Library Advocacy 101

Who should be a library advocate?

Anybody who believes in the importance of libraries and access to information! This includes library trustees and Friends, library users (including children and their parents), educators, community leaders and librarians.

What can you do to advocate for your library?

  • Use PaLA’s PA Forward initiative to frame issues your elected officials can relate to. PA Forward can help them better understand how important libraries are to the future of their constituents. The PA Forward website  as well as the PA Forward Toolkit are full of ways to educate leaders about the power of Pennsylvania’s libraries.
  • Stay informed. 
  • Be enthusiastic and upbeat.
  • Meet with local and state legislators to discuss important issues and to thank them for their support.
  • Follow your legislators on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Invite legislators and your local elected officials to come to your library, if not for a personal tour, then for an event like a legislative breakfast. Take plenty of pictures of them and post them around the library. 
  • The New York Library Association has great information on meeting with elected officials.
  • Offer space in your library for your local officials to hold town hall or open meetings with their constituents. This is an excellent way to show the library’s involvement with the community, as well as helping you build a relationship with your representatives.
  • Join business groups like Rotary so that you can network with local leaders and enable them to become aware of what the library does and can do for them.

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