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We librarians spend a lot of time worrying about and lobbying for state and federal funding, but the overwhelming majority of public library funding comes from local elected bodies - city councils and boards of supervisors. We need to shift our focus to deal with these groups, and to do that we need to learn how to participate in the local political scene and make it work on behalf of our libraries.

  • Who are the politicians who are making decisions about our libraries?
  • What is the meaning of the opinion polls the newspapers report?
  • With whom should library supporters ally themselves?
  • How can we persuade our Boards or Friends organization that this is important?

The "All Politics Is Local" workshop will address all these issues.

Workshop Description: This all-day workshop will introduce students to the concepts of local political advocacy, and through hands-on exercises will teach the following skills: political profiling, opinion poll analysis, choosing coalition partners, citizen advocacy committees, and going to the voters.

Preliminary Course Outline

  • Profiling Elected Officials and Opinion Leaders
    • Who are the elected officials and opinion leaders?
    • What do we need to know about them?
    • How do we talk to them?
  • Opinion Polling
  • Advocacy Coalitions
    • Which organizations might make useful allies
    • What does the library advocacy organization have to offer?
    • What does the organization have to offer?
  • Half of Life is Turning Up
    • Where and at what events should library supporters be seen?
    • Recruiting and training a local advocacy group
  • Winning Tax or Bond Elections

Please note: This workshop is supported by local funding, not by LSTA.

Workshop Instructor: Anne Turner