Advocacy Academy

"Who needs libraries?"

The answer is clear. And, as communities recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, they are counting on their libraries more than ever.  

Yet beneath those three words is an iceberg of challenges, 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, and the chronic underfunding of library budgets 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, Advocacy Academy is ALA's foundational advocacy training. It is intended for advocates across all library types and is available as a virtual workshop.

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 will help library communities prepare to advocate for libraries as fundamental building blocks to democracy. We will 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.

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 funding for the resources 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: Prepare

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

For more information or to schedule Advocacy Academy, contact: Megan Cusick,