Advocacy Bootcamp

"Who needs libraries?"

Beneath those three words is an iceberg of challenges, from delivering on-point messaging, gathering compelling statistics, and the need to re-educate key audiences on the value of libraries, fundamental not only to librarians, but to our democratic society at large. The recent rash of anti-library trends, including the anti-tax movement, privatization, removal of independent library boards and deprofessionalization, as well as censorship challenges to books, speakers and displays, all point to a systemic shift in our landscape that is very different than budget cuts and recession: an attack on libraries as a public service.

What is Advocacy Bootcamp?

Advocacy Bootcamp urges attendees to re-think advocacy: to re-define the library community and expand the way we have been advocating for libraries. Typically held as a pre-conference at state and regional conferences, Advocacy Bootcamp will help library communities prepare to advocate for libraries as fundamental building blocks to democracy. In this joint effort of ALA's Office for Library Advocacy and the Office for Intellectual Freedom, we'll explore some of the brutal facts about our current environment, celebrate our assets, and offer practical tips to reclaim a moral sanction for the work we do, and the support our communities deserve.

Building on the momentum and resources of ALA’s new public awareness and advocacy campaign, Libraries Transform, focuses on four key messages:

  • Libraries transform lives.
  • Libraries transform communities.
  • Librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning.
  • Libraries are a smart investment.

The program will cover advocacy basics such as messaging, networking and community engagement.  Intellectual Freedom history and principles, forming both the ethical center and essential brand of librarianship, will also be highlighted.  Attendees will focus on working on an advocacy plan that they can implement in their library.

Training Goals:

  • To empower librarians with skills to tell their library’s story and secure funding for technology, e-books, and other resources.
  • To teach librarians and library advocates practical and powerful tips on how to be a respected, effective and supported voice in your community.
  • To provide consistent messaging and an advocacy framework that can be used by libraries of all throughout a given state, and ultimately, across the country.
  • To provide a mechanism for mentoring new advocates and creating a succession plan for advocacy.

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