On Thursday, February 11, 2021, the AzLA Professional Development committee hosted John Chrastka, co-founder and executive director of EveryLibrary, for his presentation Advocacy During an Austerity Budget.
EveryLibrary is the only national political action committee for libraries, and the EveryLibrary Institute is a public policy and tax policy think tank for libraries.
While describing what an austerity budget is, Mr. Chrastka explained how school, public, and higher education libraries can reframe the conversation to advocate for themselves. He urged participants to get to know their audience and understand how they listen, whether it be their compassion for certain populations, their pride of place, an interest in data, or a wish to fill existing gaps. He also showed how we can use both stories of success and failure to reach financial stakeholders.
Mr. Chrastka’s presentation is available for viewing on the AzLA Professional Development Committee YouTube channel:
His slides can be found at:
The webinar audience represented a wide range of libraries. One-third identified as being from a public library, one-third from a school library, while academic and special libraries rounded out the final third. The webinar was attended by a wide range of library workers from technicians and directors to academic faculty and MLIS students.
Audience feedback for the webinar was overwhelmingly positive. 75% of attendees said they would recommend the webinar to others as well as apply the information to their work.
Some feedback from the audience:
“I appreciate John’s entire presentation. As a school librarian advocate, his thoughts about “defining the negative” were particularly valuable to me. The connection to the five stages of grief for the school board I’ve been working with gives me a new framework and an opportunity to move forward in this time of austerity.”
“The need to focus on story, with the support of stats and to not be afraid of defining the negative, or telling the story of how something needs to be corrected.”
“Helped me to get out of the approach of what we don’t have or can’t do, but this is the gap and what we can do to address campus problems. Gave me a broader perspective of austerity/scarcity funding framework.”
Other Free webinars in the AzLA Professional Development 2021 Webinar Series:
March 2021 – Connecting with Older Adults
April 2021 – Discovering Maps: the online guide to US map collections
May 2021 – Story Sketches
June 2021 – Beyond Facebook Live: Building a Virtual Programming Space for Your Library
July 2021 – How to Build a Virtual Escape Room
August 2021 – Library Con Online!: Connecting Community & Pop Culture on a Virtual Stage
September 2021 – Growth Opportunities: Leading and Managing Change in Technical Services
October 2021 – Turning To Do to Ta-Da! Prioritizing and Organizing at Work
Patricia Jimenez, MLIS
AzLA Professional Development Chair
teacher-librarian, Sunnyslope High School