ALA 2010: REFORMA Advocacy & Social Media: Library Services for All in the Community

Presenters: current REFORMA President Loida Garcia-Febo, Andy Woodworth  | | @wawoodworth



  • [one of  speakers is running late never came so we’re seeing more detail on REFORMA’s social media efforts]
  • promotes library & information services to Latinos and the Spanish speaking
  • their website features different social media that they are using for advocacy
  • have a wiki, blog, YouTube channel.
  • Goal with social media: show the different services, different stories relating to Latino/Spanish speaking community
  • You can send links to things like YouTube to political officials to demonstrate the importance of library/info services to this [or any] community
  • They also have FB page
  • One of the first places people go to to find info on a specific community is the Web = a great reason to be in this space
  • They have webinars on WebJunction in the archives.
  • [this leads me to a question: how much of the online content that ALA has is open to all & how much is pay only]
Andy Woodworth
  • Burlington CO PL in NJ
  • 2010 LJ Mover and Shaker
  • Story: NJ lost 74% of their state funding.  Some things have been restored, but prolly not all.
  • We are at a time when advocacy should be one of our paramount objectves/efforts
  • OH, MI, CA, IL, FL, CT, MA, NY are in budget fights
  • We need to have proactive, NOT reactive efforts
  • STOP BEING so NICE!  We are fighting for people’s services, materials, etc.
  • “We are in a war….a war for the piece of the state & local budget pies.  Advocacy is one of the fronts of this war”
Metaphor: We are at WAR
  • Banner
    • ex: Library themed Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
    • ex: Why Libraries Kick Ass blogathon – Louisfield Free PL had a flood that caused $6 million.  To help call attention to fundraising issue?  Have a blogathon about why Libraries Kick Ass.  🙂
    • Your banner is your message; what you want them to do
    • Ex: write your legislators: talk to their friends, etc.
  • Create a Base, a Castle
    • FB/wiki/WP blog, whatever, is a place for ppl to rally together & mobilize them from 1 place where you can connect/communicate both ways AND to let your users communicate with each other, not just with you
    • ex:
    • 1 place for ppl to go to.  It’s your garrison of ppl who will march out on your behalf.
  • Battle Plan
    • how you will reach the people you need to support you
    • Social Media tools: transitional / conditional / may change over time
    • You must find where your patrons are online: are the on FB? Twitter? Email?  Elsewhere?  It doesn’t matter as long as you find them
    • Attitude matters
    • Boiling point = how much will people take to be active on libraries.
    • Make it clear to people what cuts mean to them.  Ex: you’re going to lose state library support for summer reading program (to parents)
    • Whatever the argument is to cut the budget, address it.  Ex: fiscally responsible means cutting libraries.  Answer to that? We have been fiscally responsible for last 25 years. We share resources (ILL), & do other things.  Take $ from other areas
  • The Ben & Jerry’s thing?  He took a couple hours to find email addresses for library associations & sent them press releases
  • Keep in mind: anyone is approachable online.  The answer is so often, “Yes!”
  • Save My NJ Library – speed.  Once the FB page was set up, while ppl were still figuring out how to do it, everyday people were logging in with people what can I do? Even before we knew what to tell them to do.  [An audience member is talking about having to wait for NJSL to determine what to tell people to do]
  • Andy’s title: Social Media Mercenary
  • NJLA and ALA is not nimble enough.  [Yes!!!]  Andy pushes things [social media mercenary, right?] if it needs it.
  • Share is a powerful button.  RT is powerful.  Less than 1 minute to share something.  If you have 200 followers & only 10% share, it gets exponential fast.
  • NJ put together a rally.  “It was a learning curve for everyone.”  They’d never done one before.  There are 2 kinds, physical & online, and both are useful.  Write your legislator was planned as an event
  • A persistance factor…hope your friends are tolerant! 🙂  (His Ben & Jerry’s thing? Sorta kinda spammed a friend because they only followed 10 people’s timeline. 🙂  )
  • [I can vouch for most of this from our recent Save SC Libraries effort. We only had a week to go from zero to budget restoration.]
  • Q: Are these available in multiple languages?  Queens has it.  NJ Save campaign had flyers pointing people to website
  • Q: Tho newspapers are dying: questioner is amazed at the support in the op ed page in the paper.
  • Andy: TED Talks: one peaker talked about power of paper & pencil on creating political change.
  • [Wow!  Andy started his letter by appreciating his governor for concern about budget.  He closed by saying If you have questions, please contact me.”  That was smart.  I could not have done that with my governor.  Thank goodness I only had to write my legislators!]

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