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Tuesday 13 October 2009

Libraries on the agenda

Claudia Lux

Kris Wehipeihana is covering this better than me. A few highlights: has a Success Stories section which she asks NZ libraries to add to as it's important for their advocacy functions. Success stories show how libraries develop and support the information society. They help networking and partnering; show the value of libraries; help you measure the impact your work has for a student, teacher, administrator....

Transparency - what is a librarian doing all day? Do our users know? Can we explain it? Do we explain it?

Libraries aren't visible to city planners. Need to explain what we do, advocate. Start marketing
  • no complaints - don't go up to the minister saying "My library leaks and no-one's coming and I need more money and more space!" - just puts off the minister. Instead try "I read your speech, it was great, and even though you don't know it, it has a lot to do with libraries, I'd love to talk about how we can support your work." Next time s/he remembers your name and that you're a nice person. :-)
  • good news "Great news! We've got so many people coming into the library that there's no room for them all to sit down!"
  • surprise your customer
  • define successful methods
  • present your normal work differently
Use success stories and pictures to convince your politician. One picture, or a short video, says more about your activity than a long report, and sticks in their mind better. (NB politicians love children so lots of pictures of children. Young adults are harder...)

What can you do?
  • shape the picture
  • collect arguments
  • know developments in advance
  • connect to the library association
  • help analyse possibilities
  • show best practice
  • make demands
  • never stop

Successful advocacy needs training and is ongoing.

Q: Is it time to update the public libraries manifesto?
A: yes

Q: re what steps we could take to support indigenous / tangata whenua (question was more involved/specific but I lost part of it)
A: Claudia promises to bring this to the governing board at IFLA. Applause from the audience.

Q: Why be involved in IFLA - how would home community benefit?
A: If you don't contribute who will? We're privileged speaking English so easier to have influence. (Three very active NZ chairs already. We're "small and smart".) Bringing many ideas, big and small, back to your library. And shows you and your library how well you're really doing.