Coalition Building: The Power of Many

JIM RETTIG,
2008-2009 American Library Association President

Jim RettigOne of the themes I have stressed in my year as ALA’s President is the power of the library ecosystem. This ecosystem is made up of the vast numbers of school, public, academic and special libraries that work alone and together to deliver learning opportunities from cradle to grave. In these challenging economic times, most libraries in the ecosystem will struggle to sustain public support. Working together in coalition will strengthen advocacy efforts many times over and help libraries thrive rather than just survive.

Advocacy coalitions are not limited to those who work in the library ecosystem. New advocacy coalitions are being created across the country that join libraries with an amazing array of non-library groups that represent the arts, seniors, New Americans, early childhood, literacy organizations and many more. Working in coalition, either with other libraries or with new partners creates a very powerful, effective force to secure funding for libraries.

Use this new tool to help create and build successful advocacy coalitions. The site is built around stories of “real coalitions” that have achieved great success working together either on a single advocacy issue, or on long-term advocacy platforms.

We want to hear more stories of advocacy coalition efforts. We invite you to share your own coalition experiences with others in the library ecosystem. By working in coalition, libraries can survive… and thrive, in healthy and tough economic times.

Contents:

Real Coalitions in Action

Best Practices and Lessons Learned Along the Way

Getting Started: A Step-By-Step Guide

Coalitions Behaving Badly

Eleven Library Advocacy Myths...Debunked

National Survey Results

About This Project