Jamie LaRue is the Director of the American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom. In a recent listserv discussion, he shared these insights on how to best “tell the library story.”
- The best stories are about real people.
- They have a problem.
- The library, as supporting character (NOT main character) steps in and does something.
- There’s a happy, and often moving, ending.
- Then, there’s a single fact to tie it all down. Something like, “the library offers six resume writing workshops per month.” It’s a number that grounds the background story. Just ONE number.
- Finally, there’s a tag line.
ALA has identified four messages that research says really resonate:
- Libraries transform lives.
- Libraries transform communities.
- Librarians are passionate advocates for lifelong.
- Libraries are a smart investment.
When you are advocating for your library, you may wish to keep these ideas in mind to tell your story effectively.