2. Create a working committee
You’re going to go for it. Who should you ask to help you get started?
Your chances of success will be greater if you work with the right people. Start by forming a small Local Notables Committee, and find people with the skills and connections you need. Recruit your committee members from the following groups:
- People who know people. We’ve all encountered those amazing individuals who seem to know everyone. Their personal or professional networks read like a “Who’s Who” of your community’s leaders. Maybe they are your colleagues if you work in a school or academic library. Enlist their help! Get them on your committee. They can give you valuable insight into who might be willing to serve as a passionate, vocal advocate for your library, plus their personal connections may be the best way to reach your local notables/celebrities.
- Media representatives. Individuals who work in the media cross paths with many notable people, and they also tend to have wide personal and professional networks. In addition, media personnel can often help you with the production and placement of your notables’ advocacy messages.
- Library Friends and Trustees. Whatever your library, your Friends and trustees (or board members) have an interest in your library that goes far beyond even your most faithful library user. They also understand the current challenging funding environment that your library faces. Choose several of the most energetic members of your Friends and Trustees and put their passion to work on your committee.
- Library staff. Select a few staff members who are well organized, enthusiastic and willing to make calls, write letters and take on a variety of tasks as you pursue and host your local notable/celebrity advocates. Involving your staff is important in sharing the ownership of this effort.
- Library volunteers and library lovers in your community. These people already love your library and would probably be honored to help you find and persuade local notables and celebrities to share their appreciation for your library and its services.
- Representatives of unique communities within your community. If your community is home to a corporation, institution of higher learning, or other prominent or unique organization, look for representation from there as well. For example, if a company is headquartered or extremely prominent in your community, ask for someone from that company to join your Local Notables Committee. This strategy can open doors both to people and to other resources you can use.