Advocacy Toolkit

The Massachusetts Library community needs to increase advocacy activities to advance the mission and agendas for all types of libraries in the Commonwealth.  We ask support from local and state elected officials by telling our stories of how library programs and services enhance communities and benefit citizens.  The most effective strategies include building relationships year-round, with renewed efforts during the budget process.  Here are some tips on how to best accomplish this. 

In addition to the tips below, there are other websites that offer advocacy information

  1. Sign up for the Support Libraries distribution list to receive alerts about libraries and library funding.
  2. Invite legislators to the library to meet staff, users, trustees, and members of the Friends   of Libraries.  Discuss library mission, agendas, funding, and how your library helps the community.
  3. Describe how line 9501 (State Aid to Public Libraries) allows the library to better serve patrons through programs, workshops and enhanced collections.  Examples include resume development and job searching, cultural and literacy programs, story hours and more.
  4. If your library is a member of an automated network explain how line 9506 funding reduces your annual network assessment.  Networks can generate this data.
  5. Explain how the Massachusetts Library System, line 9401, enhances library by providing physical delivery, reference databases, a statewide E-book platform, continuing education for librarians, services from the Library of the Commonwealth (Boston Public Library)  and more.
  6. Invite legislators to special events at your library; special events, programs, summer-reading events.
  7. Invite legislators to hold district office hours in the library.
  8. Send letters and press announcements to legislators and local news outlets announcing any grants your library receives, including Building, LSTA and state funded Small Libraries in Networks grants. 
  9. Schedule an Advocacy Workshop for Library Trustees and Friends and ask for their help in contacting state and local officials to ask for support. 
  10. Build an advocacy email list to send messages to supporters when their help in contacting legislators is necessary.
  11. Attend MA Library Association and MA Library System training workshops on Advocacy.  Advocacy updates may also be part of regularly scheduled Automated Network member meetings.
  12. Attend Library Legislative Day and Legislative Breakfasts, along with trustees, friends, and users.  Relay stories on how the library helped users to change lives.
  13. Contact your legislators when requested by MA Library Association.

Websites

OCLC Web Junction Advocacy Sites:

1.                  Advocacy in Action: Local Library Awareness Campaigns 

2.                  Common Public Library Funding Myths 

ALA Advocacy Sites

1.                 Advocacy University

2.                 Front Line Advocacy - Academic Libraries

3.                Front Line Advocacy -  Public Libraries

4.                Front Line Advocacy - School Libraries 

5.               Rural Library Resources 



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