Every budget is a referendum
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  • 1. Every Budget is a Referendum NJLA 2013 Using tips from the best political campaigns to activate citizen support for library funding @everylibrary Building voter support for libraries John Chrastka Executive Director EveryLibrary john.chrastka@everylibrary.org
  • 2. Voter Education Challenge Extends to “Voter Influence” on ● Town/City Councils ● State Legislators ● Federal Funding Issues Building voter support for libraries
  • 3. Seven Factors Influence Voters: 1. A Reason to Vote 2. Mobilized 3. Personal Contact with Candidate or Issue* 4. Culture/Tradition/Habit of Voting* 5. Trust in Government (pro or con) 6. Decided to Vote 7. Weather/Access to Polls What Activates Voters? Building voter support for libraries
  • 4. Why Talk Politics and Libraries? Building voter support for libraries ● Only 37% of likely voters say they will definitely support libraries at the ballot box.1 1. OCLC From Awareness to Funding, 2008
  • 5. Voter Attitudes Of all voters: 37% will Definitely vote yes 37% will Probably vote yes 26% will Probably or Definitely vote no or may vote either way. Building voter support for libraries
  • 6. Voter Attitudes About Libraries ● Users vs. Non-Users - No difference ● Progressives vs. Conservatives - No difference ● Any Tax is a Bad Tax - Watch for ● Nothing Impacts More than their Perception of the Librarian or the Library as Institution Building voter support for libraries
  • 7. Why Talk Politics and Libraries? Building voter support for libraries ● 94% of Parents say libraries are important for their children. 79% say “very important”. 2 ● 58% of Americans have a library card. 3 ● 62% of card holders have visited the library in the last year at least once.4 2. Pew, May 2013 3 and 4. Harris Interactive | ALA, January 2011
  • 8. Voter Attitudes Nothing Impacts Voter Attitude about Libraries More than their Perception of the Librarian and the Library as an Institution Building voter support for libraries
  • 9. Inbound Service Model Libraries are generally Inbound Service Models Inbound Service Models Create Inbound Advocacy Models Building voter support for libraries @everylibrary
  • 10. Informational Campaign – “Please Vote” ● Planning ● Know your limits ● Marketing and Awareness Vote Yes Campaign – “Vote Yes” ● Planning ● Filing ● Awareness and GOTV Types of Campaigns Building voter support for libraries
  • 11. Informational or “Vote Yes” Campaigns: ● 1. Walking* ● Phoning* ● 2. Events ● Social and Web ● 3. Signs ● Mailers Ways that Campaigns Reach Voters Building voter support for libraries
  • 12. Techniques that Work Who Votes? Who Influences? 1. Tweet the Mayor / City Council 2. Become Political 3. Embedded Librarians 4. Get Out and Walk 5. Volunteer Library Brigade 6. Mini Libraries Building voter support for libraries
  • 13. Know Your Allies Inventory Your Allies: 1. Educational Partners 2. Social Welfare and Religious Partners 3. Governmental Partners 4. Civic Partners 5. Business Partners 6. Politicians Building voter support for libraries
  • 14. Know Your Allies 1. Educational Partners Pre-K and K-12 Community College College/University For-Profit Tutoring Private/Public After-School Programs Three Messages: Library as Educational Partner, Library as Resource Extender, Library as Gap Filler Building voter support for libraries
  • 15. Know Your Allies 2. Social Welfare and Religious Partners Counseling Centers Food Pantry / WIC Jobs Training Center Literacy Centers Boy Scouts / Girl Scouts Three Messages: Social Leveler; Resource Extender; Staff Multiplier Building voter support for libraries
  • 16. Know Your Allies 3. Governmental Partners Parks Public Safety – Police and Fire Public Works Public Employee Unions Three Messages: Library as Contact Place, Library as Info Point, Library as Fellow Traveler Building voter support for libraries
  • 17. Know Your Allies 4. Civic Partners Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis Heritage and local history GLBT Three Messages: Library as Social Leveler, Library as Neutral Good, Library as Building voter support for libraries
  • 18. Know Your Allies 5. Business Partners Local Chamber / CVB Startups and Entrepreneurs Small Businesses – Service or Retail Big Employers Three Messages: Librarian as Business Reference Resource, Library as Training Space, Library as Retail Anchor Building voter support for libraries
  • 19. Know Your Allies 6. Politicians Incumbents Insurgents Local, State, Federal Three Messages: Library as Good Governance, Library as Responsible with Budget, Library as [insert their pet project] Building voter support for libraries
  • 20. The Library as: ● Educational Partner ● Economic Development Engine ● Social Leveler ● Connect with Changing Technology ● Legitimacy as Institution ● Trust in the Librarian Messaging That Works Building voter support for libraries
  • 21. The Library as Incubator ● Businesses ● The Arts ● Community Identity ● The Library as Governmental Leverage ● Budget ● Grants ● Tech Messaging That Works Building voter support for libraries
  • 22. ● Demands for Services ● Entreaties from Patrons/Customers ● Appeals about Effectiveness ● Perceptions of Service ● Whining What Doesn't Work Building voter support for libraries @everylibrary
  • 23. In Every Case... Building voter support for libraries ● Walk your Precinct ● Actively say “Vote, Please” or “Vote Yes” ● Answer Challenges with Legitimacy @everylibrary
  • 24. Thank You www.everylibrary.org @everylibrary facebook.com/everylibrary everylibrary.tumblr.com Building voter support for libraries John Chrastka Executive Director EveryLibrary john.chrastka@everylibrary.org