Presentation on theme: "Ensuring the Future The Library Board and Effective Advocacy Wendy Newman Faculty of Information University of Toronto OLA SuperConference January 2014."— Presentation transcript:
Ensuring the Future The Library Board and Effective Advocacy Wendy Newman Faculty of Information University of Toronto OLA SuperConference January 2014
Proposed agenda Advocacy and Influence101: their reasons, or our reasons? Dynamics of library support (not use): who supports libraries, and why? Advocacy as a way of life: the right message, the right person, the right time
Questions for participants Do you have a written advocacy plan for your library? A strategy, but it is not written? No plan and no strategy? A plan to plan for this election year?
More Questions Whose job is the advocacy plan re Council? Board Senior staff Board/senior staff team
And more Whose job is the advocacy plan re CAO? Board Senior staff Board/senior staff team
Why advocacy? Competition Perceptions Stewardship and trust
Why not? Too busy Not my job Shouldn’t have to Afraid Too political (ugly, distasteful) for me Looks hopeless Don’t know how
Advocacy acts - examples Telling a story (“springboard”)springboard Enabling others to act Expanding awareness The point: let’s be prepared.
The Basics 1. People do things for their reasons, not our reasons. 2. Understand, respect, and address their reasons. 3. Cultivate relationships of credibility and trust. Haycock: Successful advocacy is planned, deliberate, and sustained over time. It is not an emergency response.
Their reasons Who are “they”? What do they care about? For what are they accountable? Who influences them? What motivates them? How do we find out?
Then... How are libraries relevant to their priorities or accountability? Bridge the gap!
Research: Who supports libraries? It’s about attitude, NOT use! Belief in transformational impacts. Library supporters: well-connected, active in community. “Passionate” librarians involved in the community engage support.
Relationships and Influence Develop relationships of respect, credibility, and trust. Consider impacts of stereotypes. Haycock: Like a bank account: deposits before withdrawals. Everyone’s job!
Robert Cialdini on Influence Social psychologist Relevance in library advocacy: Haycock summarized in Follett Lecture. Stenström applied in dissertation.
Robert Cialdini on Influence Reciprocation (feel obliged to return favors) Authority (look to experts) Commitment/Consistency (with commitments and values) Scarcity (less available, more we want it) Liking (if we like, we want to say yes) Social Proof (what others are doing)
Messages: content “Zoom zoom”. Building “sound bites”. Key = what matters to targets. Benefits and impacts, not processes, stock, or transactions. Good examples here: ntentID= ntentID=13784
Asset Sound Bite Openness to newcomers Toronto Public Library is & earning their trust where newcomers go to become Torontonians. - former Mayor David Miller Staff expertise & resources Recession sanctuary. for people in employment transition 24/7 digital access Fast, friendly, self-service. Developing key messages
Asset Sound Bite Physical space The third place. Staff expertise & resources Your partners in knowledge. We sweat the details so you don’t have to. [Ulla de Stricker] Children’s services & Libraries grow good kids. resources Library as place The community’s living room. [Strathcona County PL] Thanks to Prof. Alvin Schrader Developing key messages
What are my key messages about my library and...? Preschoolers and reading readiness Economic development Diversity Literacy Distance learning School-age children Small business Access to governments Employment
Messages: delivery Good spokespersons: passionate, knowledgeable, credible to the target, prepared. They have the relationships in place. All can be advocates in their networks, if messages are consistent.
Summary Advocacy is planned, deliberate, sustained. Planning is as essential as passion. Cultivate relationships. Show respect. Address priorities of targets. Match messengers and targets. It’s a way of life.