Resources from ALA

The American Library Association has been advocating for libraries and the profession for more than 135 years. With that kind of history and expertise comes a monumental amount of resources, information, and tools. The only problem is: having to slog through all that great stuff to find just what you need.

Not anymore. The links here take you to what you need, whenever you need it.

Practical Tools

ALA Advocacy Tools has everything you've ever wanted to know about building relationships, responding to local library issues, making a budget presentation, and so much more.

52 Ways to Make a Difference: Public Library Advocacy Throughout the Year is a master list of resources--many of which are for children and youth activities and events.

Advocacy Library is a comprehensive collection of advocacy resources covering topics such as measurement/outcomes, censorship, funding, marketing/outreach, and more.

Communicate Value! Advocacy Training provides documents and tools from an advocacy presentation during ALSC’s 2012 Midwinter Division Leadership Meeting. Julie Todaro, Dean of Library Services, Austin Community College, facilitated, “Communicate Value!” to assist attendees with developing compelling messaging to assist with their advocacy efforts.

Frontline Advocacy Toolkit
Every day librarians and library workers around the country serve at the “front lines,” providing critical services to their community. Most don’t even realize the opportunities and potential they have to advocate for the value of libraries and their own value on a daily basis. This toolkit, created in part by frontline public and school librarians, helps empower all levels of library staff to become better advocates for their libraries and themselves.

Dr. R. David Lankes's (Syracuse University, Information School) presentation, “Making a New Promise to Our Communities,” focuses on libraries, advocacy and communities. David’s recent book, The Atlas of New Librarianship, was the winner of the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.
The ALSC Liaison to National Organizations Committee has updated this document designed to encourage early childhood educators to partner with their local public libraries.
United for Libraries is the ALA Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF). Help your trustees, friends group, or foundation speak out on behalf of your library by capitalizing on the advocacy resources from this national network. Your library supporters won't want to miss the Citizens-Save-Libraries Power Guide!
Our YALSA colleagues may work with teens, but ALSC members can still capitalize on this resource-packed toolkit filled with no-nonsense ideas for developing your advocacy message, using web tools, building partnerships, and meeting with elected officials.

Taking Action

Legislative Action Center
ALA’s Washington Office has a beat on all the legislative issues affecting libraries. And supporting those issues couldn’t be easier—the Legislative Action Center does most of the work for you. Issues are clearly and concisely described; talking points and simple steps for action are provided. You’ll even find suggested language for letters to your representatives. And your legislators’ contact information is only a click away. Relay just the right message to your representatives using the action center.

Talking Points

Public Awareness Committee Information Sheet
This information sheet was created by ALSC's Public Awareness Committee to help librarians make the case for funding libraries when talking with elected officials. It includes data about parent support for library programs and how libraries fill a need for children facing hunger during school breaks.

Quotable Facts about America’s Libraries
Did you know that Americans spend nearly three times as much on candy as they do on public libraries? Download the wallet-sized version of ALA’s Quotable Facts and you’ll be armed and ready with clever quotes to help you make your case for libraries. 

Talking Points & Tools
Policy Briefs from ALA's advocacy and public policy staff cover a broad range of issues, all related to how libraries serve the public and uphold the public's right to free and open information.