Designate Spokespeople

There should be a clear understanding of who speaks for the library and when.

The most effective spokespeople are dynamic and confident whether dealing with the media or speaking to the public. They know the message and are skilled at delivering it. They are able to answer the hard questions and give the quotable quotes or “sound bites,” that reporters need for their stories, both in print and on the air.

While the library’s chief spokesperson on policy matters is generally the library director or board president, other spokespeople may be identified for a particular issue or campaign.

In general, librarians and other library staff are most effective when speaking as “expert witnesses” who know and understand the needs of library users. Trustees, Friends and library users are especially effective when giving testimony before public officials or other groups.

Try to use your spokespeople where they feel most comfortable and can be most effective. Media/spokesperson training can help build their confidence and polish presentation skills.

Whoever speaks for the library should feel prepared and enthusiastic about doing so.

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