Advocate's Toolbox

ALA provides information, talking points, and assistance for library workers and library advocates across a range of state and local issues and offers tools to support those efforts.


Funding iconFunding

Investments in libraries are investments in informed, healthy, connected, and resilient communities. 

Talking points:

  • For every $1 invested in a public library, the community receives more than $5 in economic benefit--above and beyond the education, small business support, cultural programming, and other services that benefit library users and non-users alike.
  • Libraries are integral to social infrastructure and serve all members of their communities.
  • Libraries transform communities through education, employment, entrepreneurship, engagement, and empowerment.
  • Libraries facilitate lifelong learning: nurturing a continuum of literacies across age groups, providing skill-building and technical support for job seekers, helping entrepreneurs launch businesses, preserving a community's history, and offering cultural programming.

Resources:

Visit ALA's Library Funding page for information on federal funding for libraries.

 


Broadband iconBroadband

Delivering universal broadband requires coordination across all levels of government; libraries and library associations are key partners in that effort. Libraries are also trusted partners that provide education and decrease barriers to broadband adoption.

Talking points:

  • Libraries are community anchor institutions as defined by the Federal Communications Commission.
  • Libraries are the leading provider of free internet and technology access and training nationwide – at 17,000 public library branches, at school and college campuses, at bookmobiles, and through hotspot lending.
  • Library workers understand the connectivity needs, priorities, and concerns of their communities.
  • Policy makers and community leaders should partner with libraries as they assess, plan, and expand broadband capacity.

Resources:

Visit ALA's federal advocacy page for additional broadband resources.

 


Civic engagement iconCivic Engagement

Libraries serve as trusted third places that are essential to building community and expanding opportunities for civic engagement and dialogue around issues that impact the community.

Talking points:

  • Libraries foster trusted, nonpartisan relationships with diverse audiences across age and demographic groups.
  • Communities rely on libraries for information, resources and events that facilitate increased participation with democratic institutions.
  • Libraries collaborate with elected officials, government agencies, and community partners to increase access to government information and services.

Resources:

 


Tools

Best Practices for Advocacy Websites

Elevator Speech for Library Advocacy

Hosting a Virtual Legislative Event tip sheet

Library Snapshot Day

State Legislatures Calendar from the National Conference of State Legislatures

Students Reach Greater Heights with School Librarians

Year-Round Advocacy Checklist

 

Visit ALA's Advocacy Library for additional resources from across the association.