Tag Archives: forbes.com

The importance of library advocates

Hello fair readers!

An article on Forbes.com has me thinking quite a bit about the importance of creating a sense of pride and advocacy with our patrons. The article is called “Young Learners Need Librarians, Not Just Google” and here is the important part.

It is not written by a librarian and it is not being published in a library or education related journal.

I’m not denying the validity of writing to ourselves. Research and data that proves the need for keeping libraries and librarians around can provide mad firepower when it comes to funding. I think we could also argue that sometimes we have to convince even ourselves that we have a purpose. (or sometimes we just need to keep or reach tenure, ahem) But in the grand scheme of things, can librarians truly be our own advocates? And are we really reaching the people we need to reach when these studies are published in our own journals?

No. No we are not. I believe they call that “preaching to the converted”. Most of us know already that we are needed and I’m not talking about just being concerned about our job security.

I’m talking about the giant jump in circulation statistics and the simple numbers of how many people are entering our libraries and using our services. These  are the day to day reminders of how very important we are and how very important it is to fight for our survival.

But when I go to a major news website and see a screenie like this…

Check out the Top Rated section.

Then that means to me that someone got to him. Someone got to Mark Moran and instilled a sense of not just pride but responsibility for libraries in him. Some library or librarian made this CEO feel strong enough that he sat down and wrote in our defense.

The ALA has a great guide on how to create an advocacy network here. But don’t forget that every good exchange you have with a patron…every time you give someone great service and help them find what they need…you are creating a sense of advocacy in someone.  And that, fair readers, does so much to promote, to advocate, to save our libraries.

I’ll see you on the flipside, fair readers. And don’t forget to share…

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