Cultivating Your Local Notables

What's in a Face? A Toolkit for Cultivating Your Local Notables for Library Advocacy

Why enlist the help of a well-known person?

About 130 years ago, a smart London advertiser had an innovative idea: Attach a famous face to your product and increase sales. He approached Lillie Langtry, the legendarily beautiful British actress who was also the reputed paramour of royalty. With a little coaxing - and a healthy payment - Miss Langtry agreed that her likeness could appear in advertisements for Pears Soap. History remembers this event as the first time a celebrity was paid to endorse a product, and it ushered in a new age of promotion. Read more...

Does your community have local notables?

Certainly! Every community, whether it’s a town, an organization, or an educational institution, has local notables (and maybe some genuine celebrities) who can step forward and speak out personally and passionately in support of the library. They may be authors, or they may be notable for other reasons. They may live in your community now, or they may have grown up there and now live elsewhere. There is hardly a community without individuals who are well-known and influential. Read more...

View the Cultivating Your Local Notables Toolkit as a PDF.


Why enlist the help of a well-known person?

Does your community have local notables?

1. Determine whether this kind of advocacy is right for your library

2. Create a working committee

3. Identify your community’s issues

4. Develop advocacy messages

5. Identify and evaluate local notables

6. Develop clear activities and expectation

7. Frame your request as a win-win situation

8. Contact local notables and celebrities

9. Obtain quotes, photos, video messages. Develop letters of agreement, photo releases, public service announcements

10. Develop an ongoing system for soliciting advocacy messages from local notables and celebrities


2010-2011 President Roberta Stevens wishes to thank the Neal-Schuman Foundation for its generous support of the Cultivating Your Local Notables Toolkit, part of the Our Authors, Our Advocates presidential initiative.

The Neal-Schuman Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation formed to aid, assist, and promote research and educational activities for the improvement of library and information services. For more information, contact .