Advocacy Academy

ALA Advocacy Academy / image of people / for local, state, and national advocacy

"Who needs libraries?"

The answer is clear. Communities are counting on their libraries more than ever.

Yet beneath those three words is an iceberg of challenges for the advocate, from delivering on-point messaging, gathering compelling statistics, and re-educating key audiences about the value of libraries, fundamental not only to library workers but to our society at large. Anti-tax rhetoric, privatization of public services, weakening of library governance structures, attacks on intellectual freedom, and the chronic underfunding of libraries and educational institutions point to a systemic shift in our landscape: an attack on libraries as a public service.

We need to make sure the answer is clear to decision makers, too.

What is Advocacy Academy?

Building on the success of Advocacy Bootcamp and combining research with practical application, Advocacy Academy is ALA's foundational advocacy training, intended for advocates across all library types. Advocacy Academy 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 Academy is delivered in modular format and available virtually as well. This training will help library ecosystems prepare to advocate for libraries as fundamental building blocks to democracy.

Training Goals:

  • To teach librarians and library advocates practical and powerful tips on how to be a respected, effective and supported voice in your community.
  • To help librarians understand stakeholder dynamics and build constructive relationships with decision-makers.
  • To empower librarians with skills to tell their library’s story and secure support necessary to serve the community.
  • To provide consistent messaging and an advocacy framework that can be used by libraries of all types throughout a given state, and ultimately, across the country.
  • To provide a mechanism for engaging a broad range of advocates across the library ecosystem.


Key Idea Activity

1: Listen

Advocacy begins with listening. community analysis

2: Build

Building relationships is key to establishing a climate of support. power mapping

3: Connect

A well-timed story amplifies the impact of your message. telling the library story

4: Communicate

Consistent messaging in a unified voice will have greater impact on decision makers. getting your message out

5: Plan

Advocacy is a collective responsibility. self-assessment, planning matrix

For more information or to schedule Advocacy Academy, contact: