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  1. 1. Ontario Public Library Issues Election and Influence Preparedness Stephen Abram Executive Director Jan. 28, 2014
  2. 2. About the Federation   Provides a single, strong voice for public libraries in Ontario to enhance library policies and programs.  Services focus on four strategic pillars: advocacy, marketing, research and consortia purchasing.  Over 215 members representing libraries of all sizes and geographic regions, and serving 80% of Ontario’s population.  2 A not-for-profit membership association established in 2005. Our Board of Directors is composed of an equal number of library board trustees and library chief executives.
  3. 3. What is FOPL?  3 Simply put: Ontario’s Public Libraries. Now more than ever before, they play a critical role in the social, educational, cultural and economic success of the communities in our province. Public Libraries are an essential investment in the future of our communities and are essential drivers of success in school preparedness, reading readiness, economic and employment success, and social equity. As the development of the knowledge economy progresses, public libraries are a vital link for every resident and every community to ensure success of all Ontarians, regardless of location or background.
  4. 4. Public Libraries Transform Communities   427 municipalities offer public library service through 1,085 service outlets.  5.0 million Ontario residents have active library cards.  Ontarians borrow 128.0 million items a year.  Ontario’s public libraries provide access to 10,474 public computer workstations, and hundreds of online resources.  4 98.8% of Ontarians have access to public library service. Ontario’s public libraries offer 152,552 programs with annual attendance of 3,011,116 people. Source: 2009 Ontario Public Library Statistics, Ontario Ministry of Culture.
  5. 5. Our Priorities 1. 2. Dedicated Provincial Funding Program for Public Library Infrastructure and AODA 3. Inclusion in Provincial Literacy Strategies and Funding Streams 4. 5 Adequate and Equitable Public Library Funding Dedicated Funding Program for First Nation Public Libraries on Reserve
  6. 6. 1. Provincial Operating Grants   Represent less than 5% (on average) of the total operating budgets of public libraries, a rate that is now among the lowest of all provinces on a per capita basis.  6 Were cut almost 40% in 1996 and 1997, and have remained static for the past 15 years, with no accommodation for inflation, for population growth, or for the new generation of users with fundamentally different information seeking habits. Recent grants to SOLS and OLS-North were one-time and targeted, and did not necessarily address priorities of local library boards.
  7. 7. 2. Provincial Support for Library Infrastructure Need:  Public libraries have a considerable need for sustainable capital/infrastructure funding, especially for electronic information systems, in order to keep pace with the new generation of users with fundamentally different information seeking habits.   7 In many Ontario communities, the public library is the only place where broadband Internet access is available. Provincial legislation such as the AODA is putting extraordinary financial pressures on public libraries to ensure facilities are accessible.
  8. 8. Limitations of Existing Funding Programs for Infrastructure   8 The funding available through municipalities is insufficient to address the requirement for periodic or ongoing facility updating, accessibility, etc. Municipalities are gatekeepers for accessing provincial and federal funding.
  9. 9. Quantifying the Infrastructure Obligation  Monteith Brown recently completed a Capital Needs Analysis to quantify the infrastructure deficit in Ontario public libraries.  Conclusions of Monteith Brown: – – – 9 Ontario’s public library infrastructure is in crisis and needs immediate attention. The estimated public library capital infrastructure obligation in Ontario is $1.4 billion at present. If not properly addressed, this obligation will grow to $2.1 billion by 2021.
  10. 10. Provincial Support for Library Infrastructure Recommendation:  10 The provincial government should establish an ongoing sustainable funding program designated exclusively for proper maintenance, renewal, renovation, rehabilitation and expansion of Ontario public libraries.
  11. 11. 3. Recent Studies of Library-based Literacy Programs A. B. 11 Quantifying the Scope of Literacy Programs in Public Libraries Measuring Outcomes of Preschool Literacy Programs
  12. 12. Scope of Literacy Programs Context     12 Retained Lumos Research to gather specific data on public library programs in support of family and children’s literacy during 2008. Triggered by a series of provincial literacy strategies in which public libraries were overlooked, such as Ontario Works, Early Years Centres, Parenting and Family Literacy Centres and Best Start Child & Family Centres. Responded to a direct request by former Minister of Culture, Aileen Carroll. Supported financially through her Library Strategic Development Fund. Focused on core literacy programs, which teach reading or writing skills, make beginners familiar with printed materials, provide remedial training, or ESL).
