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Introducing Grassroots Library Advocacy
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Introducing Grassroots Library Advocacy


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  • Why you need to fight easy to cut programs no one is fighting for small cuts are cumulative it's your job, stupid Trends long slow slide (cumulative) not just libraries all levels (fed/state/local) NYC - Our story NYC numbers & budget dance How we got started (beer & tacos) Pink slips make you fight back
  • What do you want? Figure out your end goals. Specific budget number in mind? Need to pass a construction bond? Want to ask for just enough to stave off layoff & service cuts? The answer to this question will determine your message Who makes the decision? Who do you hope to influence? Know who holds the purse-strings Know your budget structure Who is your target audience? Who influences the purse-holders? These are the folks you have to mobilize. In most places it's constituents.
  • Go back to the strategy question - what do you want? (No cuts + No closures + No layoffs) REPEAT Tone You decide on tone Can be fun and still get your point across Can be deadly serious You can change your tone from event to event but keep your message consistent Tools Facebook & Twitter • Page vs Group o Engaging with people Website • Clearinghouse for information on the issue Email • Newsletters o Lay out issues for people o announce events • Types of Services o Complying with the CANSPAM Act Use Facebook, Twitter and a well designed website to corral support and provide more detailed information. Understand why you use the tools you are using. For instance, we use our web presence for: •Real life organization • Create a clearing house for accurate information and statistics about libraries • Raising awareness • Documenting events and campaigns
  • Who are your ground troops? Identify and target Library workers, larger library community, etc. Are there limitations to what they can work on? For instance, laws preventing library workers from advocating Message should connect to potential volunteers, too. “Library workers” “no layoffs” Capacity building VOLUNTEERS - putting out the call Once you have them, give them something to do. Something real and hopefully fun Help build new leaders by sharing important tasks (if they are ready/trustworthy) How to play nice, or, dealing with conflict How you deal with conflict will influence your ability to attract and retain volunteers
  • Use Social Networking tools to drive action in real life • Announce events • Add photos • Followup - thank folks and update supporters on the impact of their actions Develop Momentum • Keep updating! post related news stories to your page/feed • Even when there's no news, maintain your presence. out of sight = out of mind • Document, document, document! Share pics & write-ups of events ASAP. Inform participants and press • Create a special page for press releases on your website to make them easier to find You Tube • Effective multimedia vector • Involve your patrons Fun Live Streaming • You can do this from your phone now! • Great way for people stuck at work to participate Collect stats Other Social Networks • Use what your community uses o To an extent, media is more likely to find you on Facebook than Myspace
  • Find your organizational partners and allies - Supportive organizations with similar missions (other library groups) Community organizations Library administration Staff organizations/unions Politicians The Give and Take Ask for specific things or actions, even give them a role to play. Return the favor - acknowledge support publicly, come out to their events Always say thank you and behave professionally Politics You can't avoid politics, but you can take the high road: build relationships with  everyone, even your opponents. Don’t get caught up in organizational infighting or political rivalries, but be aware of them Drama! Avoid it. Keep focused on the message. Return all discussions to your message. Stay positive.
  • Don't forget traditional media Press Releases are important. o Reporters will often just edit your press release and call it a story. Post it everywhere! o Include your website url and a link to photos. Getting their attention o Often more than one service being cut in a budget cycle. Doing Something Nuts Big attention-grabbing actions let us be heard over the din of NYC New events! Bookseeding NYLA fundraisers
  • What if your group wants to formalize? Options, Pros/Cons Nonprofit stuff Filing Fundraising mechanics Nonprofit stuff/fiscal sponsorship Applying for grants Foundation relationships
  • Transcript

    • 1. GRASSROOTS Christian Zabriskie, Aliqae Geraci & ADVOCACY Lauren Comito
    • 3. STRATEGY
    • 4. MESSAGE
    • 5. GETTING PEOPLE ON BOARD• Put out the call• Once you have them, give them something to do. Something real and hopefully fun• Help build new leaders by sharing important tasks• Play nice, or, dealing with conflict• How you deal with conflict will influence your ability to attract and retain volunteers
    • 8. GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT Dont forget traditional media Doing Something Nuts Big attention-grabbing actions let us be heard over the din of NYC