Your voice counts! As a library patron, you are the heart and soul of the library community, and have a crucial voice in making the case for libraries. As part of a voting constituency, you can capture the attention of decision-makers like no one else. The opportunities for involvement are as far-reaching and flexible as your skills and schedule can allow. Read on to learn what steps you can take today to help your local library thrive.
If you’re visiting Ilovelibraries.org, chances are you already know what a treasure your library is. But did you know that there’s a good chance that your library needs your help? Consider getting involved in your local library. Here’s how:
- Learn about your library. Talk to your librarian, Trustees and others involved to learn about their current needs and issues.
- Become a Library Friend: Friends groups can make the difference between a budget increase and a budget cut for their libraries. As much money as Friends raise through book sales and other activities, a 1% increase in your library’s budget can add up to tens of thousands of dollars or more depending on the size of your library’s budget. Not only that, but many libraries across the country owe their new additions or new buildings to an effective advocacy campaign waged by the Friends to ensure community support. You can make a long lasting and significant difference for your library through Friend advocacy.
- Become a Library Trustee: Trustees play an integral role in advocacy for their library. The quality of a library’s services ultimately rests with the library’s Board of Trustees and, therefore, it is critically important that they do everything they can to ensure that the library has the resources it needs. Trustees can be powerful advocates for their library. If libraries are to thrive in the 21st century, Trustees must step up and let those who fund them know that communities and even our democracy depend on free and open access to the wide variety of materials and resources an excellent library with excellent funding offers.
- Become a Library Advocate: At its most basic level, advocacy is simply voicing your support for something you believe in and encouraging others to do the same. In the world of libraries, this might be as simple as telling your friends and neighbors about the great things happening at your local library, or talking to decision-makers about how your public, school, academic or special library is in need of additional funding or a new or improved facility. Your voice counts! As a library patron, you are the heart and soul of the library community, and you have a crucial voice in making the case for libraries.