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.

Libraries Value Beyond Words logo

The seven library systems in Alberta wish to raise awareness about library funding issues in advance of the spring Provincial election. While most funding comes directly from municipalities, Provincial library funding is critically important as well. Here you will find access to the how-to guide for the 2023 Alberta Provincial Election, to create awareness of the value of libraries to people in Alberta, and to seek a commitment from Provincial candidates to support libraries through increased funding. 

As well, you now have access to the new campaign, Libraries Value Beyond Words brochure. This document can be printed and shared with patrons and community members or shared digitally. 

Lastly is the Libraries Value Beyond Words logo, which you are welcome to use as you see fit, whether it's an addition to your professional signature in emails, on your letterhead for print documents, or in promotional materials in and out of the library. 

To access any of the aforementioned resources to use in your library and community, see the list below and feel free to share.

Prepared by the YRL / PRLS Joint Advocacy committee, these slides can be copied and used as a template to develop a presentation that showcases library services for your library board or municipal council.


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.


Communicating Data 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 instructions on using social media.