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Online Advocacy Toolkit

The changing political and economic landscape dictates that public libraries have a formal plan for creating a local base of support. Creating that support is advocacy, and failure to do so could result in an inability to achieve your long-term goals.

Libraries are only one of the many public services competing for a finite pool of tax dollars. To do so effectively, you should turn to the most convincing spokespeople for your library's programs and resources—those you serve on a daily basis. Their stories and support are powerful, but using those positive feelings to benefit the library does not happen automatically.

Libraries have at their disposal two distinct projects to help involve library users. The first is the "Speak Up for Your Library" campaign, through which people can sign up to lend their voice in times of need. The second is the "Libraries for Real Life" project, through which we collect and publish stories from the people whose lives are changed by libraries.

The resources below are the initial step to provide this online service. It is a work in progress and will evolve over time, so it's important that we receive your input. Let us know what is helpful, what isn't, and what is missing.

Advocacy Defined
What is Advocacy? | Why Is It Needed? | Who Should Do Advocacy? | Who Will Advocates Contact? | When Should We Do Advocacy? | How Should We do Advocacy? | We Can't Afford It! | Keys to Success
Developing An Advocacy Plan
Why A Plan Is Needed | Get Organized | Develop An Action Plan | The Action Plan
Making Your Case
Define Your Message | Target Your Audience | Message Worksheet | Identify Communication Strategies | Designate Spokespeople | In Case of Controversy... | Telling Your Story | Using the Library Value Calculator

Collecting Library Stories
Libraries for Real Life | Importance of Stories | How to Collect Stories | Using These Stories

Speak Up for Your Library Campaign
Program Explanation | Sign-up Cards (pdf) | Bookmarks (pdf) | Poster (pdf) -- 8.5x11 | Outreach Ideas | Other Resources...
Sample Annual Reports
Sample Annual Reports
WLA Resources
Library Legislative Day | Tips for Library Advocates | Hosting A Library Listening Session | Easy-to-do Political Campaign Activities | Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries | Selected Library Advocacy Websites | NorthStar Economics Study
ALA Resources
Tools for Advocacy | Advocacy University | Frontline Advocacy | Advocating In A Tough Economy Toolkit | Getting Started as a Library Advocate | Library Advocate's Handbook | Quotable Facts About America's Libraries| The Small But Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library
Other Resources
SCLS Legislative Contacts | Geek the Library | OCLC Advocacy Information | WebJunction: Community Relations & Rural Advocacy | ilovelibraries.org | New Jersey State Library Campaign

 

 

For more information about library advocacy, contact Mark Ibach.