After Your Declaration Signing Event

Congratulations! You have completed an event that has raised awareness of the role of the library in the community and expanded and strengthen your network of supporters. But this can quickly evaporate without continued promotion of the Declaration and conversations with your supporters and the media.

In the Week Following the Event

  • Send thank you notes to participants (speakers, volunteers, partner organizations).
  • Distribute post-event press release with photos.
  • Submit your results, stories, and photos to ALA here.
  • Post photos/video segments on social media, blogs, etc.
  • Submit letters-to-the-editors to expand coverage. Invite community partners and local notables to co-sign.

Presentation of Signed Declaration

When you have completed collecting signatures and testimonials from patrons, make appointments to make individual presentations to your mayor and state legislators. Consider a joint presentation with other libraries in your Congressional District for your U.S. Representative.

In preparation for you appointment, consider:

  • Who to bring (include community allies)
  • Who will speak
  • What to say
    • Describe type of people that attended the signing (kids, seniors, etc.).
    • Share total number of signatures collected.
    • Select 3-4 tenets of the Declaration to discuss. These should be ones that address issues of greatest importance to your community.
    • Share 3-4 patron stories/testimonials, possibly ones that tie in with the discussed tenets.
    • Remember to resource Talking Points.
  • Don’t forget your camera.
  • Plan what you will leave behind, such as a brief handout with relevant statistics about your library and the community.
  • Send photos from presentations to the media, and post on website, social media, and in your newsletter. Don’t forget to send photos to the official you visited for use in their communications.

In the Library

Keep the Declaration visible on both inside and outside the library building following the signing event.

  • Embed Declaration web badge on front of the library website, available here
  • Create simple web page that includes an invitation to come to the library to sign the Declaration. If holding signings out in the community, include details. Link to ALA Declaration website.
  • Create a display Declaration for the Right to Libraries poster with signing sheets.
  • Have staff make a brief announcement about the Declaration at each library program. Have signing sheets at program, or encourage people to visit the signing table on their way out.
  • Post an invitation to visit the Declaration signing table on the front of the library.

Out in the Community

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! with your Declaration signing sheets. Check with you community partners. See if you can set up a table at the:

  • Shopping mall
  • Coffee shop
  • Movie Theater (Request a pro-bono slide with the previews)
  • Fast food restaurant
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Community Fair
  • Senior Housing
  • Your block party or apartment building lobby
  • Check with your Board members for more ideas

Long Range

Your efforts in support of the Declaration will continue to reap benefits for the library and the community. When issues arise and the library reaches out for support, you will already be a familiar face. Remember: all relationships need tending.

  • Confirm that old and new allies are on the library e-mail list.
  • Feature the stories and testimonials collected during the initiative in the library’s newsletter and on the website.
  • Make sure your elected officials know that library staff is available for research assistance.
  • Always have statistics close by for use in conversation or e-mails as appropriate (e.g. # of visitors, circulation, and increases over previous year if significant; # of people that attended job search or health programs)
  • Host community conversations. These can be conversations about the library or about other community issues. Wondering where to start? Check out these materials created for libraries by the Harwood Institute.