By not specifically highlighting how the work of public libraries impacts disadvantaged populations we’re simultaneously selling ourselves short, reinforcing the idea that libraries are for some and not all, and slowly but surely digging our own grave. Our advocacy must start getting real about who is using our libraries and for what reasons. A public building is intended for public use, and not just the version of the public that people feel comfortable being around. Our facilities, services, programming and materials should be able to be used by even the most marginalized in our societies. Otherwise we’re not doing our job and assisting in its demise.
Posts Tagged ‘Library Advocacy’
The zipping and whirling of a 3D printer welcomed U.S. Representative Charlie Crist to the Clearwater (Fla.) Public Library’s Maker Studios in mid-July. The bright blue plastic filament was steadily building the 700th print job submitted by patrons at the Innovation Studio – one of five makerspaces at the Main Library. During Rep. Crist’s visit, the Clearwater Maker Studios showcased some of the ways libraries around the country are adapting to the growing technology, business, and creative needs of their communities through the creation of makerspaces.
I’d like to reveal an important lesson that all librarians need to understand by telling a story that opened my eyes to the power of libraries and of librarians. There are a number of lessons to be learned from this story, but most important may be the realization that we can’t keep underestimating our community’s respect and love for what we provide them.
The #LibrariesResist movement allows you to be involved in activism in the way that best suits you.
Despite increased library usage, libraries are still not allocated budgets representative of their community impact. How can libraries best demonstrate the return on investment taxpayers receive for each tax dollar spent as well as the social benefit and impact of library services?
National Library Legislative Days are scheduled for May 2–3, 2016. If you have plans to travel to Washington, DC, that’s terrific! If such a trip isn’t in your budget or doesn’t seem worth your time—we have a solution tailored for you.
A new evidence-based perspective on evaluating the advocacy efforts of public libraries is being developed. By drawing on research from other disciplines and the latest studies on libraries, a set of advocacy best practices is emerging. Findings show that building strong relationships with funding decision-makers and other related tactics of interpersonal influence could be important advocacy tools.
“The Political Librarian” is slated to be EveryLibrary’s venue and platform for the advocacy work they do. Their motto is “Any library initiative anywhere matters to every library everywhere.” Everylibrary trains, coaches, and consults library stakeholders and supporters to increase civic awareness to win campaigns and funding at the local level for libraries.
Contests in the library can be an easy, high return way to collect anecdotes about library use from the community. This information can be used to influence decision-makers by putting a relatable face on usage data.
Big data is everywhere and patrons are increasingly turning to libraries to learn not only what it is, but how it can help their businesses. And just as businesses use big data to target their customers and generate more sales, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) saw an opportunity to better determine how to best deliver relevant content to its users by implementing big data. Their experience is one that could well help other public libraries leverage all their data to best serve patron needs.
Are you looking for an opportunity to advocate for public libraries? Do you feel strongly about national library funding? Take advantage of National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) on May 4th and 5th. Join your voice with other library advocates.
My favorite library conference tchotchke of all time is a button I received from the PLA membership booth several years ago. It reads, “Ask me why I love my job!” Considering the fact that I would have proudly worn that button the first day I started working in a public library thirty-two years ago and would still do so today makes me feel very fortunate. Of course those who dare to ask the question need to be prepared to cut me off at some point (luckily for you, there’s an end to this column).
Have you drawn up New Year’s resolutions for your library? Take a look at this list of library resolutions designed to create more community-centered libraries and librarians. What’s your library resolving to do this year? Tell us in the comments.
Over the past few years, the Miami-Dade Public Library has faced the brutal reality of continually decreased funding in a time when more and more citizens have been utilizing the library.
This past January, Every Child Ready to Read @ your library, 2nd edition, nabbed the top prize at the 2014 Opening Minds Innovation Awards in Chicago. This is huge news for public libraries and children’s librarians everywhere, so grab your egg shakers and celebrate!