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Marketing, Communications, and Advocacy

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Community members are aware of the library’s activities. They value, actively support, and engage in library initiatives.


The library board, library director, and library staff communicate, advocate for, and promote the library and its services, utilizing traditional communications methods, as well as the most current and effective ways of reaching target audiences. The library follows a well-planned and executed marketing, communications, and public relations strategy to promote library services, resources, and value regularly to the public.

The mission and vision of the library, as defined in the library’s strategic plan, are communicated to stakeholders in ways that illustrate how the library is an essential community service.

The overall goal of the marketing, communications, and public relations plan is to inform the public about ways the library meets the fundamental needs of the community. To this end, the plan includes a strong public image, as well as how library staff will identify, reach, and meet the needs of community members.

Board members and directors play a vital role in lobbying for legislative issues that affect libraries. Knowledge of laws affecting libraries, including limits to lobbying is addressed in the Fair Campaign Practices Act.

Checklist: Basic

  1. Be transparent about the library’s specific funding sources, including tax revenue, donations and fines, and services that the library provides to foster better understanding of how public funds benefit the community. Publishing an annual report, monthly updates, and other regular reports can build this public awareness.
  2. Develop and implement procedures to receive and promptly respond to comments, suggestions, and feedback from the community in order to increase customer satisfaction and protect and improve the library’s image. When possible, refine and improve services based on patron feedback.
  3. Communicate a positive image of the library and its services while remaining receptive to diverse opinions and suggestions.
  4. Communicate the library’s brand, value, and impact in the community in print, the media, and online to actively position the library as an essential service.
  5. Maintain a current website with promotional messages, program and resource news, and easy access to the library’s print and digital collections.
  6. Use social media to promote programs, library resources, and services to increase community engagement with the library.
  7. Create a communications procedures and protocols manual to respond to community crises or disasters, including plans with emergency agencies to leverage the library as a communications hub during and immediately after a disaster.

Checklist: Future-Focused

  1. Develop, adopt, and implement a comprehensive communications, marketing, and public relations plan that addresses and reflects community interests, opportunities, and needs.
  2. Allocate funds to support the communications, marketing, and public relations plan. This may include a dedicated budget for advertising (print and digital), promotional materials, support, and staffing for community events, marketing supplies, and, when possible, a communications staff member.
  3. Participate in statewide or national campaigns that seek to increase public awareness of libraries.
  4. Work with local businesses and organizations to cross-promote services and community benefits.