Other ways to get involved

The following are additional ways you can advocate as a trustee of your library:

  • After you’ve gotten to know key officials, stay in touch even when you aren’t asking for something.
  • Attend hearings on library-related matters. Ask questions and voice your opinions.
  • Be a walking, talking billboard for libraries. Wear t-shirts and other pro-library accessories.
  • Be on the alert for good library user-stories and forward to the appropriate person.
  • Create a database with names of advocates, their contact information, names of their elected representatives and other pertinent information. Keep it current. Send it, along with the annual report, funding and legislative updates, and other concerns, to library advocates along with the library newsletter.
  • Maintain your advocacy network. Invite library users and others to testify at budget hearings, participate in media interviews, and visit legislators.
  • Work in collaboration with other organizations or departments. The library has a lot to offer potential partners as a visible, respected place with high traffic.
  • Participate in influential community or campus groups and use this as an opportunity to get the library’s message out and recruit advocates.
  • Participate in state and national Library Legislative Days.
  • Raise funds to help raise awareness and build support for the library.
  • Recruit others to join you in speaking out for libraries.
  • Start an advocacy committee to work with library administrators and the board in building public awareness and support for the library.
  • Support candidates who support the library and donate to their campaigns.
  • Survey your library’s trustees, Friends and supporters. What civic or professional organizations do they belong to? Are they willing to write letters, call legislators and recruit more advocates? Do they have contacts with the media, administration, school board or community? Utilize this important resource.
  • Thank everyone involved in an advocacy effort. Whether it’s a personal letter, or a party or plaque, a thank you is a powerful tool.
  • Use a library message or quotation as part of your e-mail signature.
  • Use your political savvy and connections on behalf of the library.
  • Work at keeping a high profile for your library. Develop a marketing communication plan with a strong, consistent message.
  • Write, email, or call legislators and decision-makers to let them know you want them to support libraries.

 

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