CILIP, the UK’s library and information association and the US-based Charitable Non-profit, The EveryLibrary Institute have announced an innovative new partnership to help librarians and information professionals across England build political support and improve future funding for libraries.
The new partnership will harness the skills and networks of both organisations to transform the ability of public libraries to engage and demonstrate public support. Thanks to a generous grant from the Arts Council England, the project will allow CILIP to provide a new GDPR-compliant digital advocacy platform for library supporters. The EveryLibrary Institute will collaborate with CILIP and library sector organisations to allow them to:
- Develop digital infrastructure and services which allow public libraries and local support groups to build grassroots networks of advocates and supporters;
- Train public library leaders and staff in the skills needed to run effective local supporter and influencer campaign;
- Develop and test effective UK-specific messaging to enhance engagement with and support for public libraries from the general public.
Commenting on the partnership, CILIP Chief Executive Nick Poole said, “We are delighted to have established this groundbreaking new partnership with The EveryLibrary Institute, thanks to the generous support of the Arts Council England.
Librarians and libraries change lives, but they need political and financial support to continue their vital work. The EveryLibrary Institute team bring a wealth of expertise and a proven track-record in successful data-driven advocacy, which has transformed the picture for library funding in the US. We are excited to be able to work with them to secure a better future for public libraries.”
“We are excited to bring our experience, skills, and competencies around public engagement and digital advocacy to our colleagues at CILIP,” says John Chrastka, EveryLibrary Institute executive director. “Their leadership in the sector is strong. This partnership, empowered by funding from Arts Council England, will allow CILIP to more deeply focus on supporting direct public engagement that will help their members and all library leaders change the landscape around funding for libraries.”
Every single day, public library staff perform life-changing work for their communities. We know that there is tremendous affinity and admiration among the general public for their local libraries, but this seldom translates into political support and - critically - funding. In the coming weeks, CILIP and The EveryLibrary Institute will reach out to and engage with library supporters, campaigners, and sector organisations to align this initiative to support their work through a new suite of digital tools and capacity building resources.
Through our work with the EveryLibrary Institute, we aim to build the tools necessary for library supporters to change this picture permanently for libraries in England.
Featured image is EveryLibrary Political Director Patrick Sweeney, CILIP CEO Nick Poole and EveryLibrary Executive Director John Chrastka.