Toward A Framework for Statewide Library Advocacy
As budget issues continue to present challenges and obstacles to libraries and other institutions of information and culture throughout Louisiana, the role of direct advocacy toward political and administrative stakeholders is becoming increasingly important. Library professionals and organizations can no longer solely rely on condensed annual reports, ROI assessments, or occasional media coverage to articulate the value they add to their communities. They must be vocal and assertive, and utilize their numbers to organize action, increase visibility, and become an essential part of the discussions that determine the quality of their existence. This session proposes a framework for an ongoing advocacy and collaboration program that will incorporate library professionals and organizations throughout the state. It will offer suggestions on advocacy strategies, focusing through the lens of several current economic and political issues surrounding Louisiana libraries (LOUIS funding, the proposed elimination of the LSU-SLIS program, Oil Spill records legislation, etc.), with particular emphasis on recent efforts by the Louisiana Archives and Manuscripts Association (LAMA). Ultimately, the discussion aims to spark wider interest and involvement in the affairs that properly concern librarians, but ones that they have often felt powerless to influence.