Frontline advocates need strategies for talking about the value of their library to the community - and their value as library staff members – and also for talking about special library issues and needs. Strategies are the result of clearly understood goals and objectives. Start this process by asking yourself:
- What are you trying to accomplish? This is your goal. State your goal as simply and clearly as you can below.
- Example 1: Do you want to remind people that the library is a great place for borrowing movies free of charge?
- Example 2: Are you trying to prevent the closure of libraries one day a week, such as Mondays?
- Your goal:
- What are the reasons this is important? These are your objectives. Start by listing all the positive results you expect if this goal is accomplished. In the first example above, getting movies from the library saves money. In the second example, if the library remains open on Mondays, students will have a safe place to go after school to do homework and use computers. There are many more reasons too. List them below.
- What are the negative effects if the goal is not achieved?
- Why should people care?
- How are you going to persuade them? What will your actions be? These are your strategies. Ask as many people in your library as possible to add ideas. At this point, there are no bad ideas! Here are our two earlier examples again:
Let people know about the great selection of movies at the library by distributing bookmarks listing DVD borrowing rules and update them with new titles. Designate an eye-catching display area for movies. Invite library customers to fill out a colorful card that lists their favorite movies from the library, then display those cards.
In order to help keep libraries open on Mondays, ask the students who use the library to write a letter to the Mayor saying why they need the library after school. Enlist the help of teachers by getting fliers to schools. Send fliers home with students that explain the situation and ask their parents for support.
Make this list of strategies as long as you can.