The 10-Minute International Librarian #82: Ask for a testimonial

It’s important for libraries to be able to tell the story of what they do.

Showing how a collection, a service or a programme can make a difference to someone’s life is a powerful way of explaining why our institutions and our profession matter.

You can find some great examples of this on the Library Map of the World for example.

But as we’ve already discussed in a previous exercise, sometimes the most powerful advocates for libraries are non-librarians.

Because while librarians advocating for libraries is to be expected, external support can provide key support, getting new groups to think about what is so important our work.

While they can be someone more famous, day-to-day users can also be effective, even only by providing a story of a positive experience that you can use in your work.

So for our 82nd 10-Minute International Librarian, ask for a testimonial.

Think if any of your users could record – in writing or on video – a short piece talking about how your work made a difference for them.

Be gentle about asking them, and explain why it will help ensure that they can continue to benefit from effective services into the future.

Give them the option to contribute in a way that works for them – submitting by e-mail, filling in a paper at the library, or recoding in the library itself.

Be clear about what you would use the testimonial for and encourage them to be brief and to the point in their words.

Let us know the best stories from users you have received in the comments box below.

Good luck!


This idea relates to the IFLA Strategy! Key Initiative 3.3: Empower the field at the national and regional levels

As we publish more ideas, you will be able to view these using the #10MinuteInternationalLibrarian tag on this blog, and of course on IFLA’s Ideas Store! Do also share your ideas in the comments box below!