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Library Advocacy

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by Janina Majeran on 28 April 2013

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Transcript of Library Advocacy

by Janina Majeran for LSC517 Community Relations for Libraries taught by Dr. Mandel at University of Rhode Island. Library Advocacy
& and its importance "Public Libraries are part of the larger community" (de la Pena McCook, 2008, p. 28). Nook, Google, and Facebook Oh my! It is easy to forget in this day and age with so much technology that the library was the hub of information. Well...

IT STILL IS! Library Advocacy is Important... For the Library...
* Enables the community to see what the library is up to which,
* Generates use and
* Gets people talking about what the library has to offer so that hopefully,
* Non-users will become users A library is a place to connect with others, a place to network, form ideas, and develop them. Sadly, some are not aware of all the library can do for them and their interests and needs. "People need to know what libraries are providing and what kind of training it takes to provide it" (Elder, Bell & Helm, 2012, p. 23). It is also the place to network with others and perhaps find a solution to a problem. For the People...
* Builds community and creates
* Net working opportunities as well as
* Promotes their interests and allows their needs to be met "Rather than settling with a 'nice-to-have' attitude with libraries, people need to be talking about how essential libraries are" (Leaf, 2011, p. 2). "Gathering information about problems helps successful community building occur" (de la Pena McCook, 2000, p.50) A library that helps a community solve problems by offering information and their resources finds the community willing to advocate for them in return. Libraries and community go hand in hand. "The library needs to be a vital part of the community so that all library users are familiar with what makes that library so great!" (McSwain, 2010, p. 31). Plus, it's a way for non users to get a taste of what the library has to offer. For example: hosting an event to help homeowners avoid foreclosure is an excellent way to show the community the library is there to support them and is much more than a big building with books in it.

Being part of the community shows users and non-users the library is there for them. In this way users are encouraged to keep making use of the library and non-users are given an incentive to start. References de la Pena McCook, K. (2000). A place at the table: Participating in community building. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Elder, Bell & Helm. (2012). Abigail, George & Nan Talk About Library Advocacy. OLA Quarterly. (18) 2. 23-27.

Leaf, B. (2011). The Long Game. Library Leadership & Management. 25 (2). 1-2.

McSwain, K. (2010). Advocacy, you can do it…yes, you can! Illinois Library Association. 28 (6). 30-31.
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