A few highlights from the Taking Teen Services to the Next Level Institute yesterday:
- Advocating for teens is important because teens are a user-population that is not in a position to advocate for themself.
- Being a successful advocate includes building allies with other departments. Making your interests their interests requires you to take the lead.
- It doesn’t help the teens you are advocating for if you wallow! Avoid things like “it will NEVER work” or “poor YA services, we are second class.” This kind of talk just makes people tune you out.
- Offer a well-thought-out plan that includes how it will make the library look better to all.
- Prepare an elevator speech. Three lines should be enough to convince a stranger of whatever your passion is and that’s short enough that you can certainly memorize it.
- Practice articulating your message in advance! Figure out your talking points and work them in. Learn a few techniques for working your message in regardless of the question asked. (But be careful not to sound like a politician in the process).
- Take advantage of Library 2.0 tools when doing advocacy. You will have documentation of the impact your work is doing because of the very nature of “comments on”. Maximize this in every opportunity possible.
- Get perspective by talking to colleagues from other library systems. What is status-quo where you are may very well be the opposite somewhere else. Sharing experiences with others is energizing.
Anyone think I’ve missed an important element from the Institute? Please include a comment! And thanks to the Advocacy Taskforce for putting together a full-day of learning.