Why Advocacy Matters for Public Libraries

Posted on May 31, 2016

By Rhonda Sewell 

Long gone is the notion of public libraries lingering in the shadows and doing little to advocate their value to their communities and promote their many offerings, programs, and activities. Advocacy and unapologetic promotion of our transformative systems is now a major priority. Such ideas hold a sacred place in our discussions surrounding public service, strategic goals, funding, construction, marketing, and digital implementation for libraries. Even the Twittersphere of endless hashtags has transitioned from reading sentiments to action items and rallying statements such as #LibrariesMatter, #LibrariesTransform, and #SaveOurLibraries.

Because doing more with less is a reality for public libraries, especially as competition for funding sources and customer demands increases, advocacy matters now more than ever. ¬†“Advocacy, the process of acting on behalf of the public library to increase public funds and ensure that it has the resources needed to be up to date, is critical to the success of libraries,” states the Public Library Association (PLA)[i].

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