Advocacy

Many people think of advocacy when there are looming funding cuts or a change in government, but advocacy is more than that -- it's a continuous commitment to building relationships and connections with decision makers and stakeholders in order to ensure individuals have equitable access to information. It's collecting and telling the stories of how people are impacted by and value the library and its services. Here we have compiled useful resources for public libraries that will assist you with your advocacy efforts.

Social Return on Investment (SROI)

Upon request, with permission from Ontario Library Services - North, YRL can provide you with documents on calculating the SROI of your library. These include templates for reporting and an Excel spreadsheet for calculating the SROI in multiple areas, including literacy, entertainment, cultural identity and regional integrity, health and wellness, engaged citizens and social inclusion. 

Resources

Canada

Advocacy: Talk about Libraries and Influence the Political Process (PDF)
A guide developed by the Advocacy Committee of the Library Association of Alberta and the Alberta Library Trustees Association that is intended to support advocacy and lobbying efforts within Alberta.

Library Advocacy Now! A Training Program for Public Library Staff and Trustees (2011) (PDF)
In 2011, the Canadian Library Association created this workbook that contains of wealth of information, approaches and templates.

Library Toolshed Advocacy Resources
A selection of training resources and conference presentations on advocacy.


United States

Advocacy and Public Policy from American Library Association (ALA)
Advocacy from Public Library Association (PLA)
While ALA's and PLA's resources have an American focus, the messages, tools, training and educational resources provided are transferable to Canadian contexts.

Citizens Save Libraries Power Guide
A resource from United for Libraries, a division of ALA, this site has free webinar recordings, such as "Responding to a Budget Crisis," as well as a step-by-step guide for developing an advocacy campaign, including examples for talking points and information sheets. American focus, but transferable to Canadian libraries.

Frontline Advocacy Toolkit
A resource from from ALA, this provides practical tools and information for frontline staff to advocate for the value of libraries on a daily basis.

Turning the Page: Supporting Libraries, Strengthening Communities 
Developed by the Public Library Association, it offers an advocacy training curriculum for those looking for information, ideas and inspiration.


Miscellaneous 

Communicating Data and Using Different Types of Data for Storytelling & Advocacy
ALA's Data Pathways project was developed for library staff to become data competent. There are many different competencies to explore, but this links to training and information for data skills associated with advocacy.

The Data Visualisation Catalogue
You want to have effective visuals for your advocacy documentation, choose the best one to communicate to your audience with this website.

YRL's Advocacy Youtube playlist
We've compiled useful videos for you to watch, including recorded webinars and instructional on using social media.