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
- Sign up for the Support Libraries distribution list to receive alerts about libraries and library funding.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
- Invite legislators to special
events at your library; special events, programs, summer-reading events.
- Invite legislators to hold
district office hours in the library.
- 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.
- Schedule an Advocacy Workshop for
Library Trustees and Friends and ask for their help in contacting state and
local officials to ask for support.
- Build an advocacy email list to
send messages to supporters when their help in contacting legislators is
- Attend MA Library Association and MA Library System training workshops on Advocacy. Advocacy
updates may also be part of regularly scheduled Automated Network member
- Attend Library
Legislative Day and Legislative Breakfasts, along with trustees, friends, and
users. Relay stories on how the library helped users to change lives.
- Contact your
legislators when requested by MA Library Association.
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