisterer-
15 Doris Minton- McNeil
16 Brian Mahern-
17 Mary Adams-
18 Vernon Brown-
19 Dane Mahern-
20 Susie Day-
21 Benjamin Hunter-
22 Bob Cockrum- 317-856-5549
23 Jeff Cardwell-
24 Jack Sandlin-
25 Aaron Freeman-


A Quick Update On the Future of This Blog

This blog will be transforming
Hello loyal reader. I haven't posted in a while, so I'd like to get you up to speed with what's been happening lately.

As some of you may know, I launched an updated version of my Write Now Indy website a few months ago. My ultimate goal has always been to incorporate a professional blog into the site, something full of tips and advice about writing. That's how this blog originally started, as a resource for aspiring writers, small business owners and anyone else who wanted to improve their writing. Sadly, I've never been able to fully incorporate this blog into my website and that's been affecting my overall message.

I've been mixing business with pleasure when it comes to content lately and I haven't been able to strike a good balance of personal and professional topics. To make a long story short, I'm incorporating a WordPress blog into my website to focus more on professional topics like writing, branding, social media and general business ideas. This blog will hopefully begin to transform into something a little more personal and opinion oriented.

I invite you all to check out my new and improved Write Now Indy blog here. I'll be tweaking it over the next few weeks as I work to match the style and feel so it fits into my current website.

I'm not exactly sure what direction this blog will take, but I do plan to keep it up and running. It may just end up being a place for me to rant and rave about news, politics and current events. I'm just not sure yet. Anyway, here's what I need from you. I'd love some feedback about what you'd like to read about. Leave comments below on what works and what doesn't. That goes for any and all posts. I'm looking for your help shaping this into something fun, entertaining and useful. Thanks for reading.


Why I Keep a Social Media Journal... And You Should Too.

Consistency, performance, lead generation, page views and return on investment. These are just some of the key metrics business owners, myself included, hope to get from social media. But how do we get there? That’s the $64,000 question. How do we know that what we’re doing is working? Especially when it comes to something as fluid as social media.

I’m not a social media expert. I simply try to help my clients develop a strategy that works for them and their business, but it has to be easy to execute. If they can’t stick to a system than what’s the point?

There are dozens of sites and advisers that promise in-depth tracking results and all kinds of complicated metrics, but most business owners don’t care about that kind of technical stuff. So what are some easy things to track, that actually provide a certain level of valuable insight?

I’ve started a social media journal and so far it’s really helped me get a thumbnail view of what’s working and what isn’t.                        
You don't have to be a teenage girl to keep a journal

So what do I track?


A social media journal helps me keep tabs on how much time I’m spending every week crafting my social media strategy. By having a developed plan, I can streamline the process so I’m not wasting lots of time on techniques that don’t produce results.

I recommend using a site like Hootsuite, that lets you integrate all your social media accounts (twitter, facebook and Linkedin, etc), so you can easily post content on a variety of platforms at once.

Hootsuite also lets you schedule your posts. I spend an hour or two on Monday morning finding content to share, then scheduling it to go out at set times during the week. It helps me keep things consistent for my followers and it saves me from having to log into multiple sites everyday.


I keep track of what type of info I’m sending out. My preferred social network is twitter, so I’m really focused on the type of tweets I’m sharing.

There are all kinds of tweets: random thoughts, calls to action (tweets with links), re-tweets, mentions (those that include names of other users), and questions designed to get a response. Just to name a few.


How do you know which type of posts are working? A social media journal lets you track the sequence of your posts, so you can build up to maximum impact.

Maybe you’re working on a new blog post and the goal is to increase your page views. Try sharing info related to the topic you're writing about, before you direct people to your post. It’s a subtle way to whet their appetite, and it can be done in a variety of ways.

Pick a day you want to post your latest entry, let’s say Wednesday. Then on Monday post a comment to let your followers know you’re working on the new post. On Tuesday you ask them what type of info they’d like to see included. That feedback helps you shape the content to what potential customers want, plus, it gives your readers a sense of investment. When you post a link to your blog on Wednesday, your readers will be excited to see if you addressed their needs.

Make sure to mix up the type of info you share. Find out which sequences work and which ones don’t. That way you have a blueprint for success to meet your different goals.


A social media journal helps you define your goals. Having hundreds of facebook friends is great, but if you’re interested in generating leads you need to find ways to get them to sign up for your newsletter or e-mail list. By defining your goals you can tweak your strategy and get feedback from the public, so you can turn them into new customers.

Not everything works on every social media platform. What works on twitter doesn’t always get the same results on facebook. A social media journal helps you figure out how potential customers are interacting with you across those different platforms, so you can target people in a way that works for them and you.


Hootsuite lets you shrink the links you’re sharing with your online friends. More importantly, it lets you track the number of people that actually click that link. It’s a great way to see what type of posts are convincing people to consume your content. Find out what works and what doesn’t. Cut out what doesn’t work and double up the things that do.

A shrunken link via HootSuite

It’s important to realize that there are no surefire ways to measure success. It’s all about crafting a system that works for you and your business. A social media journal doesn’t have to be super in-depth, but it’s essential to have a system that lets you define your goals and figure out what’s working. Once you set a few simple metrics you want to track you’ll be able to hone your approach and turn online friends into online customers.

I’d love to know what you think. What are your goals and what social media metrics do you track?

Chris Vanasdalan is a freelance writer and part-time PR & social media consultant. He’d love to help you develop a content development strategy that works for your business. You can follow him on twitter @WriteNowIndy, find him on facebook, or on the web at