Advocating for support
IFLA enables its members in their efforts at the local, national, and regional levels to make the case for action in favour of libraries.
As highlighted in the IFLA Global Vision report, every librarian can be an advocate! We believe that each of us has our part to play.
This work is vital. For libraries to benefit from the right laws, and guarantee adequate funding and other support, we need those taking decisions about us – in governments or within institutions – to know why we matter.
While the basis for advocacy will always be the provision of excellent services, libraries must also be ready to gather evidence and communicate. We need to be proactive, strengthening our own understanding of how, where, and when decisions are made, and how we can shape the environment that shapes our work, directly and indirectly.
A successful advocacy effort therefore requires a range of skills and profiles, from research and writing to public speaking and relationship-building. By thinking through your own skills, and how to build a team with colleagues in your association, institution or elsewhere, you can become a strong voice for libraries.
This does not need to take a huge amount of training or time.
In addition to trying out exercises from our 10-Minute Library Advocate series, you can take our library advocate personality test to see which roles suit you best, or which ones you may want to develop.
Try out our advocacy capacities grids (for public and political, and internal advocacy), which provide a way to assess where you stand as a team and identify areas where you may wish to concentrate on in the future.
You can also use the results of the library advocate personality test to think about who may be able to take on roles, or where you need to recruit others.
Interested in a particular international process? Take a look at our Get Into… guides to find out about how, and why, to get involved. And then, use our playbook for making the most of (international) meetings in order to get maximum value from being there.
Look at our professional development page for more opportunities to build your advocacy skills, our page about advocacy and the Sustainable Development Goals, and on our Regional Division Committee pages to find out about their work in strengthening library advocacy around the world.