  13. 13. Scope of Literacy Programs – Key Findings & Conclusions   688 core literacy programs were offered across Ontario in 2008.  A total of 1.2 million hours of instruction were provided for these core literacy programs, 86% by library staff.  Early literacy programs in particular, account for 69% of all core literacy programs and are offered in 76% of public libraries.  13 78% of public libraries provide core literacy programs. Public libraries already play an active role in literacy programming, especially for children between the ages of zero to six years of age.
  14. 14. Outcomes Measurement Research - Context  Retained OISE to conduct an Outcomes Measurement Study of Preschool Literacy Programs to demonstrate to the education sector the value of public library services.     Foster pre-literacy skills such as print awareness, narrative skills, letter knowledge, vocabulary and phonological awareness. Develop parent/caregiver understanding of the importance of learning and playing with their children. Enhance children’s development of language and numeracy skills Improve family reading habits.  14 Study participants: Ajax PL, Chatham-Kent County L, Clarington PL, Markham PL, Niagara PL, Ottawa PL, Thunder Bay PL, Toronto PL, Whitby PL, Whitchurch-Stouffville PL.  OISE’s report was received in June 2012.
  15. 15. Outcomes Measurement Research - OISE’s Findings   Early literacy library programs were particularly strong in meeting parents’/caregivers’ goals of fostering children’s school readiness and their motivation to read.  Library staff served as excellent literacy models for parents/caregivers, enabling them to make reading with their children more engaging and more productive.  15 Participating children demonstrated many early literacy behaviours and understandings considered by leading early researchers and experts to be foundational to later literacy success. Overall, early literacy library programs had a noticeable impact on children’s literacy behaviour and on parent/caregiver-child
  16. 16. Recommendations to Provincial Government re Literacy Programs   Broaden the eligibility criteria for provincially-funded literacy programs to include public libraries.  16 Consult extensively with the public library sector before future literacy policies and programs are formulated, because current provincial policies and programs do not recognize the many innovative partnerships that exist at the local level between public libraries, school boards and community agencies. Assist with raising the profile of the public library within both the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Children and Youth Services, specifically for the early learning initiative.
  17. 17. 4. Funding of Ontario’s First Nation Public Libraries     17 No municipal tax base to tap into. No direct federal funding for First Nation libraries. 133 First Nations in Ontario; only 50 have public libraries. Those 50 rely on a small annual provincial grant of $1.50/capita based on 15 year old census data, plus a $13,000 salary supplement.
  18. 18. Service Implications for Ontario’s 50 First Nation Libraries     18 Only open an average of 29 hours per week. Share facilities with another public service in 85% of cases. Staffed by a single (typically part-time) librarian in 97% of cases. Suffer from insecure funding, limited resources for staff salaries, geographic remoteness, lack of political support, small inaccessible facilities, and low profile in the community.
  19. 19. Relevant Advocacy Documents     19 Funding proposal to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada from the National Aboriginal Public Libraries Organization (May 31, 2012) Resolution approved by Special Chiefs Assembly of the Assembly of First Nations (Dec 7, 2011) Submission to National Panel on First Nation Elementary and Secondary Education from the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries (Nov 29, 2011) Our Way Forward, A Strategic Plan for Ontario First Nation Public Libraries (Apr 2004)
  20. 20. Federal/Provincial Support for First Nation Public Libraries Recommendation:  Establish an ongoing, sustainable funding program dedicated exclusively to support the establishment and ongoing operation of First Nation public libraries on reserve. 20
  21. 21. Today’s Workshop  Learn about FOPL efforts to influence  Review a model of a single issue plan  Choose other issues to build on this model  Collect the insights, ideas, and creativity… 21
  22. 22. VIP  Value  Impact / Influence  Positioning 22
  23. 23. Elections: We can . . . 1. Inform our communities about the vital role of libraries in the overall community priorities context. 2. Talk to and engage community groups that value the public library. 3. Engage and Educate politically active citizens in their roles as incumbents, candidates, and political activists. 23
  24. 24. Qualities of Effectiveness         24 LISTEN first Be visible Be likable Be FOR something . . . not just against a policy or position. Be memorable Thank supports for the past support - well and often Follow up with a thank you, And don't complain, whine, attack, or be memorably negative.
  25. 25. The Players           25 Library board members (trustees) The CEO Library management team Library staff The union leadership Community partners Other municipal departments (that may be partners or competitors for public or funding attention) Cardholders The community (groups, associations, individuals, donors) Your associations (FOPL, OLA, OLBA, OPLA, AMPLO, ARUPLO, CELUPL, CULC) and suppliers (SOLS, OLS-N, vendors) who have a shared interest in your success.
