Tag Archives: advocacy

M is for Merry C is for Christmas – Free #LibraryAtoZ materials

The #LibraryAtoZ project (we mentioned this previously on the site) has more free note/greeting  cards to distribute. So, at this time of year it would be a great opportunity to send them as an extra special festive greeting to your local library funders etc and remind them of why we love our libraries. Or maybe you’d like to use them in another way to spread the message about the value of public libraries. That’s fine too.

If you would like some sent to you for free please fill in the contact form on the Library A to Z site.

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National Libraries Day 2016

Don’t forget that this coming Saturday is National Libraries Day.

If you’re still looking for last minute ideas try the National Libraries Day site.

If you’re running an event add it to the site here. You can also find events in your local area via that link too.

If you’re tweeting, the hashtag has changed and is now #librariesday. In previous years the hashtag has trended on National Libraries Day and it would be great to see this happen again.

Following on from National Libraries Day there’s also a lobby of Parliament happening for public libraries – everyone is welcome to come along. Take a look at the Speak Up For Libraries site for more details.

 

 

National Libraries Day – What are you doing for it?

National Libraries Day logo

Tomorrow is National Libraries Day. A day of celebrating and showing your support for all types of libraries in the UK. Around the country many libraries and their supporters are sharing the library love in a variety of ways, including read-ins, craft sessions, author visits to libraries, story times, service promotion events and taster sessions, and promotional campaigns on social media. The hashtag on Twitter is #NLD15.

Unfortunately many library services are facing cuts again – yes, it seems never-ending – and library supporters around the country are also showing their support with rallies and protest events. On a day like National Libraries Day it is the perfect opportunity to get their voices heard. In fact, National Libraries Day originally started out as Save Our Libraries Day in 2011, and as well as celebrating libraries on this day, it is also important to challenge the cuts and closures facing libraries. It’s probably the biggest day of the year for the media to take an interest in libraries in the UK.

Members of the Voices for the Library team are going to be taking part in their own ways.

Alan has been asked to speak at the rally outside the Library of Birmingham. This flagship library was only opened in late 2013, but is already facing severe cuts and reduction in services. Here is the text of Alan’s speech.

As part of the friends group Jo has been involved in organising a fun event at Bristol Central Library, and will be there supporting it.

Ian Anstice is supporting a National Libraries Day craft event run by his library service and will be helping out with promotion on social media.

Gary is also helping with his library service social media and getting out and about to promote libraries via the Library A to Z.

Ian Clark, Lauren and Tom are all visiting libraries in their areas and making use of the services and resources on offer. Don’t forget that every extra visit to a library and use of its services helps increase the CIPFA statistics, a key indicator of how valued libraries are.

So, you can see that supporting libraries on National Libraries Day is something that you can do in whatever way you want and whatever way suits you – it doesn’t matter how you show your support on National Libraries Day, but it is important that you do.

Library A to Z launches today

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It’s just over a year since the Library A to Z was first put down on paper – a list of words that reflected the wide range of library services and positive outcomes those services generated. We wrote about it here. Since then, after teaming up with Andrew Walsh to run a crowd-funding project to expand on the original idea and turn it into something more than just a list of words, a set of great promotional and advocacy materials has been produced, including fantastic illustrations by Josh Filhol, posters, cards and a book emphasising the message of the the Library A to Z. The book features a chapter written on behalf on Voices for the Library, along with library users quotes taken from the Voices for the Library site. The Voices team are very pleased that these quotes are being shared outside of our site, as they will help spread the important message that libraries remain relevant in the 21st century.

The Library A to Z is now officially ready to launch and it wouldn’t have been possible without a large number of people helping it reach this point. This includes those who helped create the original list of A to Z words; the 155 financial backers (including major sponsor The Library Campaign); everyone who has shown their support in promoting the A to Z and encouraging people to get involved; the Voices for the Library team; Josh who created the fantastic illustrations that are the centre piece of the A to Z; Aidan who helped with the poster design; and most importantly Andy, who has put in so much hard work from the original discussion we had at Library Camp last year up until the launch.

Even though the materials created by this project have been available for anyone to freely download for a few weeks from the new site at http://libraryatoz.org, the Library A to Z is officially launched this week (17th November).

To highlight the intentions for the launch take a look at the beginning of the book chapter. It leads with:

Over the past few years we have witnessed severe cuts in library service budgets resulting in the reduction of services, most notably by closures, shorter opening hours, staff cuts and the replacement of library staff with typically unsustainable and fragmented volunteer-run services. Cuts are often made in the name of austerity measures, yet in austere times libraries are of particular importance to the disadvantaged in our communities.

For many people the word “library” conjures up images of books and not much more. Although books remain a core feature and are beneficial in many more ways than commonly understood, libraries have a much wider and more significant reach than books alone.

For these reasons politicians at both local and national level (including leading ministers in Government) will be receiving copies of the Library A to Z book and other campaign materials during launch week. The intention is to show them that properly funded and professionally run library services help transform society in many ways, including the improvement of literacy and reading skills, enabling access to digital services, supporting economic growth, promoting wellbeing and education.

Supporters of library services have also been encouraged to send copies of the Library A to Z book and other A to Z materials to their local politicians and media to help spread the message.

At this stage around 90 books have been sent out to politicians and media organisations.

As well as using the materials in this context, the intention is also to encourage library services and their supporters to use them for promotional purposes. For example, editable posters have been created for each letter, so that local information can be added to them. As I have mentioned earlier all of these materials – book, posters, cards, illustrations – are available for you to download and re-use for free.

