Become a Library Advocate with NPSIG!


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NPSIG presentation on library advocacy, held on 19 Oct at the virtual Library 2.013 conference

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Become a Library Advocate with NPSIG!

  1. 1. New Professionals Special Interest Group Become a Library Advocate with NPSIG! Library 2.013 October 19, 11:00 EST
  2. 2. Today We Will Discuss • What is library advocacy? • Why is library advocacy important? • What is the role of new professionals in library advocacy? • What are techniques for effective advocacy? • What are specific issues I can use to explain why libraries are important? • How do I build my own advocacy toolkit to become a more effective advocate?
  3. 3. Why advocate? • Most people don’t understand what we do • If people don’t understand what we do, they can’t make informed decisions about libraries • No one else is going to justify our existence for us: the buck stops here • Most importantly: – Libraries play a crucial role in the information society – let’s brag about it!!!
  4. 4. It’s all in the details • Be clear, succinct and specific • Always have 3 specific issue areas that you can pull out of your back pocket • Use plain language and catch phrases so that anyone you talk to will be able to repeat what you said to another person • Choose topics that you are passionate about or have lots of experience in
  5. 5. Access to Digital Information “Libraries are the primary cultural and scientific institutions for providing information as a public good and preserving our cultural heritage. To fulfill their mission in the digital age, libraries need an updated system of copyright limitations and exceptions.” Collection of templates:
  6. 6. Access to Digital Information  Prove your point with statistics! The WIPO Study on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives by Kenneth Crews (2008) looked at the statutes of 149 of the 184 WIPO Member States and found that the provision of exceptions vary around the world: • 21 countries do not have library and archive exceptions at all; • 27 countries have general exception solely for libraries; • 74 countries have exceptions for copying for research or study; • 72 countries have exceptions for copying for preservation provisions; • 67 countries have exceptions for copying for replacement of worn out originals no longer available for purchase; • 17 countries have exceptions for document supply; • 6 countries have exceptions for loans between libraries; and • 26 countries have exceptions for legal workarounds for anti-circumvention of Technological Protection Measures. Source:
  7. 7. Internet Governance Libraries play an important public-service role in the information society, especially in the area of Internet governance: • Provide open, equitable & affordable access to information • Improve ICT literacy and community connectivity • Advocate for public access to the Internet  In plain language: Libraries give people (especially in underserved communities) access to the Internet and librarians show them how to use it! Source:
  8. 8. Internet Governance Open Government and Open Data: of the 47 governments who have so far signed up to the OGP only three have action plans that address the demand side of open government – who is going to tell citizens that there is data available, and who is going to give those without home computers access to it?  Libraries can: in Romania, for example, over 400 public libraries helped 17,000 farmers access government portals to obtain agricultural subsidies that brought back over $20m into their communities Source:
  9. 9. Libraries Powering Development Development in the 21st century demands access to information. Libraries further development by: • Helping people in developing countries get the information they need to access economic opportunity, improve their health or support their communities • Serving as cost-effective, sustainable center for inclusive Internet access Public libraries are uniquely positioned to act as hubs for development projects because: • They are local institutions with existing resources that people already know and trust • They already have dedicated funding and ongoing public support – this makes partnerships between libraries and other fields (health, agriculture, civic engagement, education, information literacy) easy and ideal Source:
  10. 10. Libraries Powering Development Use statistics: • At the beginning of 2013, only 35% of the world’s population is connected to the Internet • 73% of public libraries are located in developing and transitioning countries
  11. 11. Libraries, eLending and eBooks The recent explosion in availability and popularity of eReaders and tablets has seen a growing demand for downloadable eBooks in public libraries BUT… trade publishers and authors are withholding sales to libraries where this is believed to undermine overall sales and royalties Source:
  12. 12. Libraries, eLending and eBooks eBook lending is complex for many reasons, including: • The structure and operations of the publishing and library sectors country to country can differ substantially. • There is a diverse range of eBook platforms and standards in the market which are often not compatible and, in the case of library applications, not user friendly or accessible. • Scholarly and trade publishing have fundamentally different business models and take very different approaches for digital sales to libraries. • The transition from print to digital is raising new legal issues for policymakers to address, especially in the area of copyright and its underlying principles which have enabled library lending in the print era. • The same transition, and the potential for digital lending models to collect and store large amounts of information on users’ reading habits, raises fears regarding the protection of user privacy.  Libraries can and should play a crucial role in the development of eLending policies that get users access to content in the format they desire (which is, increasingly, digital).
  13. 13. The Future Our information environment is constantly changing. How will we access, use and benefit from information in an increasingly hyperconnected world? Libraries are uniquely positioned to tackle the greatest information questions of our age in ways that benefit the users (or consumers) of information. This is what we’ve always done. Source:
  14. 14. The Future Top level trends identified by the IFLA Trend Report: 1. New Technologies will both expand and limit who has access to information. 2. Online Education will democratize and disrupt global learning. 3. The boundaries of privacy and data protection will be redefined. 4. Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower new voices and groups. 5. The global information environment will be transformed by new technologies.
  15. 15. Sample Scenario Who: Me [top interests = international development, open access to knowledge, using technologies to open access to information] Where: Dinner table What: When I say I work at a library, a new acquaintance asks, “Are you nervous about the future of your profession? Isn’t everything just being posted online these days?”
  16. 16. How do I respond?? • Option 1: Jokingly say, “I’m just in it for the cardigans.” – WRONG!!! • Option 2: Use this as a valuable moment to enlighten someone about the important work you do and practice your newfound advocacy skills. – RIGHT!!!
  17. 17. Building My Case Libraries are still important in the way they always were: they provide open access to information. With the change from books to digital information, our jobs have become more important and complex. 1. As essential life processes move online (applying for jobs, banking, education, filing taxes, etc.) only 35% of the world’s population is connected to the Internet 2. Libraries provide access to the Internet and librarians show people how to use it 3. Librarians are committed to making sure that future policies, such as copyright of digital information / ebooks, benefit the user by remaining openly accessible in libraries and easy to use
  18. 18. In Conclusion • From the above slides or your own experience and research, pick the issues that are important to you and be ready to talk about them in ways that make sense to people outside our field. • Always have at least 3 good talking points in your back pocket that you can pull out in any situation
  19. 19. Learn More • Find case studies of successful library advocacy campaigns at this link: – Activities and Groups >BSLA > Building Strong Library Associations > Module 5: Libraries on the Agenda Contact NPSIG! Email: Twitter: @npsig Blog: