Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Advocating for Book Drives

As the holiday season approaches, I often times find people asking for “unconventional gift ideas” or looking to donate to a charity. As librarians, it seems only natural to recommend literacy based ideas. A few years ago, I had a family approach me stating that they wanted to donate books to the library in lieu of presents. I created a list for the family of books the library could use in our collection (that also fit the families interest) and they gave that to people looking for gift ideas. My current library hosts a book drive in the community every year where they ask the community to donate new books for children from birth to age 18. They also invite staff to donate money for a staff donation. There are also options to collect books as a group and donate. All books and proceeds go to a local Adopt-a-Family program….

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Make Time for Library Advocacy in 2021: Tips for Connecting with Your Elected Officials

The start of a new year is a great time to set new goals, work on new projects, and begin advocating for libraries! Reaching out to share information about your library and voicing your opinions on legislation that impacts libraries can lead to tangible benefits in terms of funding and community support. However, getting started in advocacy often can feel intimidating and overwhelming. To help, Justin de la Cruz, Chair of the Committee on Library Advocacy, and Joe Thompson, Chair of the Committee on Legislation, have answered some questions you may have so you, too, can advocate like a pro!

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Libraries Make Communities More Resilient in Times of Adversity

In times of crisis, when budgets are tight, often public libraries are seen as expendable. While our advocates know the value of libraries, it can be hard to convey their importance as an essential service, especially to government officials who are not library users and only see libraries as repositories for things. However, libraries’ greatest strengths are in the connections we make with the people we serve. We are a critical part of the social infrastructure of our communities, and our role in this infrastructure helps our communities be more resilient through hardships and adversity. Social infrastructure is a term that refers to the spaces and organizations that support and grow social connections. These can be parks, recreation centers, playgrounds, schools, churches, daycares, and, of course, libraries – places where people can meet up with their friends and create new ones, learn, share ideas, and feel connected to their neighbors…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Connecting with Library Voters During COVID-19

In an attempt to find out more information and how I could make a positive impact, I attended the Library Advocacy and Funding Conference (LAFCON), hosted by EveryLibrary. LAFCON was extended from September 14 – 16, to the entire week, and there were still too many interesting presentations to take them all in. What made this conference unique was that all the presenters were from outside organizations. Their unique perspectives help frame advocacy in a larger context and deepen my understanding. Let me share some of my favorite take-aways from LAFCON. They Like Us, They Really Do!