Advocacy Resources

ACRL-OR supports academic libraries in Oregon by fostering communication, sponsoring educational programs, and advocating in the political, social, and professional arena at the local and national levels. In addition to the following resources, the ACRL-OR board may be able to connect library staff with further resources, publicize regional advocacy issues, or connect regional issues to the national ACRL association.


Some practical advice to get started…

Don’t panic! Read this page and begin by determining your best point of contact within the professional associations. Academic librarians may contact the current Chair of ACRL-OR, while public librarians may contact the Public Library Division (PLD) of OLA. School librarians may contact Colette Cassinelli at the OLA School Library Division/Oregon Association of School Libraries (OASL).

You should consult the accreditation guidelines for the academic programs your library supports, particularly the sections mandating library support.

Additionally, identify key stakeholders, data, and comparators. Frame your issue in terms decision makers will understand and the investment in terms of concrete outcomes. Statistics about usage, services, collections, circulation, instruction, budget, and other aspects of the library can address stakeholders’ concerns. Relative funding levels, usage, and services at peer institutions can help make your argument. Case studies of both success and failure at similar institutions can be helpful too.

And finally, engage your users. Encourage your patrons, donors, alumni, faculty, and other stakeholders to help make your case. A display of support from your community can make a big difference.

Previously, ACRL-OR has supported advocacy efforts by:

  • writing letters to college and university administrations, supporting libraries in crisis and placing cuts in the larger context of higher education in the state;
  • advising library staff on communications with administrators, fundraisers, and other stakeholders;
  • issuing press releases about library closures and other crises to raise awareness across the profession;
  • providing a strategic connection to ACRL-National, OLA, or other professional organizations;
  • and engaging our own membership on advocacy and crisis issues.

Examples of Advocacy Statements

The following are examples of advocacy work done by the ACRL-Oregon Board. Feel free to use these letters as templates in your own work, or contact the current ACRL-OR President if you would like the Board’s assistance in advocating in your own institution.

Statement in Support of UO Libraries (2020)
This is a statement written to the Provost at the University of Oregon, encouraging the institution to revoke the proposed policy to reduce the UO Librarian workforce FTE by at least 25%.

HB 3263 Testimony from ACRL-OR (2020)
This letter is testimony for HB 3263 on the importance of school librarians in every school in Oregon.

Letter to Newberg School Board (2016)
This letter was sent in concern of Newberg School Districts lack of a comprehensive district-wide library program that is overseen at each school by a licensed librarian/media specialist.

ACRL-OR Statement for Racial Justice (2020)
This statement expresses ACRL-OR’s solidarity with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) and REFORMA Oregon in condemning the systematic social injustices and violence endured by Black people and all people of color, and outlines our commitment to creating change in our organization.


Background Reading

Library Advocacy Toolkit from the Illinois Library Association
Value of Academic Libraries from ACRL-National
Advocacy, Outreach, and the Nation’s Academic Libraries published by ALA
Standards for College and University Accreditation from NWCCU
Standards for Libraries in Higher Education from ACRL
LIBvalue Database from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville
Measuring Value and Return on Investment of Academic Libraries published by ACRL
What Chief Academic Officers Want from Their Libraries: Findings from Interviews with Provosts and Chief Academic Officer by Leigh Estabrook
Assessing the Value of Academic Library Consortia by Faye Chadwell

Resources

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