CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Guide to Advocacy and Lobbying

Advocacy is about persuasion, influencing for change, and demonstrating value. You can advocate to anybody, including friends, family, the media, bloggers, sponsors and funders, and so on. Lobbying is a type of advocacy insofar as it attempts to influence change. However, while advocacy refers to attempts to affect some aspect of society, lobbying specifically relates to attempts to influence legislation. Lobbying is about making a case for political change and is targeted towards political representatives.

Both lobbying and advocacy are key instruments for creating awareness of the value of professional skills and the importance of library and information services to society.

How can CILIPS support me?

CILIP Scotland is happy to support you to advocate for your service by providing advice and evidence. We will also respond to consultations or write to any Council or organisations where cuts to library services or library staff is being proposed and where this will affect our members. You can find information on recent changes to services and consultations here and you can read some of our responses to such consultations here.

What can I do?

We have found that campaigning, lobbying, and advocating on a local level can be one of the most effective ways of influencing decision makers. This can take the form of a local campaign group or perhaps via organising a petition (there are a number of online sites that allow this functionality) or writing to your local council.

If you are a staff member there will usually be restrictions on what you can do directly, however if local residents can become active in supporting library services it can raise awareness and hopefully influence decision makers.

You will find useful resources and tips for advocacy and lobbying on this page. To get started, read our Guide to Advocacy and Guide to Lobbying Pages. You can also visit our Campaigning page to find out more about successful campaigns that have demonstrated the value of libraries and protected library services.  You can see what a local campaign might look like here and here.

Also, it is good to be proactive as well as reactive. That is, you do not need to wait until there is a proposed change to a service before advocating for the profession. For example, simple, ongoing initiatives such as the 23 Librarians Project or our Meet our Members blog can be a good way of showcasing the value of the information profession and the achievements of individual people or services. Why not start a similar blog/publish case studies of your own for you area or organisation? This can be a way of raising positive awareness throughout the year, rather than waiting for negative news.

 

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