Thing 15 – Advocacy for Libraries


Library services and buildings are always under threat which is why its important to have a continuous advocacy plan in place. Almost all the workshops I went to mentioned advocacy for libraries but they are preaching to the converted. Presentations like this should be made at conferences for other audiences within the broader community sector such as education and community development. While studying the Masters in Library and Information Studies (MLIS) its amazing how so many people from other professions were convinced that libraries had no future and they were surprised that I wanted to specialise in that field. As a student I had to act as an advocate for the profession.

All libraries are important, but public libraries play a vital role in informing the general public on a whole range of issues. Which is why an attack by governments on public libraries is an attack on everyone’s right to information. In the UK and particularly in London so many public libraries are being closed because of the market value of the property and the millions that could be made by property developers if the land was privatised.

The key to any advocacy plan is to have a broad range of supporters from all backgrounds which is why its important to gain support for advocacy campaigns from various community and professional bodies.

Image from here.