What the %&$*# is Wrong With Library Advocacy?!

Nearly 98% of library funding comes from the will of voters and legislators. That means that nearly all of library funding is political in nature yet libraries don't seem to have the resources, tools, or strategies in place to navigate and influence the political environments in which they exist. New professionals are rarely taught about the politics of librarianship in Library school. Library support organizations like friends, foundations, associations, and even vendors are often unwilling or unable to take meaningful action. Now, we're currently seeing the results of this significant deficiency with the creation of legislation that attacks libraries, attempts to ban books, and the appointment of hostile library boards. In this session, PC Sweeney will discuss some of the historical failings of library advocacy and the ways in which our industry in unprepared for the long term impacts of the current attacks. We'll explore the need for many of the tools, strategies, and tactics that are being taught throughout this conference and how they can be implemented in your library and what we need to do to win.


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About P.C. Sweeney

P.C. Sweeney is a tireless and innovative advocate for libraries. A 2007 graduate of the San Jose School of Library and Information Sciences, Mr. Sweeney is the former Administrative Librarian of the Sunnyvale (CA) Public Library and was Executive Director of EveryLibrary California, a statewide initiative to support library propositions.  He was awarded Library Journal’s “Movers and Shakers” award in 2015 for his library advocacy work. He is co-author of “Winning Elections and Influencing Politicians for Library Funding” as well as “Before the Ballot; Building Support for Library Funding.” He was recently recognized with a “40 Under 40” award by the American Association of Political Consultants for his work fighting for libraries at EveryLibrary. He is a lecturer at the San Jose Information School where he teaches courses on politics and libraries. He is active across social media as PC Sweeney.