Advocacy for libraries requires year-round approach. During the summer, you may to build or strengthen important relationships with policymakers and influencers through less formal settings (think of the most influential people to a policymaker). Policymakers may include council representatives, school administrators or board members, state or federal legislators. Influencers may include business leaders, philanthropic donors, civic volunteers, clergy or strong social media users.
- Is summer reading keeping you busy? Invite your leaders to visit your library during these busy times. We know it is "one more thing" during already stressful times for staff. But what better time to show your value to the community!
- Plan now to include a library tour in the back-to-school and orientation events at your school or college campus. Provide demonstrations and "micro-learning" sessions about the full range of services at the library--give them a new experience over their memory of quiet reading rooms with books. School librarians who are solo or juggling multiple schools: need help? Invite your public librarian(s) to help.
- Take a picture of a "co-working space user" or a parent group and record what the library means to them (ask the entrepreneur who "offices" in your library or the homeschooler group who uses the study room every week). The From Awareness To Funding report shows these groups as key constituencies for the future.
- Map your policymaker and key influencer relationships. Print pages 14-19 in the ILF Advocacy Planning Guide for samples.
- Business and community leaders also appreciate being asked to:
- Read or speak as a guest in your program.
- Present the awards or certificates at the conclusion of summer reading or computer classes.
- Take and post a picture with their favorite book or item from your Library of Things.
- Record a 45-second video promoting your fall activities.
for tips OR to tell us about your advocacy this summer.