Getting Started as a Library Advocate

Advocacy Action Plan Workbook (PDF)
A guide designed to help you create an action plan for library advocacy. It will help you focus on what you need to do, how you intend to get it done, and how to ensure that the timing is maximized for the best results. The types of activities and task forces listed in the workbook are only suggestions. Depending on the type of campaign you design and what you believe will work best in your community, you might create other types of task forces with other types of activities.

Developing Your Advocacy Plan (PDF) or word document
Before you put your plan on paper, think carefully about what you hope to achieve.

Develop Your Campaign's Message (PDF) or word document
A basic element of any public awareness and advocacy campaign is a communication plan with clearly defined key messages, audiences and strategies for reaching those audiences. It’s important that all library staff and advocates understand the plan, its rationale and their role in supporting it.

Essential Tips for Success & Checklist for Getting Started
Each of us has countless opportunities to spread the word, whether it’s in the grocery store line, across the circulation desk or backyard fence. A letter or phone call to the right person can be the deciding factor. Remember, you can make a difference.

Frontline Advocacy Toolkit 
An Initiative of ALA President Camila Alire, this toolkit is designed to motivate, encourage, provide content, train, and educate librarians and library workers at the front lines in advocating for their libraries and their profession.

Getting Started as a Library Advocate
Receive information on why you should be a library advocate, who can be a library advocate and why we need library advocacy now more than ever.

cover of Library Advocate's HandbookLibrary Advocate's Handbook
The Library Advocate's Handbook covers basis techniques that work, whether you are seeking an increase in funding, campaigning for a new building or dealing with controversy on social networking or the USA PATRIOT Act.

Online Courses

Ask the Advocate: Find What You Need to Make the Case
Attendees had opportunities to ask questions pertaining to advocacy issues at their library, as well as learn what resources are available to help make the case for libraries.

Engaging Communities Through Controversy
Diane McNutt and Jane Light, Silicon Valley Reads, will describe this library’s "one book-one community" program in Santa Clara (Calif.) County. Its 2012 program, "Muslim and American -Two Perspectives," featured two books written by American Muslims, ("The Muslim Next Door" by Sumbul Ali-Karamali and "The Butterfly Mosque" by G. Willow Wilson). More than 100 programs were presented, including author readings, panel discussions, films, an open house evening at a local mosque and an art exhibit.

Every Voice Makes a Difference: Frontline Advocates
Frontline library advocates work at all levels in all types of libraries—public, academic, school and special—and are the internal/external face and voice of the library. They can tell the library’s story and deliver the library’s message at their comfort level and with people they know best. Because every staff member is the face of the library to his/her respective community, each infl uences what the community knows and thinks about the library; and all librarians and library staff are perfectly poised to inform people about their library’s value and needs.

Transforming Libraries
Visionary professor R. David Lankes, author of the award-winning “Atlas of New Librarianship,” and Barbara Stripling, Co-Chair of ALA President Molly Raphael’s Empowering Voices, Transforming Communities initiative, presented a free webinar on Thursday, March 8, 2012 designed to stimulate conversation about harnessing the evolving role of libraries and strengthening the librarian’s voice to help shape community perception.

Available from the ALA Store

Grassroots Library AdvocacyGrassroots Library Advocacy
Library issues are community issues—it’s not enough to simply marshal internal library resources to fight cutbacks. When properly harnessed, public engagement can be the most powerful force of all for library advocacy. But rounding up advocates from the wider community and conducting a grassroots effort demands careful planning and commitment.

Say it with dataSay It with Data: A Concise Guide to Making Your Case and Getting Results
Administrators, policy makers, legislators, and the public demand concrete, measurable evidence of the need for libraries and their use. The collection and dissemination of data about library service in a straightforward, convincing manner are integral components of library advocacy in the current economic climate. Addressing frontline librarians lobbying for increased programming or staff, as well as administrators marshalling statistics to stem the tide of budget cuts and prevent library closure, this new book explores the whys and hows of using data to build a better picture of library needs and success.

Being a teen library serivces advocateBeing a Teen Library Services Advocate
In this guide, former YALSA President Braun explains what teen services advocacy is and why it is important. Braun gives readers the information required in order to advocate for teens and as a result improve library services, the value of the library in the community, and the lives of young adults.

Visible librarianVisible Librarian: Asserting Your Value with Marketing and Advocacy
Recent law, corporate, and even public library closings are the sad confirmation that libraries are no longer a given. Despite the fact that librarians bring unique value to their communities and organizations, too often their work goes on under the radar. The benefits provided by information professionals are invisible and taken for granted as Internet search engines replace real experts. It's time to assert your value and the value of the resources you marshal. Step from behind the desk or computer to make your community aware of just how indispensable your services are. Here are all the tools you need to become the "squeaky wheel" and attract the attention your work deserves.


Libraries prosperLibraries Prosper with Passion, Purpose, and Persuasion: A PLA Toolkit for Success
Your Library is an Invaluable Community Resource! But does the public know that? Make your library’s message known. As competition for dollars continues to intensify, library staff and trustees must learn to connect the library directly to what the community values most. Through an effective, sustained advocacy effort, libraries can be positioned—and remain—top-of-mind for the public and funders. Creating an advocacy plan for your library is the first step. Libraries Prosper with Passion, Purpose and Persuasion: A PLA Toolkit for Success provides guidance for the entire planning process, including goal setting, audience analysis and identification, message and strategy development, and tactic evaluation and selection.

Advocacy outreach and the nation's academic librariesAdvocacy, Outreach and the Nation’s Academic Libraries: A Call for Action
In the current fiscal environment, college and university librarians must clearly articulate their value to the teaching, learning and research missions of their institutions. Advocacy, Outreach and the Nation’s Academic Libraries provides a framework for opening dialogue and incorporating advocacy by exploring opportunities for advocacy and focusing on the world of civic engagement as well as the role of librarians as advocates on campus.