Troy Library: Book Burning Party

Troy, Michigan couldn’t afford to sustain its library, so it scheduled a vote for a tax increase. A strong anti-tax group waged a dominating campaign against it. Posing as a political group, we posted signs around town that said, “Vote to close Troy library Aug 2, book burning party Aug 5.” We invited everyone to our Facebook page, adding Twitter, Foursquare, want ads, flyers and more to drive engagement. The campaign became international news as outcry over the idea of burning the library’s books drowned out the opposition and galvanized support for the library – which won by a landslide.

15 Replies to “Troy Library: Book Burning Party”

  1. Phew, I thought this was real at first.

    You may have had to trick people into doing the right thing, but at least it worked out in the end.

  2. A vote against taxes is not a vote to burn books, it’s a vote against wasteful spending. Get the city to shift some of those wasted funds around to save the library. Though, I will concede that it IS an ingenious idea for getting people to vote yes.

  3. Very cool! Awesome documentation of a great campaign. Thanks for sharing – will do the same with my students and compatriots!

  4. Brilliant campaign. But let’s step back for a minute here. Why did so many people believe this was genuine? Surely it should be obvious that anyone suggesting a book burning party was almost certainly trolling (even if the trolling was for a noble cause).

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