1. New Professionals Special Interest Group
Become a Library Advocate
October 19, 11:00 EST
2. Today We Will Discuss
• What is library advocacy?
• Why is library advocacy important?
• What is the role of new professionals in library
• What are techniques for effective advocacy?
• What are specific issues I can use to explain
why libraries are important?
• How do I build my own advocacy toolkit to
become a more effective advocate?
3. Why advocate?
• Most people don’t understand what we do
• If people don’t understand what we do, they
can’t make informed decisions about libraries
• No one else is going to justify our existence for
us: the buck stops here
• Most importantly:
– Libraries play a crucial role in the information
society – let’s brag about it!!!
4. It’s all in the details
• Be clear, succinct and specific
• Always have 3 specific issue areas that you
can pull out of your back pocket
• Use plain language and catch phrases so that
anyone you talk to will be able to repeat what
you said to another person
• Choose topics that you are passionate about
or have lots of experience in
5. Access to Digital Information
“Libraries are the primary cultural and scientific
institutions for providing information as a public
good and preserving our cultural heritage. To
fulfill their mission in the digital age, libraries
need an updated system of copyright limitations
Collection of templates:
6. Access to Digital Information
Prove your point with statistics!
The WIPO Study on Limitations and Exceptions for Libraries and Archives by
Kenneth Crews (2008) looked at the statutes of 149 of the 184 WIPO Member
States and found that the provision of exceptions vary around the world:
• 21 countries do not have library and archive exceptions at all;
• 27 countries have general exception solely for libraries;
• 74 countries have exceptions for copying for research or study;
• 72 countries have exceptions for copying for preservation provisions;
• 67 countries have exceptions for copying for replacement of worn out
originals no longer available for purchase;
• 17 countries have exceptions for document supply;
• 6 countries have exceptions for loans between libraries; and
• 26 countries have exceptions for legal workarounds for anti-circumvention
of Technological Protection Measures.
7. Internet Governance
Libraries play an important public-service role in the
information society, especially in the area of Internet
• Provide open, equitable & affordable access to information
• Improve ICT literacy and community connectivity
• Advocate for public access to the Internet
In plain language: Libraries give people (especially in
underserved communities) access to the Internet and
librarians show them how to use it!
8. Internet Governance
Open Government and Open Data: of the 47
governments who have so far signed up to the OGP only
three have action plans that address the demand side of
open government – who is going to tell citizens that there
is data available, and who is going to give those without
home computers access to it?
Libraries can: in Romania, for example, over 400 public
libraries helped 17,000 farmers access government
portals to obtain agricultural subsidies that brought
back over $20m into their communities
9. Libraries Powering Development
Development in the 21st century demands access to information. Libraries
further development by:
• Helping people in developing countries get the information they need to
access economic opportunity, improve their health or support their
• Serving as cost-effective, sustainable center for inclusive Internet access
Public libraries are uniquely positioned to act as hubs for development
• They are local institutions with existing resources that people already
know and trust
• They already have dedicated funding and ongoing public support – this
makes partnerships between libraries and other fields
(health, agriculture, civic engagement, education, information literacy)
easy and ideal
10. Libraries Powering Development
• At the beginning of 2013, only 35% of the
world’s population is connected to the
• 73% of public libraries are located in
developing and transitioning countries
11. Libraries, eLending and eBooks
The recent explosion in availability and
popularity of eReaders and tablets has seen a
growing demand for downloadable eBooks in
public libraries BUT…
trade publishers and authors are withholding
sales to libraries where this is believed to
undermine overall sales and royalties
12. Libraries, eLending and eBooks
eBook lending is complex for many reasons, including:
• The structure and operations of the publishing and library sectors country
to country can differ substantially.
• There is a diverse range of eBook platforms and standards in the market
which are often not compatible and, in the case of library applications, not
user friendly or accessible.
• Scholarly and trade publishing have fundamentally different business
models and take very different approaches for digital sales to libraries.
• The transition from print to digital is raising new legal issues for
policymakers to address, especially in the area of copyright and its
underlying principles which have enabled library lending in the print era.
• The same transition, and the potential for digital lending models to collect
and store large amounts of information on users’ reading habits, raises
fears regarding the protection of user privacy.
Libraries can and should play a crucial role in the development of
eLending policies that get users access to content in the format they
desire (which is, increasingly, digital).
13. The Future
Our information environment is constantly
changing. How will we access, use and benefit
from information in an increasingly hyperconnected world?
Libraries are uniquely positioned to tackle the
greatest information questions of our age in
ways that benefit the users (or consumers) of
information. This is what we’ve always done.
14. The Future
Top level trends identified by the IFLA Trend Report:
1. New Technologies will both expand and limit who has
access to information.
2. Online Education will democratize and disrupt global
3. The boundaries of privacy and data protection will be
4. Hyper-connected societies will listen to and empower
new voices and groups.
5. The global information environment will be
transformed by new technologies.
15. Sample Scenario
Who: Me [top interests = international
development, open access to knowledge, using
technologies to open access to information]
Where: Dinner table
What: When I say I work at a library, a new
acquaintance asks, “Are you nervous about the
future of your profession? Isn’t everything just
being posted online these days?”
16. How do I respond??
• Option 1: Jokingly say, “I’m just in it for the
cardigans.” – WRONG!!!
• Option 2: Use this as a valuable moment to
enlighten someone about the important work
you do and practice your newfound advocacy
skills. – RIGHT!!!
17. Building My Case
Libraries are still important in the way they always were:
they provide open access to information. With the
change from books to digital information, our jobs have
become more important and complex.
1. As essential life processes move online (applying for
jobs, banking, education, filing taxes, etc.) only 35% of
the world’s population is connected to the Internet
2. Libraries provide access to the Internet and librarians
show people how to use it
3. Librarians are committed to making sure that future
policies, such as copyright of digital information / ebooks, benefit the user by remaining openly
accessible in libraries and easy to use
18. In Conclusion
• From the above slides or your own experience
and research, pick the issues that are
important to you and be ready to talk about
them in ways that make sense to people
outside our field.
• Always have at least 3 good talking points in
your back pocket that you can pull out in any
19. Learn More
• Find case studies of successful library advocacy
campaigns at this link:
– Activities and Groups >BSLA > Building Strong Library
Associations > Module 5: Libraries on the Agenda