It is not uncommon for our community to associate the library as a place where books are kept. How do we let our community know that a library is more than that? How do we make our community understand that we can make a difference? How does our community perceive the library? It is important for us as librarians to understand the role played by each and every one of us in building that image. Advocacy as a term is derived from Public Relations which is further a concept of Marketing. Effective advocacy connects the library and the community in a single thread. Libraries are undergoing a transformative phase from the physical to the virtual. Questions are being raised globally on the relevance of libraries in the future. Today libraries are being asked to give more with less. Library associations such as ALA, IFLA, CILIP and many more are leading the cause for advocating the case for libraries by providing toolkits and guidance through many ways.
There are many resources to help different types of libraries and librarians in developing an advocacy approach within their community.
- ALA Office for Library Advocacy–
- Advocacy University
- As stated on its website, “Advocacy University is a comprehensive clearinghouse of advocacy tools and resources for all types of libraries from the American Library Association.” The various resources can be searched under ‘Resources by Topic’, ‘Resources by challenge’ and ‘Resources by Specific Groups’
- Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP)
- The association has a range of webpages dedicated to advocacy resources for school libraries, public libraries, academic and research libraries and many more.
- International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA)
- Through the IFLA School Library Manifesto and Guidelines, IFLA has listed a host of links to blogs, school library associations and various other sites for advocating the importance of school libraries.
- OCLC Webjunction
- There are many free webinars offered by Webjunction under the category of ‘Advocacy and Outreach’ with examples of advocacy programs from different types of libraries.
- Library Advocacy Unshushed
- An archived MOOC course offered by University of Toronto on Edx. The course content is available for the purpose of learning.
Bhakti Gala, ILN Content Officer