Sometimes it’s hard to separate advocacy from marketing. Advocacy should focus on the why of what we do for teens. Why the services we provide to adolescents are valuable. Marketing is about selling what we do. The how and when of services to teens. There is overlap between the two and there are ways to combine them to better inform community members, and get the word out, about what you do and why you do it.
It’s easy to forget how important displays are in advocacy and marketing. Displays bring people into the collection, perhaps highlighting books they didn’t know (or had forgotten). They show the breadth of the collection and the range of expertise involved in curating books. They help demonstrate the value of the library to teens because they show the range of what the library can provide. Don’t forget that displays don’t have to just be about books: they can include artifacts, newspapers, local crafts, photographs and more. This helps to market the wide-array of resources libraries connect teens to and shows the library as being more than about books – which helps to advocate for teen services beyond the traditional focus of libraries.