Introducing… the 10-Minute Library Advocate

The 10-Minute Library Advocate

Libraries do not exist in a vacuum – they are there to serve.

Through providing access to knowledge, as well as an open, welcoming public space, they help others help themselves.

But they are also dependent on external support. This isn’t just about the politicians, officials or senior management who decide on budgets, staffing, or laws. It’s also about those who influence the decision-makers, about public opinion itself.

To thrive, libraries and librarians need to work to shape the environment around them, and build a community which doesn’t just have sympathy for the library, but are ready to act for it.

And the best way to do this is to advocate.


Advocacy Is For You!

Too often, advocacy is seen as something for the few, for senior management, for the extroverts. However, as IFLA’s Global Vision Summary Report underlines, every librarian should be an advocate.

This does not mean that every individual librarian should try and organise a meeting with the mayor, or go on TV. There are many different ways of getting involved from advocacy.

It also doesn’t necessarily require you to go on a course, or receive other training, even if these certainly make a difference.

There are lots of things that you can do – even in ten minutes – both to think and to act like a library advocate.

And this is what this series is for. Every week, we will be presenting one idea for an activity that will contribute to stronger advocacy for libraries.

Not all will be suitable in all situations, or to all personalities. Some will be about planning, thinking, rehearsing your arguments. Others will be practical, and bring you directly into contact with users and others. You won’t be able to do all of them, but we certainly hope that everyone can do some of them.

Each idea will include a short description, and often suggestions of places you can look if you would like to (and can) go deeper. And of course, we encourage anyone interested to find opportunities to learn more about advocacy, and get more involved.

So we hope you’re looking forward to getting started. If you spend ten minutes, ten hours or ten days, you will be supporting the future of our institutions and our field.

9 thoughts on “Introducing… the 10-Minute Library Advocate

  1. Aracely Pérez de Hernández

    Desde el Sistema Bibliotecario de la Universidad Tecnológica de El Salvador, pensamos que como defensa de las bibliotecas siempre debemos estar pendientes de las necesidades de información de nuestros usuarios, y más aún, atentos a los cambios de nuestros entornos cambiantes, para ello, hemos creado un fuerte vínculo con la formación de usuarios, en ellas damos espacios para que ellos manifiesten sus necesidades, y forma de ver el servicio que brindamos, lo que nos ayuda a mejorar e incidir en sus necesidades.

    Saludos desde El Salvador

    From the Librarian System of the Technological University of El Salvador, we think that as a defense of libraries we must always be aware of the information needs of our users, and even more, attentive to the changes in our changing environments, for this, we have created a strong link with the training of users, in them we give spaces for them to express their needs, and how to see the service we provide, which helps us improve and influence their needs
    greetings from El Salvador

  2. Rosa Facio

    I am an educator by profession and a librarian by passion. I am very interested in the defense of libraries. Convinced that citizen participation will be vital in the defense and sustainability of libraries. I’ll be attentive to the 10-minute series!

  3. Toheeb Umar

    Great anticipation for the series. This is what I’ve always wanted;to be an advocate for this great profession. Thank you IFLA for the opportunity. #everyLibrarianAnAdvocate

  4. Kazeem Akinwande

    A necessary attempt in time to secure the future of our libraries. #anticipating

  5. Kevin Conrad Tansiongco

    I am a proud advocate librarian from the Philippines. Working as an advocate for libraries and librarianship formally last 2015 when I founded a movement for this advocacy. I am willing to learn more for the progress of my advocacy in the Philippines.

    1. library-policy Post author

      Thank you! We’ll put up our first 10-Minute Library Advocate idea next week, we hope you’ll like it!

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