Friday, May 15, 2009
Do I Know You? : Strategies for Connecting with the Community as a Citizen or Trustee
Speaker: Judith Ferrell, Friends of Washington County Free Library
Developed a Friends Outreach Program (received a $1,000 grant from Citizens for Maryland Libraries)
Find ways to communicate a unified message—Library, Library Director and Friends.
Increase public awareness
Increase political awareness
Increase number of volunteers
Increase funding for programming
Increase awareness of library values
Brought in a speaker to coach Friends in public speaking and one-on-one advocacy. (16 people took part in that training)
Developed pre-packaged fact sheets targeting particular audiences to prepare Friends for addressing various constituents. Also wrote letters to the editor.
[NOTE: CML has started to award two $1,000 grants per year to Friends groups. Must be member of CML to apply.]
Speaker: Marion Francis, Director, Anne Arundel County Public Library
AACPL had no formal Friends group-- though they have many corporate friends.
Director went to Library Board about establishing a foundation. 501c3
Board was somewhat reluctant that government funding might be reduced in an amount equal to that raised by a foundation.
Conducted a feasibility study; determine if the library’s current message was getting out to the public.
Target the 4 Ls
Local leaders (active citizens)
Legislators (funding leaders and elected officials)
Ladies who lunch (womens’ groups—could be professionals, could be individuals who have never worked)
The importance of developing a library story to share with these groups.
Articulate it. Project it. How?
Share your facts: What are the 3 most significant and unforgettable things about your system?
Develop an emotional hook: A story, one minute or less, that captures the essence of why you are involved with the library. This will hold the attention of groups.
Why was it meaningful to you?: Convey your passion and be able to do it in any media—interviews, one-on-one talks, addressing large groups, printed fliers, etc.
Make your own treasure map. Groups to talk to: Rotary club, neighborhood associations, other Friends groups, family members and their groups, professional colleagues, chambers of commerce
Stay up to date on your library’s successes.
Brainstorm with library leaders.
Stay positive in economic downtimes.
Speaker: Joseph Bush, Library Trustee, St. Mary’s County PL
St. Mary's Board of County Commissioners funded a study. 6 focus groups to determine the future and evaluate present library service. 72 people participated: business, community members, parents, staff.
New focus is on Teens, Seniors, technology, virtual users. Gates grant.
Their Trustees/Friends have participated in fundraisers, community outreach and partnerships. Example, local IT company donated PCs and provided WiFi for 3 buildings.
Trustees also accompany Library Director to BoCC talks to provide support.