Introduction To Frontline Advocacy


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This is a PowerPoint presentation I created as part of the self-paced tutorial on Frontline Advocacy.

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Introduction To Frontline Advocacy

  1. 1. Introduction to Frontline Advocacy A PowerPoint Presentation by Caroline Han Pasadena Public Library
  2. 2. What is Frontline Advocacy? <ul><li>It is using your position as a library employee to promote your local library and encourage the support of patrons. </li></ul><ul><li>It is not traditional lobbying . </li></ul><ul><li>It is positive word-of-mouth & persuasion . </li></ul><ul><li>It is letting patrons know what your library offers, and what it needs to sustain those offers. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who Does Frontline Advocacy? <ul><li>EVERYONE! </li></ul><ul><li>People who work directly with patrons: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference Librarians, YA Librarians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Circulation Staff, Pages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Everyone else: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They represent the public library to their friends, families, and acquaintances. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You are your library’s best advocate! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why Frontline Advocacy? <ul><li>Now, when people need libraries more than ever , libraries receive less funding than ever. Pasadena Public Library is no exception. </li></ul><ul><li>The recent recession means: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More families borrowing instead of buying books, music, or movies. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More job seekers using library resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More government temptation to slash budgets. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Why Me? <ul><li>You know your library best. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Its resources, services, & programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Its current issues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Its patrons and their needs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You are the first face patrons associate with your library. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Not library directors or administration! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You have an impact on your patrons, intentionally or not. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Via minor actions and comments. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Positive impressions, interactions, and experiences can mean more support from patrons. Meanwhile, word of mouth can spread around – up to the power of eight! Patron support can make a real difference in tough times! “ Frontline advocacy is about putting your library front and center at every opportunity. It’s about saying and doing the little things on a daily basis that give others positive feelings and an appreciation of your library” ( “Frontline Advocacy Begins with You,” 2010, para. 5). “ Most of us who work in libraries - public, school, academic or special - believe in what we do. Advocacy is simply a way to share that with others” (“Every Voice Makes A Difference,” 2010, p. 1). “ It’s any interaction you have that gives you the opportunity to share information about your library's strengths and needs” (“Frontline Advocacy for Libraries,” 2010, slide 5).
  7. 7. Examples <ul><li>At Work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If discussing a library-related issue, offer bookmarks or brochures on that issue. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alert patrons to services or resources pertinent to their current needs, such from childcare to elder care. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When thanking patrons or wishing them goodbye, remind them that current library services or programs depend on their continued support. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Outside Work: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If a friend or family member has a problem (ex: choosing between colleges or job offers), remind him or her about the library has many books on tackling that problem. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When introducing yourself to strangers, say something along the lines of, “I work for you – that is, I work at the local public library. Do you have a library card?” </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. More Examples <ul><li>Everyday Advocacy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reminding people on an ongoing, everyday basis about library’s resources and activities pertinent to them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Promoting library resources at natural points in a conversation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Probably what you are (or should be) doing already. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Issue-Related: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicating a special message, or advocating for a specific outcome of an important library issue, in selected contexts. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More strategic, deliberate and planned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interjects specific issues into message. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Advice for Frontline Advocates <ul><li>Understand your library and its issues. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengths and weaknesses? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What would happen were it to vanish? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If shy, begin slow and gradually spread outward. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start with friends, family, & neighbors. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Timing is everything. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Draw on extensive experience with patrons to pinpoint the best times to advocate in front of them. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Practice, practice, practice! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t whine. Don’t be obvious or pushy. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t let negative responses discourage you! </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Bibliography & Extra Reading <ul><li>American Library Association. (2010). Where the Action is: Advocating for Your Library from the Front Line [Slide Show]. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>American Library Association. (2010). Every Voice Makes a Difference [PDF]. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><li>(2010). Frontline Advocacy Toolkit. American Library Association. Retrieved from </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(2010). Frontline Advocacy for Public Libraries. American Library Association . Retrieved from </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. The End Thanks for reading, but your work is just beginning!