Library Advocacy Resources


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presentation to library trustees on advocacy

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Library Advocacy Resources

  1. 1. Advocacy Resources: What Trustees Should Know Presented by: Dr. Curtis R. Rogers Director, Division of Statewide Library Services South Carolina State Library
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>What is advocacy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The act of pleading or arguing in favor of something, such as a cause, idea, or policy; active support. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why is advocacy important? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Elevator scenario. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exercise: three important facts about the library. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Advocacy Highlights <ul><li>American Library Association </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues & Advocacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Association of Library Trustees and Advocates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion group, training events at annual ALA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>FOLUSA – Friends of Libraries USA </li></ul><ul><li>FOSCL – Friends of South Carolina Libraries </li></ul><ul><li>National Library Week: April 10-16, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>Events/Programming - discussion </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is FOSCL? <ul><li>To help foster, create, and support local friends of the library groups, and to provide a means for these groups to work together for the betterment of library service in South Carolina. </li></ul><ul><li>To serve as a resource for local friends groups. </li></ul><ul><li>To promote wider knowledge and use of libraries as cultural and information centers for individuals and groups. </li></ul><ul><li>To support improved library education in South Carolina. </li></ul><ul><li>To support the Library Bill of Rights. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Where to start… <ul><li>Identify: Who are the advocates? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Library Trustees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library Friends </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library Users </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community Leaders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians and library staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential advocates </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Tips… <ul><li>Build an “Advocacy Network”: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Designate a coordinator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a clear message (3-4 words/Slogan) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a database of names/contacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure all receive the library’s newsletter. (If your library doesn’t have a newsletter, volunteer to create one!) </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What can be done… <ul><li>Library staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be enthusiastic and positive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet with key community members </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay informed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep supporters informed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recruit advocates </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Trustees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep up with hot topics like censorship, funding, literacy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get to know local officials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participate in legislative day (March 2, 2005) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hold annual event for supporters </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Plan for Action! <ul><li>Define goals and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Identify critical tasks: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Steering committee </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Volunteers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Activities coordinator/liaison </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fundraising </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Plan to communicate! <ul><li>Define the key message </li></ul><ul><li>Target the key audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Identify communication strategies (see Communications Handbook) </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about local and regional media </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to spread the word in an effective manner! Document! </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to write effective press releases. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Timetable <ul><li>Set a timetable </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Initially weekly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then monthly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is important in your community during certain months? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Can you share activities with other groups and offer the library’s meeting facilities? </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Evaluate <ul><li>Focus groups – before and after an advocacy campaign </li></ul><ul><li>Questions: Has funding improved? </li></ul><ul><li>Did demand for service increase? </li></ul><ul><li>Did you receive editorial support? </li></ul><ul><li>Did you get requests after items appeared in the media? </li></ul><ul><li>What type of comments did you hear? Receive in letters? </li></ul><ul><li>Were you successful in building your advocacy network? </li></ul>
  12. 12. Telling your story… <ul><li>Statistics vs. stories </li></ul><ul><li>Thank you letters </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing a story with appropriate audience: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it simple, brief and personal. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a beginning, middle and end. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a good “punch line.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not use real names unless you have been given permission. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Story Example <ul><li>The children’s book Dinosaurs Divorce was challenged in one library by a parent who felt it might be distressful for children. However, one little girl wrote a letter to her library saying that book helped her to stop crying because it made her realize that she wasn’t responsible for her parents getting divorced. What if that little girl hadn’t been able to read that book?! </li></ul>
  14. 14. Advocate Checklist <ul><li>Contact the library </li></ul><ul><li>Stay informed – get on mailing lists </li></ul><ul><li>Speak up! Talk to neighbors, co-workers, relatives… </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest libraries for program topics to outside groups </li></ul><ul><li>Attend local government meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Call in to radio talk shows </li></ul><ul><li>Call, e-mail, write letters to legislators, local officials… </li></ul><ul><li>Attend library legislative day </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit others </li></ul><ul><li>Join or start a friends group </li></ul>
  15. 15. Additional Resources <ul><li>FOLUSA Advocacy Checklist (#13) </li></ul><ul><li>PLA – </li></ul><ul><li>LFF/ALC </li></ul><ul><li> (Trustee Section) </li></ul><ul><li>SC Literary Map </li></ul><ul><li>FOSCL (next slide) </li></ul><ul><li>Your Library’s Promotional Items </li></ul>
  16. 16. Q&A <ul><li>Contact: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dr. Curtis R. Rogers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SC State Library </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PO Box 11469 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Columbia, SC 29211 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phone: 803-734-8928 </li></ul></ul>