The Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library

The Small but Powerful Guide to Winning Big Support for Your Rural Library logo

Win friends and influence decision-makers

The library must make its case like anyone else. Community leaders are bombarded by many competing needs. Your goal - make it easy for them to understand and support the library.

  • Attend meetings. Provide brief monthly or quarterly reports. Call or drop by to chat. Be clear about what you are asking. Link the library’s message to their concerns, e.g. poverty, economic development, technology, preservation of native cultures.
  • Talk about the library’s successes and possibilities, as well as its needs. Provide fact sheets or other handouts.
  • Elected officials listen when voters speak. Get your supporters to speak out at meetings and budget hearings and church and community meetings. Encourage them to send brief letters based on their own needs and experiences.
  • Invite decision-makers to the library so they can see for themselves how well used it is, what you do and what the needs are. Also arrange for them to tour other libraries so they can see the possibilities.
  • Keep them informed. Maintain a VIP list and send the library’s newsletter, annual report and other items of special interest.
  • Thank them. In person, in writing and in public whenever possible.
  • Stay on good terms. Even if they don’t support you this time, they may the next.

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