Winning Elections and Influencing Politicians for Library Funding (2017)
Patrick “PC” Sweeney and John Chrastka
As the saying goes, all politics is local. And 90% of funding for public libraries comes from the will of local politicians and, in turn, from local voters. So it’s urgent that librarians, library supporters, and anyone interested in running an election or campaign for a library understand the strategies, resources, and tactics necessary for positive political action. Whether election day is four months away or four years away, there are immediate steps library leaders and local library ballot committees should take to help secure a successful ballot initiative later. Written by two experienced library campaigners, this action-driven manual for anyone running a political campaign for libraries dives into
- proven successful campaigning techniques for rural, suburban, and urban settings;
- expert analysis on how political perceptions are formed, how political power works, and ways libraries can reach funding or political goals;
- starting the discussion internally;
- the right approach to setting up the committee structure, and identifying the core leadership team for the committee;
- tips on networking, cultivating good relationships with the power players in the community, and building a winning coalition;
- canvassing and direct voter contact;
- responding effectively to opposition, including voters who habitually resist taxes or library funding increases;
- the differences between paid media and earned media; and
- best practices for marketing and message development, fundraising, volunteer engagement, and other key areas.
Filled with easy to follow strategies, this book will guide ballot committees, librarians, trustees, and library advocates through the process of winning an election for funding their library. LIS students will also benefit from the early exposure to political literacy skills provided by this book.