Every organization needs strong active communication processes that integrate the needed methods, strategies and tactics for the well-being of their clients and services they render. One such communication process is advocacy and library is one such sector that needs to be in full swing with the people they serve. Advocacy is not a new concept, neither is there something mysterious about it. Advocacy tends to plead in favor of or to support, promote and defend publicly. In other words, it is soliciting the supports of influential persons for library development and services. The idea is to have them stand by you, speak up for you, suggest ideas and protect you from any negative effect.
This is a competitive world where the trend seems to favors one who makes the most noise. So why should anyone keep mute and distant himself from the people he is supposed to serve? The library and information centers for instance are service oriented organizations that need to regularly gain access, inform, influence and pressure stakeholders for continuous identification and support. The truth remains that, there are limited resources which are being scrambled from all quarters. Librarians must get up and get theirs. Just as power is taken and not given, Librarians must work out their tactics and take the center stage. Nobody will give it to them even if they stand by the wayside and play the goody goody.
It is no longer tenable to be a gentleman or a Lady and avoid giving and taking blows.
It is no longer acceptable to work at the background and only wish for manna to fall down like it did for the Israelites in the Old Testament.
It is not enough to complain and cry without taking action.
It is not even enough to tell others to go and talk to somebody while you sit in an armchair as oga or madam issuing orders you cannot lead.
Time has come to stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Time has come to stop neglecting your career.
Time has come to pick up the pieces and justify the years you spent in the tertiary institutions and make your dreams of being the best wherever you are come true.
Unless of course, you never had a dream and never care where the wind blows you to. Like the bird who perches on the stem says to the wind, “if you like, swing me to the north, swing me to the south or East or West, you will still bring me back to this spot”. Oh!
Well, if you are like this bird, this is not for you.
Librarians, who are worth it must embrace advocacy like a good ally and watch things happen for good. Today’s LIS teaching should produce radical professionals who are ready and willing to venture into any sector of information and communication.
Who said LIS is all about books and reading?
Yes! We care about books and reading as well as other ingredients of life like digital skills, facilitation of anything under the sun. You heard, right. Learn it, facilitate it and link it to information service delivery. It is called “attribution of success.”
We care about poverty and hunger and how to eradicate them.
We care about health, sanitation and safe water.
We care about reading, literacy, ICT and knowledge.
We care about women, children and youth together with inclusiveness.
We care about our industries, consumption and safe work.
We care about governance, policies, participation and contribution.
We care about safe cities and communities as well as general environment.
We care about humanity, planet earth, life on land and in water.
We care about collaboration with others, peace and social justice.
Now, are we still searching for what to advocate for or where or who or when or how to advocate? Our workshop is the library which is the most widespread and generally accessible public agency that provides the general population with free or affordable access to networked resources. It is the only institution that offers free access to knowledge to both the high and the lowly. The society is our testing ground for our facilitations. The good thing is that the world celebrates one international day or the other, every day.
What stops one from picking any that costs nothing and have a field day in your host community or any center you prefer? Don’t forget to share in all the social media. Yes! Let the noise resonate, we are part and parcel of the engaging organization. No more dulling.
Hence, it is essential that we blow our own trumpet to be recognized as such.
All these call for concerted advocacy.
Who is with me on this wild value added journey?
Author: Ngozi Aghadinuno Osuchukwu