Executive Director's Desk - February 8, 2018


MLA recently completed a membership survey. Thank you to the hundreds of librarians who responded. We are only now starting to analyze the results but one thing is clear. Each and every time we reach out to members you ask for advocacy training.  

We listen and this year we are offering something a little different. In conjunction with the Michigan Cooperative Directors Association, MLA is presenting the ALA Advocacy Bootcamp. Being held April 20, 2018 at the Library of Michigan in Lansing, this is an opportunity to break down silos and join together to learn how to be the best advocate in your community for all libraries - no matter the type, size, location or available budget.  

Everyone is welcome to attend. The cost is $20 and there are no membership requirements of any kind, only that you care about advocating for your library in your community. This training does not focus on just connecting with your legislator. The ALA Webpage describes it best:

What is Advocacy Bootcamp?

Advocacy Bootcamp urges attendees to re-think advocacy: to re-define the library community and expand the way we have been advocating for libraries. Advocacy Bootcamp will help library communities prepare to advocate for libraries as fundamental building blocks to democracy. In this joint effort of ALA's Office for Library Advocacy and the Office for Intellectual Freedom, we'll explore some of the brutal facts about our current environment, celebrate our assets, and offer practical tips to reclaim a moral sanction for the work we do, and the support our communities deserve.

Building on the momentum and resources of ALA's new public awareness and advocacy campaign, Libraries Transform, focuses on four key messages:

  • Libraries transform lives.
  • Libraries transform communities.
  • Librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong learning.
  • Libraries are a smart investment.

The program will cover advocacy basics such as messaging, networking and community engagement. Intellectual Freedom history and principles, forming both the ethical center and essential brand of librarianship, will also be highlighted. Attendees will focus on working on an advocacy plan that they can implement in their library.

Training Goals:

  • To empower librarians with skills to tell their library's story and secure funding for technology, e-books and other resources.
  • To teach librarians and library advocates practical and powerful tips on how to be a respected, effective and supported voice in your community.
  • To provide consistent messaging and an advocacy framework that can be used by libraries of all types throughout a given state, and ultimately, across the country.
  • To provide a mechanism for mentoring new advocates and creating a succession plan for advocacy.
So join us as we work together to learn how to educate and empower ourselves and others in support of all libraries. Register here.


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