Make “If I had only known, I would have helped my Library” a thing of the past….
EveryLibrary’s Rapid Response Fund is designed to address the single most significant problem in library advocacy today: no one is funding direct outreach to the public or stakeholders when a crisis hits libraries. Too many times, the urgent and necessary calls-to-action issued by local stakeholders are unable to reach activists and constituents because no one is advertising or marketing those calls-to-action. Whether the stakeholders are a group of staff, the local trustees or Friends, an ad hoc community of advocates, or an established trade or professional association, their legitimate voices for the library need support. We know that our Rapid Response model works for libraries in crisis. In September 2013, the Mayor of Miami-Dade County unexpectedly threatened a significant cut to the library budget in the last few weeks of the budget negotiation cycle. EveryLibrary backed a grassroots group of advocates in Miami-Dade County in an effort to put political pressure on members on the County Commission to reverse those cuts. In the final days leading up to the Budget Committee hearing, EveryLibrary put out a series of targeted Facebook ads to promote the calls-to-action by the Save Miami-Dade County Libraries group. Several hundred citizens responded with emails, calls, and in-person visits to Commission members. The awareness we built secured $7 million in stop-gap funding for FY2014. The community there continues to work on the long-term fix for their budget. EveryLibrary’s Rapid Response work gave them the time they needed to secure and stabilize their library funding.
How it Works for Libraries
Our Rapid Response Fund is designed to amplify the voices of local library advocates during a crisis by supporting paid ads for outreach and action. In setting up the Rapid Response Fund we will not attempt to replace or supplant the legitimate local advocates; rather, we will apply best-practices to market them through social media. The Fund will allow us to drive traffic to their calls-to-action by both new and existing constituents and advocates. EveryLibrary will not set the agenda or create the calls-to-action. That responsibility still resides with the local advocates. They are closer to the issue and are already trusted in their community. We will work to spend the Rapid Response Funds in a way that creates success through broad-based or targeted advertising that produces measurable results.
Criteria for Action
EveryLibrary honors the trust our donors place in our work and the reputation that local stakeholders bring to their advocacy work. The Rapid Response Fund will engage a 6-part criteria before beginning an issue-ad spend:
1) Is the issue unexpected or unanticipated? 2) Does the issue at hand immediately affect funding or operating authority for the library? 3) Can the current crisis be averted through constituent engagement? 4) Does the legitimate local advocate group have a “call-to-action” ready? 5) Are there at least 100 hours available to push out the call-to-actions? 6) We will not help you twice. You will learn how to build an actionable network of your own.
The local legitimate stakeholders in library advocacy are well defined. From the staff, trustees and commissioners, and Friends who form the core of each local library’s advocacy infrastructure, to state and national associations and professional groups, there is no shortage of voices. But in the last 100 hours of a crisis communications campaign, our voices for the library and librarians must be heard. We believe that the Rapid Response Fund will be a game-changer for library advocacy. It will strengthen the entire library advocacy ecosystem by building our visibility and reinforcing the legitimacy of local stakeholder organizations and groups.
Contact EveryLibrary for Assistance
EveryLibrary wants to hear from you as soon as possible. We want to have a conversation about how we can best help your library in the face of a crisis. If we cannot help, we will tell you that honestly. But we also know a lot of folks across the library advocacy ecosystem. Call us: 312-574-0316 or email John Chrastka at firstname.lastname@example.org to get us engaged.
Our Success Story
Laura Sanders, director of the Lafourche Parish (LA) Library, talks about how EveryLibrary helped defeat the “worst library election of 2013″ through a Rapid Response approach to voter communications. See more about EveryLibrary’s work for Lafourche.
Donate Today to Build the Fund
EveryLibrary is completely supported by our donors. If you believe – like we do – that putting smart money to work on advertising and outreach in times of crisis makes sense, donate today to build the Rapid Response Fund. We will use it to buy ads on Facebook, sponsor tweets on Twitter, run ads on local media sites and networks, and fund Google Ad Words that quickly and effectively deliver the message for local library advocates in crisis. Your $25 dollar donation buys a lot of eyeballs. A $10 a month reoccurring contribution is thousands of ad impressions. Together, we can make a difference for libraries.