We're Excited to Announce Over A Dozen Sessions for the Library and Advocacy Conference!

You won't want to miss out on this amazing conference!

Libraries have lost nearly 20% of voter support for library funding during the last 10 years. If this trend continues, in just a few more years, we'll reach a critical point where library funding drastically declines as more library campaigns are lost and as state and federal legislators begin eliminating funding sources.

That's why we're curating some of the world's best experts in the world of advocacy and marketing to train librarians, library advocates, associations, friends and foundation organizations how to build community support for library funding.


Register today and then click to share this conference on Facebook and Twitter!
This virtual conference is being held Sept 14-16th. All sessions are pre-recorded, so you can view the sessions in any order or at any time throughout the duration of the conference. These pre-recorded sessions also allow us to make this conference as inclusive as possible with subtitles and closed captioning in a number of different languages.

You won't want to miss out on these great sessions below and check back often as we're adding new sessions every single day.

Sade Dozen - The Power of Resource Building: Institutional Support & Fundraising Component

The key to effective sustainability is ensuring your organization is well equipped to weather all the changes that may come.

A key part of development in this capacity is growing your institutional leg of funding to support your diversified fundraising strategy! Institutional grant-making can occur through an array of entities but in particular, for libraries, building foundation, corporation, and small-business support are essential. In this session, we will review best practices for aligning your organization with these types of institutions; prospect and fundraising landscape assessments; the components to a strong proposal template; and how to set your library up for success through strong relationship-building tactics.

Allison Ehrich Bernstein - Leading With Your Mission: From Good Messaging to Great Rhetoric

When you talk about your work, what do people hear?

Good messaging allows you to connect with listeners on their own terms, while letting your voice and passion shine through—and a great presentation makes sure your audience is as excited as you are about what you have to say. In an era when attention spans are short and takeaways are limited, making your point effectively is critical, but it's often too easy to get caught up in process, jargon, and the wrong details. When you can speak in a way that your audience connects with, though, you win supporters and advance your cause. In this session, we'll cover how to define what you do—and, just as importantly, why you do it—in language that educates and engages your audience, as well as how to achieve a compelling, natural presentation style that works.

Celinda Lake - The Mood of the Nation in the times of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter and the Role of Libraries

As the country prepares for a historic election in November 2020, Americans are continuing to navigate the implications and effects of this unprecedented time in American history – consisting of a global pandemic, record-high unemployment rates, and tense race relations.

In this time of crisis, it is imperative that our leaders at the federal, state, and local levels, along with community members, set an agenda and allocate a corresponding budget that prioritizes the public’s best interests on the issues of health care, education, and economic security and opportunity. Access to public and private libraries are integral to community development as well as to employment and educational opportunities, and it is time to recognize their fundamental roles in communities and fight to make sure they receive adequate support.

Kosi Harris - The Best Publicity Practices To Promote Your Library

Libraries are under increasing pressure to connect with the media and to create publicity that will attract attention, create interest, and win support for their libraries and programs.

Understanding media and publicity can be a daunting task but with the right Public Relations plan in place, you can reach more of your community and promote your library in a way that build support from your local community members.

In this session, you'll learn how to:

  • How to set realistic publicity goals in 3-6 month increments
  • How to identify spokespeople in your library that can be introduced to media
  • How to write a press release
  • How to create and execute a successful public relations strategy
  • Best ways to nurture relationships with writers and publications after a story is published
  • How to collaborate with local influencers to gain publicity

Daarel Burnette - What impact will the coronavirus have on school spending?

The coronavirus has had a devastating impact on states' income and sales tax revenue, inevitably sending budget cuts to more than half the nation's districts

In this session, Daarel will review some of Education Week's coverage of this current recession, talk about some of the budget cutting strategies states and districts are using, and what practitioners can expect next.

