Advocacy Fundamentals: A Virtual Series



From Education to Action

You have a unique and deeply-rooted interest within the field of librarianship but how do you utilize your expertise and personal experience to assist in an advocacy campaign?In this session, we’ll review the Audience Engagement Roadmap, learn how to craft impactful messaging and explore the mediums and tools available to advocates at every level.
Attendees will have the opportunity to draft their own stories afterwards and share them with others.
Presenter:  Briana McNamee, Director of Government Relations & Advocacy for the New York Library Association


Education to Action Slidedeck


Building People's Self Advocacy Skills: An Introduction to the Right Question Strategy

Led by representatives of the Right Question Institute (RQI), this session will ask library workers to decide for themselves the need to be involved in advocacy work.

Any library worker - from a Director with a Masters to the library clerk or volunteer - needs to feel their work is valuable and critical to their communities before they can expect others to understand and appreciate the library experience.

Libraries are foundational to a healthy community. We will use the Question Formulation Technique to explore the role of the library and library workers in making libraries flourishing and well-resourced public spaces.

Presenter: Luz Santana (She/Hers), Co-Director of the Right Question Institute  & Yeja Dunn (They/Them)

Library QFocus Graphic



The Legislature & Libraries

Successful advocacy at the New York State Capitol requires community involvement and support from the legislature.

The general election is now in our rear view mirror and we are speeding ahead to the next two-year legislative session. Members from the Senate and Assembly will join us to discuss the 2020 Session, their roles within their respective houses, priorities and, the year ahead.

Presenters as of 11/25:

Assemblyman Sean Ryan, Chair of the Assembly Libraries & Education Technology Committee

Assemblyman Robert Smullen, Ranker of the Assembly Libraries & Education Technology Committee

Assemblywoman MaryBeth Walsh

Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy

Senator Shelly Mayer, Chair of the Senate Education Committee

Senator Rachel May, Chair of the Senate Aging Committee



Empowerment through Self Advocacy

Tuesday, January 19
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Advocacy means fighting for the self, too. As women have cracked the glass ceiling and climbed the ladder in the working world, stereotypes about their behavior have increased. Women attempt to assert themselves when faced with challenges, yet assertive women are viewed as aggressive, mean, or bossy. Historically, librarianship has been regarded as “women’s work” and women dominate the field. However, library administrative roles are often held by men. How might women in the library world advocate for themselves and ascend these roles? Be inspired by these women who overcame challenges in the workplace.

Presenters: Donna Collins, Editor for Buffalo Business First - Lauren Moore, State Librarian for New York State - Liz Benjamin, Managing Director for Marathon Strategies - Jordine Jones, Chief of Staff for Senator Alessandra Biaggi


Understanding the Budget: From the State to the Local Level

Tuesday, February 16
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

An overview of the New York State budget process, with a focus on how state library funding flows to library systems and libraries. We'll aslo discuss how state budget cuts impact local lobraries and strategies for advocating to elected officials at all levels. 

Presenter: Cassie Guthrie, Director of Greece Public Library - Tim Burke, Executive Director of the Upper Hudson Library System - Briana McNamee, Director of Government Relations & Advocacy at NYLA


From Your Hometown to the Capitol

Tuesday, March 9
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

You’ve made it to the end! Or have you? Advocacy work is cyclical, without a starting or ending point. Ask yourself, “What’s next?” You now have the ability to reach your legislators, mobilize your patrons, and market your movement. Now that you have developed your advocacy skill set and a better understanding of this work, you will be able to set your legislative priorities. Your outcomes this year will determine your efforts next year.

Presenter: Briana McNamee, Director of Government Relations & Advocacy (NYLA) & Megan Murray Cusick, Assistant Director for State Advocacy (ALA)



Cost and Registration

There is no fee to register to participate in this series.  Pre-registration is required. You may register for the entire series or any of the individual sessions.


Continuing Education Credits

Each session is eligible for 1.5 CEUs.



Do you want to share your advocacy story with others? Are you looking to recieve valuable feedback? If so, click here.