ALA releases tough economy toolkit

Contact: Jaclyn Finneke,
Communications Specialist
Office for Library Advocacy
American Library Association
50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-2428; (800) 545-2433, ext. 2428
jfinneke@ala.org

NEWS
For Immediate Release,
January 13, 2009

CHICAGO - A new, Web-based resource has just been released that will help library advocates make the case for libraries during times of economic downturn. The “Advocating in a Tough Economy” toolkit is available at http://www.ala.org/tougheconomytoolkit.

“With city, county, state and federal budgets under increasing pressure, we need to be making the case for libraries more than ever,” said Keith Michael Fiels, ALA executive director. “All too often, libraries are the first to receive budget cuts. Funders need to understand the essential role that libraries play in our society and economy, with usage up significantly and increasing numbers of people coming to libraries for job-related services, for access to government assistance programs and as a way of making their money go further.

“The new toolkit will arm librarians and library supporters with the facts and strategies they need to speak out effectively for libraries in this tough economy,”

The toolkit provides information on how to work with decision-makers and the media – recent media coverage of libraries is included. It also contains talking points to help libraries articulate the role of libraries in times of economic downturn. Talking points on the economic value of libraries (with return-on-investment examples), libraries and the economy and upswings in library usage are included. Users are also invited to share advocacy success stories.

This resource is part of the “Advocacy U”, ALA’s new initiative geared to providing tools, training and resources to library advocates achieve real advocacy goals in real situations at the local level. Learn more at http://www.ala.org/advocacyuniversity.

“The Advocating in a Tough Economy Toolkit” is a work in process. Updates and improvements will be implemented as new information and new success stories become available.

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