In the BCALA Spring Newsletter
We're very happy to be featured in the most recent BCALA News with an op-ed called "Five Huge Lessons for Librarians from Political Campaigns". And we're excited to present at their 9th NCAAL in St. Louis this August. More info on registration is at http://www.bcala.org/index.php/newsevents/ncaal-conference.
From our piece:
Through these 26 campaigns, we’ve learned five huge things about voters and libraries. These 5 lessons are also generalizable to people when they are funders (donors), constituents, or advocates for libraries. These findings are supported by voter behavioral data from samples like OCLC’s “From Awareness to Funding” and local perception polling from many of our campaigns. Our insights are gleaned from on the ground work in small towns and big cities from coast to coast.
1. Voter behavior is driven by “belief in” and “nostalgia about” libraries. Use of the library doesn’t matter. Our colleagues at OCLC first identified this in 2007 with “From Awareness….”. We need to put these facts to work for libraries by doing two things: update the nostalgia they have about libraries and librarians; and activate their belief in an American institution that is still staffed by competent, compassionate, effective librarians in the 21st Century. Many voters are not users and haven’t been since their own childhood. If we require them to love the library before they vote YES for the library, we set a very high bar. It’s perfectly OK for them not to use the library and still support it as a YES voter, a donor or an advocate.
2. Voters look to the “passionate librarian” as much as the “effective institution”. We have a long track record of advocacy statements, celebrations, and slogans in this industry that use the word ‘Library’. Unfortunately, t voter (or funder or advocate) also looks to see who is putting their money to work and want to see an engaged, passionate cadre of librarians doing life changing work. We need to come out from behind the desks to talk about ourselves. And if not ourselves, then at least of colleagues. Start by saying “let me tell you about my co-workers”. Your funding public wants to hear these librarian stories....
Read the whole article in the Spring 2015 issue of BCALA News (p 63 - 64).
Five Huge Things.... article as PDF