Librarian, Blogger, Dreamer…
When you speak out for your library, your library advocacy begins. Any one who tell/speak/write or even imagine for the cause, that is library, is a library advocate.
Library advocacy programmes need proper planning. First there should be a key message or objective for the campaign. We have to carefully create a message for which we are planning to advocate. That may be for an increase in library budget, appointment of an additional staff, developing infrastructure, etc. Finding out the potential and invisible advocates for your library is the second step. That may be students (including the influential alumni), teachers, administrators, community leaders, media persons or anyone who love and ready to speak out for the library and its importance. Networking these advocates is the third step where we have to create a database of these people with fields such as name, organization they are working, field of expertise, influential contacts, and willingness to tell their library success stories to others.
The fourth step is communicating the message to the target audience (decision makers) through proper channel. This may be of printed, audio/video or one to one talk, etc. Newsletters, brochures, coverage on daily newspapers, cable TVs, radio may play the trick. Then the fifth step is the evaluation, to assess whether the campaign was successful or not and what were the missing elements, etc. If it was a failure re launch the advocacy programme with a newly acquired energy, techniques, strategies and wisdom.
The meeting of parents of students those who are going to appear the board examination with their teachers was an exciting opportunity for any librarian to speak out for his library. The meeting held on 12 and 13 April 2010 on the behest of PTA (Parent Teachers Association). I would like to express my gratitude to the PTA Vice Chairman Dr. K G Ajith Kumar for giving such a rare chance. I could explain the library in brief and inspire the parents to take one step further to make their children the best users of quality information and life lone learners by properly exploiting the library resources.