Discussion: Advocating for Libraries

Initially I had a different topic chosen for this week’s post but then I read a very scary article that got me thinking about library advocacy.  According to this LA Times article there is a ballot proposal in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana to cut funding from their library system to build a new jail.  The quotes from Parish Councilman Lindel Toups are very telling of the misinformation surrounding the services that the library system offers and its role in the community.  The library system is trying to combat this problem through information sheets and blog posts in an attempt to gain support against the measure.  I think that this case highlights the importance of advocacy in bringing awareness to the valuable roles that libraries play within their communities.

So, how do you advocate for your library or the profession as a whole?  In what ways could the Lafourche Parish library system or others in similar situations win support from their communities?  Any other thoughts or comments on how to be a strong advocate? Please share!

One comment:

  1. How sad! I hope the library advocates in Louisiana can make a strong enough case to change their minds. I think it’s important to let people know what libraries do for the community before it gets to this point. This facts sheet from the ALA is nice: http://www.ala.org/offices/sites/ala.org.offices/files/content/QuotableFacts.2012_0.pdf
    “College libraries receive just less than three cents of every dollar spent on higher education”! Also: “There are 584 students enrolled for every librarian in 2- and 4-year colleges and universities in 2010 in the U.S. as compared with 14 students for each teaching faculty member.” Imagine if each of them asked for help writing a research paper…!

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