Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Advocacy 2.0

Presented by Aurora Jacobsen, Information Services Librarian and Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran, Advocacy Coordinator for Southeastern Libraries Cooperating (SELCO)

They feel lucky to live in Minnesota where the Legislative Library is amazingly resource-full.

Use RSS in Government to tap into your local resources. (Report: There are no listings for Arizona, but there is a link for the U.S. Federal Government.)

Political candidates are utilizing the web. They're using blogs, YouTube, mobile messaging, mapping, and other social networking sites to build an online presence.
Personal Democracy Forum - Technology is changing politics.

According to Mother Jones: “Open-source politics is the idea that social networking...will revolutionize our ability to follow, support, and influence politica campaigns....That kid with a laptop has Karl Rove quaking in his boots. And if you believe that, we’ve got some leftover Pets.com stock to sell you.”

Do social networks make a difference?

- Dallas immigration protests: Students found out about them from MySpace and Facebook sites
- Oxfam is frequently cited for its results in this endeavor.
- Darfur - Social networking is keeping this issue in the news
- 500 volunteers signed up to work on a door-to-door campaign for Obama. All 500 showed up.

Why are librarians afraid to play politics?

Why don’t more libraries have appeals for help on their websites?
They displayed Oxfam’s page with Donate Now links for worthy causes.
Even more in depth is the ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History site, which is "Powered by: You."

Some libraries are getting more proactive about asking for help and support.
ilovelibraries.org - the beginnings of something national
Facebook Petitiion - Petition to save the Portford library from closure
I (heart) the La Crosse Public Library

Who’s doing library advocacy?

St. Paul Public Library Friends have an advocacy page.
Buffalo & Erie County - Advocate for Your Library provides links to finding state officials.
Providence Public Library's Support the Library page mentions funding cuts but donations, not political support, are solicited.
Mount Horeb Public Library provides a script for a conversation with a legislator about the library.

Mary Beth recommends linking to legislators on these pages. How have you encouraged your patrons to speak to their legislators about libraries? Every other nonprofit does it. So should you!

Librarians shouldn’t be shy about asking people to help us. They love libraries and will speak up.

Contact info.:

Presentation online at www.selco.info/programs-services/training/session-pathfinder

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