Library advocates know that public libraries are essential to their communities. Help your neighbors and legislators understand the value of the library by being an advocate.
1. SPEAK UP!
“Look around you. There are people everywhere who could use their library, and who don’t know about the valuable resources just waiting for them. At the grocery store, student union, the bank, PTA or staff meetings, the post office, in dorms, on a walk with your dog—talk to people and tell them why you love and value the library. Help them see what they could learn there, and how they can help bolster support for this cornerstone of their community, campus or school. It doesn’t take much more than a friendly conversation for you to be a hero for your library!”
Maybe face-to-face isn’t your thing but writing is. Try submitting a letter to the editor or op-ed piece about libraries to your local paper.
You can spread the word online too by following your library on social media and sharing their posts and pictures. Tweet @ your library, tag your library on Facebook, post a library photo on Instagram, or write a Google or Yelp review.
2. YOUR LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARY AND CPL NEED YOU TO ADVOCATE FOR US.
An advocate is a support, proponent, champion of a cause, service and/or an organization. Advocacy is an important form of civic engagement.
Elected officials respond to constituents. Improving the lives of you and your neighbors is their business! There are several ways to get their attention – and they all have an impact.
Participate in Legislative Day
Ohio’s annual Legislative Day brings library supporters to the state Capitol to meet with legislators and their staff to discuss library funding and other initiatives that promote the visibility and positive impact of libraries and library systems in our state. Talk to your local library about participating.
3. MONEY TALKS!
Sometimes the best way to show your support is to vote with your wallet.
The Cleveland Public Library Foundation exists to raise philanthropic support for Cleveland Public Library. The Foundation allows the Library to do more for the people of this community given the work outside the scope of traditional library services is not funded by the state and local tax dollars received by the Library. When you invest in the work of the Cleveland Public Library through the Foundation, you invest in the City of Cleveland.
4. STAY INFORMED
Libraries are at the forefront of a number of key policy and rights issues, including privacy, net neutrality, copyright, and censorship. If these issues interest you learn more and stay informed with ALA issues and advocacy site.
If you’re curious how libraries intersect with trending issues like the sharing economy, income inequality, artificial intelligence, and fandom check out the weekly Read for Later newsletter, which points readers to food-for-thought articles.