  26. 26. CIALDINI’s 6 Factors 1. 2. Consistency and commitment (stay on message so that you're trusted more) 3. Liking (this is a big one - people tend to like those they see more of) 4. Reciprocity (offer to help them as well) 5. Scarcity (know what you offer that they can't get consistently elsewhere) 6. 26 Authority (use your sources that are trusted and good) Social proof (have others speak for you too - especially if they're part of their network or community)
  27. 27. Tips  Be 27 short and to the point  Avoid library jargon  Be visual (pictures and charts)  Avoid raw statistics and instead show measurements and impact  Make your point about impact memorable.  Train everyone connected to your talking points so that they can follow up and not just parrot.
  28. 28. Springboard Stories  Stephen Denning’s book: The Springboard  How Storytelling Ignites Action in Knowledge-Era Organizations  Individual stories with impact  Viral, repeatable stories 28
  29. 29. Story The Impact Factor Checklist           29   Brief Succinct Complete Intelligible Shock Value/Surprise Upbeat Illustrative Appropriate Personable Memorable Inspirational Actionable
  30. 30. Test Your Story(ies) using these ?’s             30 Is it short and sweet? Can listeners quickly get the message and repeat it to others later Is there just enough detail to get the point across or does it wander? Does if answer the basic questions: Who? What? When? Where? How? Will your audience appreciate the situation you are describing? Does this tale resonate? Is the situation unusual in any way? Can the ending be predicted? Where’s the “punch line”? Are they likely to retell it? Does the story have a happy ending? Finish on a high note. Does this story implicitly illustrate an impact the library made and the outcome you want? Does this story fit with your main business? Will the audience identify with or care about your story’s hero? Will the listener be able to remember this story? Can it be easily retold? Does the story have the potential to cause listeners to think about what it means to them? Does the story have the potential to spring the listener to a new level of understanding and action?
  31. 31. FOPL Talking Points The Public Library value proposition is strong and includes (but isn’t limited to): – – – – – – – – – – – – 31 Excellent Return on Investment Strong Economic Development Great Employment Support Welcoming New Canadians Provable Early Literacy Development Ongoing Support for Formal Education and Homework Help Serve the whole community equitably Affordable access to community resources Access to Government Services and e-government Questions Deserve Quality Answers Support Cultural Vitality Recognized and Valued Leisure Activities for majority of Ontarians
  32. 32. Implementation: Talking Point Tools  Tools – – – – – 32 Presentations Handouts Annual Reports Video Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr, etc.) – – – Press releases Print Media Events
  33. 33. Strategies – P’s and C’s and more        Who? What? Where? When? Why? How? (News)         33 Product Place Positioning Promotion People Price Public Relations (Kotler)         Plan  Ploy  Pattern  Priorities   Position  Perspective  (Mintzberg)    Concept Common Interest Community Context Creativity Content Climate Collaborators Counsellors Competitors Citizens Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
  34. 34. Short list of ideas             34  All-candidate meetings in libraries Voter registration tables in library branches Poll stations in library branches on Election Day Social media information strategies about the economic, social, learning and cultural impact of libraries Educational activities about the proven impact of public libraries Offer columns and articles to print media on major issues - print media shines during an election. Be strategic. Offer programs on understanding the local election process for teens, young adults, new Canadians, etc. Invite seasoned politicians and candidates to present. Up your TOUR game for community, candidates, counsellors and add photo-ops. Do a census of your employees. Do you know whom they know? Create events to get your message out there. Have volunteer thank you events Make everything viral. Use tools like social media, infographics, annual reports, and online videos to position the library's goodness and impact well and memorably. Strategically determine the timing of your educational activities value of your library Review your distribution lists to assess what you can use them for promotion
  35. 35. Small Group Sessions  Choose an arena to explore  Volunteer to be a discussion leader  Volunteer to be a scribe  Put your creative thinking hats on  GO! 35
  36. 36. Small Group Topics The Public Library Value Proposition: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 36 Excellent Return on Investment Strong Economic Development Great Employment Support Welcoming New Canadians Provable Early Literacy Development Ongoing Support for Formal Education and Homework Help Serve the whole community equitably Affordable access to community resources Access to Government Services and e-government Questions Deserve Quality Answers Support Cultural Vitality Recognized and Valued Leisure Activities for majority of Ontarians Infrastructure Support (AODA and Buildings)
  37. 37. Workbook  What is the issue? … the real issue  What are your goals?  How do you gain attention?  Who is your audience?  What are your strategic communication and engagement priorities?  Let’s brainstorm . . . And share 37
  38. 38. Thank You Stephen Abram, Executive Director 416-395-0746