We don't yet know how our administration will deal with the shortfall of nearly $1 million, yet we may not have to close all our branches on Mondays.
Even more thanks to the City Council members who advocated so strongly on behalf of the Library, and to all the Council for making tough choices.
As with so many governments right now, City Council has had to struggle to find a balance between social services and police and fire services—all the while knowing it is likely that municipal revenues will not rebound soon, and that we may have to go through this struggle again next year.
Between now and then, I urge library advocates to look for ways to build constructive partnerships with other city entities which "compete" for the budgetary pie. There is real value in nurturing a collaborative approach among city agencies, in order to transcend the funding challenge.
Public Library Association's online course on library advocacy, Turning the Page 2.0 (look here for more information).
TtP 2.0 includes six weekly one-hour webinars, along with about three hours/week of self-guided online activities. In the webinars, participants from library systems across the country share lessons and activities under the leadership of a skilled facilitator.
By the end of the course, members will have created an Advocacy Work Plan, and they will have gained a readily applicable understanding of the following topics:
- Seeking public and private funding
- Developing strong leadership skills
- Developing a compelling story about the library and its value to the community
- Developing and executing community outreach and fundraising strategies
- Building community alliances and partnerships
- Becoming an effective public speaker and enhancing personal presentation skills
Whatever we do over the next few years, the most important thing we must do is to make certain that all of our customers, all of our stakeholders, know explicitly what libraries can do for them... and how we can work with them to support our communities.