Kimberly Gordon - Brand Strategy Made Easy: Start Marketing Your Library Today

Marketing your library can feel daunting. Even overwhelming. You know you need to do it, but aren't sure where to start, or what channels to use, or how to even know if you're doing it right

Have you ever asked yourself:

  • Does my library need an Instagram page? TikTok? Facebook? Pinterest?
  • Do I need to create content? And what kind?
  • How do I get more people in the door? And participating in more events?
  • And most importantly: How do I make sure I'm building support for the funding my library deserves?

In this session, I'll teach you how to take a strategic approach to set your library apart from the others, and tell that story consistently and creatively across all of your marketing channels.

In my session, you'll learn how to:

  • Craft a brand story
  • Differentiate from competitors
  • Build a marketing plan and determine a budget
  • Launch, test, optimize your channels

My curriculum will be easy to digest and incredibly actionable. You won't find any esoteric musing, corporate jargon, or theoretical advice in this session.

You'll walk away with a solid plan for solving current marketing challenges while making smart decisions to ensure you can reach your future business goals.

Paul Westcott - What is voter & enhanced political data and how is it used?

Voter data has been used in campaigning for more than 100 years but in the last decade, has exploded as a critical tool for campaigns and advocacy efforts. Learn the basics of what's available as well as some the ways it's possible access and utilize these powerful datasets.

John Rowley - 8 Principles for Running A Modern, Digital Library Campaign

Many library campaigns and political initiatives aren't run or managed by sophisticated and professional political operatives. Instead, they're typically people in the community who simply want to see their library improve.

You don't need world class campaigners to help your library win. In fact, some of the most effective political advocates, campaign managers and leaders of issue efforts are not experienced political hands or grizzled political insiders. So, if you're just starting out, what are the key skills to have, whether this is your first or 40th ballot campaign or effort to use grass roots communications to get political leaders to do the right thing?

Anna Beyerle - Defining your audience: Identifying and targeting the individuals you want to reach

Every business is based around their audience. A brand doesn’t exist without its audience, and your audience guides many of your brand decisions.

But often, organizations don't have a clear view of their audience. And in turn, it's hard to make marketing decisions about where to be present, where to allocate marketing dollars, and how to speak to your audience. Our Defining Your Audience session will be a deep dive into defining exactly who your audience is, and how to reach them. We will cover:

  • How your audience influences your brand and marketing decisions
  • How to audit your existing marketing efforts to see if you're reaching your audience
  • A guide to creating audience profiles
  • How to segment your audience by using demographics and purpose-driven objectives
  • How to create content catered to your audience

Caitlin Donnelly: Nonpartisan Voter Engagement and Ballot Measure Advocacy

Non-partisan doesn't mean non-participation because there are plenty of ways to engage voters without wading into risky political territory.

This session will explore the rules around voter engagement and how to stay inside the lines regarding IRS restrictions on election related activities. Many organizations don't realize just how much they can do to further democracy and help the community they serve to participate in voting and elections. By helping people get registered, educating them about the voting process - like how to find their polling place or apply for a mail in ballot - and important dates, and making voting a visible part of your organization's culture you can help close participation gaps and create a more representative electorate.

Shawn Kemp - Using Facebook to Build community with ActionSprout

How to use ActionSprout (which is free for libraries) to connect with more people on a daily basis.

Learn how to monitor local stories and fight mis-information as a trusted source of factual info. Tap the power of social actions to build an active community of contactable supporters. Monitor and moderate comments to inspire productive and inclusive conversations. Learn how to use the exclusive EveryLibrary topic feed to find articles worth sharing.

James Rachlin - Plan Ahead for Your Library's Financial Future

It's most common for libraries to budget a year at a time, but this year plans got derailed as COVID19 forced Directors and Boards to deal with the challenges, uncertainty, and fears of interrupted revenues. Would better financial preparation have helped you know how well your library was positioned to withstand the virus?

Using the impact of COVID19 as an example, this session will discuss what it takes to be financially resilient, how to identify different types of financial threats, and the appropriate response. We'll also discuss the importance of forecasting financial performance three, five or more years ahead of time, and how a financial projection can be used to expose your library's strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, a projection can show where trends are taking you, so that you can make modest course corrections over time rather than waiting until a problem gets too big to handle.

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