Library Advocacy

Advocacy Initiatives

Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries is an ongoing, statewide effort that provides a collective voice for Wisconsin libraries of all types to promote a better understanding of how libraries contribute to the state's economic growth, education and lifelong learning, and the quality of life in Wisconsin.

Fast Facts About Wisconsin Public Libraries - Based on 2012 Annual Report Data available online from the Department of Public Instruction

Legislation and Advocacy - WLA provides a menu of resources to keep you up to date on current state and federal issues, important advocacy tips and links, etc..

Library Advocacy for Trustees Trustee Essential 13 covers what library advocates do and why are they needed, how to establish priorities for advocacy, and ways to act as an advocate.

Library Economic Impact Study A brochure of the social and economic benefits of Wisconsin Public Libraries from an economic impact research report produced by NorthStar Economics. For more information visit

Library Investment Calculator Over $4 is returned to Wisconsin taxpayers for every $1 invested in public libraries.

Managing Traditional and Social Media for Libraries - The Public Library Association provides a free archived two part webinar covers the fundamentals of media planning and outreach - including social media - to prepare you to work with the media and generate attention that will support your library's activities and advocacy efforts.

Public Libraries and the Internet provides national and Wisconsin data and pr briefs from the The Public Library Funding & Technology Access survey, for for Internet enabled services including Broadband, E-Government, Employment, Education, Health, and Digital Literacy.

American Library Association Advocacy Resources:

  • 2016 ALA State of America's Libraries Report - ALA details the libraries service transformation that meets the needs of the 21st-century digital world.

  • Add It Up - research and statistics to help advocates make the case for libraries at every stage of youth development and education.  Talking points have been developed to focus on public libraries or school libraries.

  • Advocacy Clearinghouse - Numerous advocacy resources, including reports, guides, and presentations.

  • Advocacy Fact Sheets - Guides for building and delivering your advocacy plan.

  • Advocacy in a Tough Economy Toolkit - Tips and tools to help library supporters make the case for libraries in tough economic times.

  • Citizens Save Libraries Power Guide - A step-by-step guide to developing an advocacy campaign with strategies to gain library support from funders.

  • Legislation and Issues - Tools and resources to assist you in advocating for your library.

  • Libraries and E-Government Services - Collaboration to best meet community needs.

  • Libraries Transform - Designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals by  showcasing the transformative nature of today’s libraries and elevating the critical role libraries play in the digital age.

  • Office for Library Advocacy - The Office for Library Advocacy (OLA) supports the efforts of advocates seeking to improve libraries by developing resources, a peer-to-peer advocacy network, and training for advocates at the local, state and national level.

  • Reaching Out to Elected Officials - Learn how you can influence the legislative process in this free one hour archived webinar offered by the American Library Association’s Washington Office.

Libraries at the Heart of Our Communities - A 2009 article published in the Planning Commissioners Journal.

Libraries Stack Up is a report comparing libraries to similar services in the U.S. Did you know that more people go to libraries than all the professional and college basketball, football, baseball, and hockey games combined? This is worthwhile reading!

The Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study offers librarians statistics to support local funding and advocacy initiatives. describes critical role of public libraries in helping provide access and assistance with the increased use of online government information and  and the challenges that must be addressed to improve e-government at the local, state and federal level.


Rising to the Challenge: Re-Envisioning Public Libraries - A 2014 report of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help advance the work that public libraries are doing to address community challenges and to support the transformation of public libraries for the digital age.

Support Libraries Infographics on Pinterest  - Facts and figures illustrating the vital role libraries play in the community and education ecosystem.

WebJunction provides a Community Relations section with resources and workshops on marketing strategies and communication techniques for effectively connecting with stakeholders, communicating the library's value, and promoting lifelong learning at the library.

Advocacy News Sources

ALAWON (ALA-Washington Newsline)
News from the ALA Washington Office on legislation affecting American libraries.

ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom (ALAOIF)
The goal of the office is to educate librarians and the general public about the nature and importance of intellectual freedom in libraries. Online publications include the Library Bill of Rights, Intellectual Freedom Policies and Guidelines and information about frequently challenged library materials.

District Dispatch
This American Library Association blog reports on federal policy news issues, free library and trustee policy-related webinars, federal funding opportunities, Federal communications Commission proceedings and more.

Wisconsin Library Association Legislation and Advocacy
Learn about library-related legislative issues and help Wisconsin's libraries serve the state even better!  WLA's legislative agenda is set annually by the WLA Board of Directors based upon recommendations from the Library Development and Legislation Committee (LD&L). WLA also supports the work of the American Library Association by appointing a Federal Legislative Advocate to monitor and communicate about those issues.

Support for Library Services

Association for Library Service to Children (ASLC)
A division of the American Library Association whose mission is to support the profession of children's librarianship by enabling and encouraging its practitioners to provide the best library services to our nation's children.

Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA)
A division of the American Library Association that provides support for librarians serving populations with special needs, such as those with sensory, physical, health or behavioral conditions or those who are incarcerated or detained. 

Public Library Association (PLA)
A division of the American Library Association whose purpose is to advance the development and effectiveness of public library service and public librarians.

Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
A division of the American Library Association that advocates extensive and developmentally appropriate library and information services for young adults, ages 12-18.