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For Libraries and Trustees

What is Advocacy?

Advocacy is a planned, deliberate, sustained effort to raise awareness of an issue. It’s an ongoing process in which support and understanding are built incrementally over an extended period of time and using a wide variety of marketing and public relations tools. Advocacy is about saying to decision-makers, potential partners, funders, any stakeholder, “Your agenda will be greatly assisted by what we have to offer.” Library board members act as advocates for the library system to influence the allocation of resources and service delivery in all dealings with external parties, including the member council(s) represented. (The Municipal and Regional Public Library Standards and Guidelines for Manitoba, 2012)

Library Trustees as Advocates:

How many ways in a day do you, as a public library Trustee, prove your public library is of value to your community?

How much effort does your Library Board expend towards marketing their decision making in providing improved library service to their community?

How much does your Board acknowledge the value of the service provided by your library staff, and in how many ways?

What is the value that your Board has added to the public library service within your community in the past year?

Does your Library Board attend or provide information about its services to its local funders more than once a year?

If the answers to these questions give you, as a Library Trustee, a sense of satisfaction, then you carry the mantle of an advocate for your public library well.

For further information about how the Trustees Division of MLA can help all Library Trustees with advocacy, please contact