CILIPS Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals in Scotland
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Libraries Matter – Let People Know!!

Category: Blog

The following is a guest blog from Liz McGettigan, CILIPS President

Yes we love our libraries our communities and our work so we take it for granted that everyone knows all of the amazing things we do to meet council and national agendas – YES?

Everyone knows we put great resources and learning in our users hands, but  don’t always understand all of the other ways our public and school libraries contribute to the community. They don’t know that we open late and weekends, that we have great meeting spaces, do amazing outreach work and deliver literacy initiatives like Bookbug, author events and book clubs. They may not know how many people use our free internet and IT learning classes, job and career support, small business support and resources. Do they know about your homework club, makerspace or robotics club? What about the MacMillan Cancer Care support, the Citizens’ Advice surgeries? Your local councillor surgeries? So much more……………………..

Maybe most importantly they need to know about your dedication to the free and open access to information for all. Now is the time to make sure they understand! As “fake” news proliferates who can people rely on? Surely in the midst of this chaos we have a duty to our communities. We need to own the agenda!

Soon CILIP in Scotland will be launching “Libraries Matter” and it’s high time your library takes this time to educate the public about the importance of their library and the staff.

As part of the campaign CILIPS will be creating a toolkit to help members advocate. On that theme, I thought this American article entitled ADVOCATE PROACTIVELY was really useful.

Perhaps best advice is on an advocacy message using the “Pixar pitch,” Their pattern:

  1. Once upon a time there was …
  2. Every day …
  3. One day …
  4. Because of that …
  5. Because of that …
  6. Until finally … .. also

The article gives many other useful tips

  • Talk in verbs, not nouns. Nouns (like books, computers) can be cut; verbs (inform, learn, collaborate) are more difficult to cut.
  • Be bold in getting your message out
  • Develop an effective elevator speech
  • Talk about results and ROI
  • Make use of personal relationships.
  • Make friends with local media

Make a list of who you need to target in your community, council and network. Never was it more important to be an advocate, to self-promote and shout about what you do.


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