Combining Advocacy and Marketing (Fall 2012 Issue)

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.
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10 Quick Tips for Advocacy (Fall 2012 Issue)

The fall issue of YALS focuses on advocacy. There are several articles with tips to help library staff serving teens advocate for what they do. As a companion to those articles, YALS asked Christian Zabriskie to let us know his 10 tips for successful advocacy efforts. Christian is a member of the Board of Directors of YALSA, is the CEO of Urban Librarians Unite, and is the Co-author of Grassroots Library Advocacy: A Special Report available from ALA Editions.

  1. Know Who To Talk to and When: Who are the decision makers you need to influence and when will they be making their decisions? There is no point harassing people who cannot give you what you want and even the right people might be useful to you for a short window of time. Do some homework so you don’t waste your time and energy before talking to the right person at the right time. Continue reading