Whether we are encouraging support from politicians and policy makers or using the materials for promotions in libraries the message remains the same – libraries have so much to offer that most people aren’t aware of. This is a great opportunity for you to let them know.

The launch is being promoted to national and local news and media organisations to raise the profile of libraries. Social media is also being used during the launch to spread the word about the Library A to Z. The hashtag is #LibraryAtoZ.

It would be great if we could encourage you to help spread the message about the Library A to Z during this launch week in whatever way you can.

Library A to Z update

It’s been over a month since the Library A to Z Kickstarter was funded and we just wanted to update you on how things are progressing. So far, the illustrator Josh Filhol has finished the art work. In the end he managed to produce illustrations for every letter, even those that didn’t have many words against them. The illustrations are vibrant and are going to look great in the book and on the other advocacy resources. Content for the book is also coming together nicely and Andy is in contact with designers for promotional items such as posters. We don’t have a definite timescale for when the resources based on the illustrations will be available for download, but we’ll make sure we announce it when it happens.

"W" (by Josh Filhol)

“W” (by Josh Filhol)

The final figure for the Library A to Z is £4,543 (225% funded)

The Library A to Z crowdfunding closed today after 4 weeks and we’re really pleased to say that, thanks to the generosity of 155 backers, it has exceeded the initial goal of £2,000. The final amount was a fantastic £4,543, which means that the following has been funded:

  • £2,000 covers the costs of the illustrator, Kickstarter and card processing costs, legal deposit copies of the book, and the initial rewards including postage and packing.
  • £2,500 enables the production of a series of posters using the illustrations and makes them available for anyone to download under creative commons licence, edit if wanted, and to print for use in library advocacy.
  • £3,000 enables a pack containing books, posters and other materials to be made up and sent out to at least five different press / media organisations pushing the positive message about libraries. Backers will prioritise who we send them to (and will happily send these out internationally as well as within the UK depending on the geographical spread of our backers).
  • At £4,500 each person with a pledge of £20 over above will be sent an assortment of 5 greeting cards with images from the Library A to Z. It would be great if backers could send at least one of these to a local politician (your local councillor perhaps?) to ask about support for libraries in your area.
It seems such a long time ago that the initial A to Z list was crowd sourced at Library Camp East and it is fantastic that it has turned into something that so many people have thought was a great enough idea to support. Thank you to everyone who has pledged or shared the idea wide enough for this to be funded, including The Library Campaign, whose £1,500 pledge gave the crowdfunding a huge boost.
Huge thanks also to Andy who came up with the idea of crowd funding this, found an illustrator and set up the Kickstarter.
Now we move on to putting the book together, and as we do this over the next few months we’ll keep you updated on our progress.
Gary
Library A to Z illustration by Josh Filhol

Library A to Z (Josh Filhol)

An exciting announcement for the #LibraryAtoZ

Last year we wrote about the Library A to Z, which was a crowdsourced A to Z list of positive activities and services libraries provide – those that go beyond the idea that libraries are solely about books. We encouraged people to make use of and build on the A to Z to promote their library service and a few did, especially around National Libraries Day in February.
Recently I shared the idea with Andy Walsh from Huddersfield University and we talked about developing the idea into a book that could be used as a powerful advocacy tool for libraries – something that could be sent to politicians, local councillors and those with some control over the future of libraries. Andy suggested the idea of a Kickstarter/crowd funded project to raise money for the funding of the production of the book.

I’m really pleased and excited to say that the crowd-funding project is now live and will run for 30 days. In that time we need to raise £2,000 to turn this idea into reality and actually produce the book. This money will allow us to cover the costs of the illustrator, legal deposit copies of the book, and the initial rewards including postage and packing. Andy has arranged for a great illustrator (Josh Filhol) to be involved, and the aim is to produce a book contain a visual alphabet of the Library A to Z along with content that backs it up and highlights the importance of libraries. You can see Josh at work in the project video below.

There are a range of rewards for people and organisations who back the project, all increasing depending upon how much money you give to the campaign.

It would be fantastic if we could get this funded and turned into reality and we ask that if you can contribute please do (as the video says, it doesn’t matter how little you give). Please also share this in as many places as you can – all around the social networks, in libraries, anywhere! If we don’t make the target of £2,000 the project won’t happen.
We are also still looking for more words for the A to Z. So please take a look at the original list and if you have anything to add leave a comment.

For more details about the project and how the Kickstarter funding process works take a look at the Library A to Z Kickstarter page.

All the resources that are produced as part of this Kickstarter project including the images will be released under a creative commons licence, meaning that everyone is free to use the results of the project.
Gary

Congratulations Lauren

Last week CILIP announced that, from 1st January 2012, their new Vice President would be Voices For The Library founder member Lauren Smith. This is a one year post and following on from this, Lauren will automatically become CILIP President for one year.

Lauren has developed a high profile in the media over the past couple of years, in relation to library advocacy and activism, not only on behalf of Voices For The Library, but also for the Save Doncaster Libraries campaign. Earlier this year she was also named as one of U.S. Library Journal’s Movers & Shakers of 2011. We’re sure that Lauren will put her experience and skills to great use during her time at CILIP.

We are all sad that Lauren will be leaving Voices For The Library to undertake this new role, but we wish her well and hope that her enthusiasm will strengthen the work CILIP is doing and will inspire others to get involved and make a difference too.

Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith (c) Save Doncaster Libraries/Flickr