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Friends of the Library Education and Advocacy Training

Sacramento Public Library

Innovation Summary

Establish, enhance and maintain a library education and advocacy training initiative focusing on short and long-range advocacy goals with the Friends of Sacramento Public Library. The Friends provide an umbrella 501(c)3, which covers 30 affiliate Friends groups representing 28 branches, a bookmobile, and Alt+Library programming for the Millennial demographic.

Problem Statement

Since 2009, Sacramento Public Library has faced reductions in local funding of nearly 27%. Although active fund raisers for the Library, Friends of the Sacramento Public Library did not have sufficient expertise, nor a scalable fund raising model to support the immediate and long-range advocacy goals of the Library. Specifically, the Friends needed to ramp-up activities to support renewal of a city-wide parcel tax to be balloted in 2014. To address these gaps, the Friends of Sacramento Public Library established the Library Education and Advocacy Committee (LEAC) late in 2011 for the purpose of continuing the important purpose of educating the public about the Sacramento Public Library and advocating on behalf of the library with voters and elected officials.


Establish a model of Core Training, Testing Advocacy Skills through Use, then Intermediate and Advanced Training. Introducing the Advocacy Concept- The first step in the LEAC launch was demonstrating fun-to-share information to engage members in easy to implement outreach materials. Presentations and Training – LEAC will conduct three presentations in 2012 for its membership -- and possibly others – to learn more in depth about organization and budget, understand who uses the library, and libraries of the future. LEAC will involve community leaders in discussions about the library. Testing Advocacy Skills, Day in the District – LEAC will participate in the California Library Association’s annual visit to State Legislators about library matters in April 2012. From this, LEAC will continue to build the core training, increasing to intermediate and advanced training techniques. Face of the Library – an initiative to reach out to the community and stakeholders to reinforce and promote the value of libraries to the local community.


To date, LEAC has completed (1) Training- Twenty people attended an advocacy training session in March 2012 with guest speaker Alan Smith, library trustee and CALTAC trainer, who described what advocacy means for library Friends groups and give pointers on presenting to elected officials. This training was the leaping-off point to prepare the LEAC team for their first assignment: a “Day in the District”. (2) Advocacy campaigns targeting businesses – Linking business owner need with library resources, LEAC developed a campaign promoting auto repair resources at the library (photo). Materials developed enable individual Friends to share a message about library resources and programs with their neighbors. Library branch staff will distribute promotional items and info sheets linked to the topic. Library staff and Friends will collaborate on a year-long campaign to start July 2012. And, by the end of April 2012 will have completed (3) Day in the District – California Library Association asked library supporters to visit State Legislators about library matters in April 2012. LEAC will use this as its first organized effort for the Advocacy Team. From this, they will continue to build the core training, building up to intermediate and advanced training techniques. In May, LEAC will have completed the second advocacy training day covering library budgeting, complex because the Library is governed by a Joint Exercise of Powers Agreement between the County of Sacramento, and the Cities of Citrus Heights, Galt, Isleton, Elk Grove, Rancho Cordova and Sacramento.