Kansas HB2719 post-hearing reflections

TL;DR :

  1. Legislative Update HB2719 from Kansas Library Association
  2. Storify of yesterday’s social media posts and news coverage [because, what do librarians do along with everything else that we provide to our communities through our services? We curate and repackage information for public consumption]

Personal reflections follow (and it gets lengthy…I captured these for my own thoughts and archive; if anyone else is interested, that’s great; if not, I completely understand if you don’t make it all the way through!).

Note: those foam fingers have been around for months. They were not created or designed for Monday’s advocacy efforts. 

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Kansas library advocacy reflections (so far)

Q: When was the last time 95% of Americans agreed any anything?

A: In 2013, when 95% of Americans agreed that: 

  • the materials and resources available at public libraries play an important role in giving everyone a chance to succeed
  • 95% say that public libraries are important because they promote literacy and a love of reading
  • Source: A December 2013 study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project)

On Thursday night after I had worked with Laura DeBaun (NEKLS System Director) to craft this very message over the phone in my hotel room in Philadelphia (as a work conference I was attending was ending), after afternoon virtual meetings with Kansas librarians who are on the Kansas Library Association governmental affairs committee, and sent this initial post out…. Exhaustion hit.

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Kansas library advocacy efforts roundup

Note: Link List Updated March 15, 2016, 10am

Update: HB2719 hearing was yesterday, Monday, March 14, 2016. A fiscal note has been added for the bill (a plain English explanation of the bill) The links have been updated to reflect a few media stories from that day, as well as adding in a Storify link from social media posts of the day. 

I thought it might be a good idea to link to many of the advocacy efforts and links being shared online, against Kansas HB2719here’s a brief explanation from my own regional library system, the Northeast Kansas Library System.

I’m floored at the number of posts I’m seeing shared through Facebook — and those are the only ones I can see publicly. I’m pretty sure there’s much more being shared. Please keep sharing, calling, and writing the House Taxation Committee and your own House representative (look up here) about this bill of unintended consequences Continue reading “Kansas library advocacy efforts roundup”

Kansas public library service model is threatened

This post is in response to advocacy efforts in the Kansas library community, opposing HB 2719. A hearing for this bill is scheduled for Monday, March 14, 2016. Please IMMEDIATELY contact the House Taxation Committee members and your local representative, asking them to oppose this bill. HB 2719 will end Kansas public library service as we now know it. #ksleg

Full disclosure: I am an employee of a Kansas regional library system. These thoughts are my own and not my employer’s. I am not advocating for my job. I am advocating for the citizens of Kansas who deserve maintaining equity and efficient public library service by keeping current funding models and practices in place, and oppose HB2719 as a result. 

Kansas has always leaned conservative. But it’s been common sense conservatism until recently. We’re a small urban/rural split state. Communities large & small take great pride in their public schools, public libraries, community health, and great public roads.

Kansas had figured out how to do much within its communities w modest tax dollar investments over the years in public services.

But now, in the name of low/no tax dollars at all levels of government, legislation keeps getting introduced & (at times) later passed that threatens communities.

Continue reading “Kansas public library service model is threatened”

Community Impact: Tactics & Recognition

Patrick “PC” Sweeney, Branch Manager, San Mateo County Library

SuperPAC Hacks and Voter (Public) Advocacy for Libraries

@everylibrary @pcsweeney

What is EveryLibrary? A superPAC — political consulting for libraries; local ballot measures; teach people how to run a campaign. Campaign around voters, not general voters.

How is EveryLibrary different from ALA and Urban Librarians Unite? They can only work in public advocacy and lobbying — 501c3. EveryLibrary is a 501c4 — can advocate in elections.

Successes

  • Santa Clara, CA campaign
  • Franklin Co.
  • $15 million total dollars voted for libraries through EveryLibrary’s work
  • $1,475 raised for every dollar spent

From Pew Research (but no specific citation):

  • 37% of Americans will for sure vote for libraries
  • 37% of Americans will probably vote for libraries
  • 26% of Americans won’t vote for libraries at all

What Doesn’t Matter

  • Party Affiliation doesn’t matter for libraries — right/left will vote for libraries
  • library card stats don’t matter
  • library use doesn’t matter (from Pew & Gates foundation research)

What does matter

  • People’s relationships with librarian
  • Idea of the librarian — everyone who works at the library
  • Librarian IS the candidate (when you run for political office, you’re sent to candidate school)
  • Your library IS the campaign — but libraries can’t say vote yes/no in the library
  • Platinum rule — The platinum rule: people don’t help you because they like you, they help you because they perceive that YOU like THEM
  • Tell the Stories that Matter (Joe the Plumber); people care very little for numbers and statistics; they care about how people were helped. Talk to the public and politicians — talk about impact stories of libraries
  • Develop your message (and control it) [how many can state your mission statement?] Continually communicate to public
  • Build a coalition of supporters (friends groups; chamber of commerce; business groups; people who care about library day-to-day)
  • Keep people engaged online — social media — put message out as often as possible
  • $25 ad – you can reach 8,000-10,000 people….
  • Give me an email list long enough and a program from which to send it and I can move the world. –Archimedes (email lists — and how important and powerful they are); no more than 2 communications a week; tell stories. MailChimp
  • Get out of the library
  • Door-to-Door Library Card Campaign
  • House Parties — dinner, tea, wine & cheese event, and have candidate in house to talk.
  • Letter writing and earned media (editorial calendar)
  • Advertising and Paid Media (Jonesboro Library billboards)
  • Community meeting attendance (city council; chamber of commerce; Kiwanis; Rotary); civic duty participation — building relationships with decision-making
  • Networking opportunities (Network after work)

Michele Farrell, Senior Library Program Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
Kimber Fender, CEO, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Candace Main Rush, Library Media Specialist, Park View High School Library Media Center

National Medal for Museum and Library Service – extraordinary education, civic, and economic contributions to community by libraries and museums — 5 of each recognition.

Can your library be a winner? $5,000 award; Washington DC ceremony; National exposure and recognition in media and on Capitol Hill

StoryCorps visit: 40-minute interviews with 18 pairs of community members; winners receive audio files, digital photos for exhibits, media outreac; edited interview posted on IMLS website

Additional benefit: can leverage national medal — more grants, funding, building project approval, more recognition; on-demand speaker.

Application process

  • nonprofit museums and libraries in US and territories are eligible
  • Anyone can nominate
  • Members of Congress can nominate
  • Deadline is Oct 15, 2014
  • Info on www.imls.gov [soon]

Cincinnati Public Library

  • Hot Authors list — automatic hold placement for your favorites
  • Sharing new Arrivals on the library websites
  • Newsletter
  • Holds ratios — materials handling — tote check-in