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Advocacy and the Public Library

Advocacy and the Public Library

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Advocacy and the Public Library

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  1. Advocacy and the Public Library Michael Roche Vermont Department of Libraries September 20, 2011

  2. Definitions… • Public Relations • Marketing • Customer Service • Advocacy

  3. Why Advocacy Matters • Advocacy is needed before we need it • Advocacy is about communication • Advocacy is about making a connection • Advocacy goal(s)

  4. Public Library: a “Soft Service” • What’s been our role? • Technology and the Internet • Media and the library • Challenges we face

  5. Funding and the Public Library • Why People Do and Don’t Support Libraries • Our library users • Perceptions matters • Lack of knowledge of who we are and what we do

  6. Library Image

  7. Why Libraries Don’t Get Their Fair Share • Downplay the importance of political connections • Not very well informed about the political process • Fail to communicate value to community stakeholders • Lingering negative perceptions • We make it easy to cut our budget • Don’t see the value, or don’t want to be political

  8. Advocacy works best when… • It’s used to advance a specific proposal • We have a strong and clear mission • We have clear purpose and solution • Who we need to influence • We have a compelling message

  9. Advocacy Plan-Step 1 • Do you have a clear understanding of the issue? • Does everyone agree on the action that needs to be taken? • Do you have the time to dedicate to a serious planning effort? Can you make the time?

  10. Starting Your Plan-Step 2 • Determine your objective • Identify your target group • Develop strategies • Choose you communication tools

  11. Step 3--Politicking • Make it personal • Library is better at… • Library as part of the community • Be visible • Talk about VALUE

  12. Working with the Town Selectboard • Be positive • Municipal libraries/town elected trustees • Demonstrate the library’s public value • Administratively and operational feasible • Tell a story

  13. Libraries Make a Difference • Libraries save you money • Our doors are open • Save you time and effort • Serve you directly and indirectly • Respect for the individual