Frontline Advocacy Toolkit: Advocacy Library Teaser

A great deal of important, effective frontline advocacy takes place because of many positive day-to-day interactions that library staff may not consciously think of as advocacy. These include anything from sharing a simple smile to taking the time to tell a neighbor what the library can offer them to going the extra mile for an inexperienced or harried library customer. As a frontline library staff member, you engage in many of these kinds of goodwill building actions every day, and each one of them is frontline advocacy. Frontline advocacy also extends beyond these daily interactions. On a deeper level, it is more conscious, more deliberate, more planned and often encompasses decisions and actions that affect a special issue, concern or crisis. You might presume that this kind of advocacy is the job of your supervisor, library director or, in the case of public libraries, your Friends group. It certainly is; but in truth, every library employee with an interest in advocacy can move to this deeper level if he or she desires. You can do it too. Frontline advocacy of all kinds, but particularly that which is centered around a specific message, issue or challenge, has a better chance of succeeding if there is a “roadmap” to follow. To map out an effective frontline advocacy plan for your library, library administrators, supervisors and managers should consider the following steps: Identify staff who will take the lead and form an effective Frontline Advocacy Team. Find roles for all staff. Determine how library leadership (management, supervisors, trustees and Friends) and non-management frontline employees will work together for advocacy. Make advocacy something everyone will feel comfortable about. Determine a goal. Be able to say why your goal is important and what actions you will take to accomplish it. Craft your message. Tell it to the right people. Determine the best methods of communication. Put your plan on paper. Evaluate your efforts.

Frontline Advocacy Toolkit

Everyone who works at a library can be an advocate. The Frontline Advocacy Toolkit provides practical tools to help frontline library staff at school, public, and academic libraries identify opportunities to advocate for the value of libraries and their own value on a daily basis. Learn to: Identify staff who will take the lead and form an effective Frontline Advocacy team; find roles for all staff; determine a goal; craft your message; put your plan on paper; and evaluate your efforts.