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Building Leadership Skills: Community Engagement


Making yourself and your library visible ... The Elevator Speech. Who are we? What do we do? Why does it matter? ... modified elevator speeches for questions ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Building Leadership Skills: Community Engagement

Building Leadership Skills Community Engagement
  • Instructor
  • Valerie J. Gross
  • An Infopeople Workshop
  • Spring 2007

Workshop Overview
  • Aligning library services with community
    priorities and values
  • Making yourself and your library visible
  • Identifying and communicating with communities
    and stakeholders
  • Pragmatic Partnering

Who is our community?
  • All cultures
  • All means
  • All backgrounds
  • All passions
  • All lifestyles
  • Babies
  • Pre-K
  • K-12
  • Schools
  • Adults
  • Older Adults
  • Parents
  • Homeschools
  • Businesses/Non-profits
  • Work Force
  • Organizations (e.g., Chamber of Commerce)
  • Government departments (e.g., Economic
    Development Authority, Housing, Office on Aging)
  • Elected Officials
  • Community Leaders
  • Donors
  • Volunteers
  • Friends
  • Media

What is Engagement?
  • When we are relevant to everyone and to
  • When each segment of our community
  • views us as
  • vital, critical
  • vital indispensable
  • and indispensable funding

How Does Customer Service Relate to Community
  • The stepping stone to engaging the community
  • Everyone on staff involved everyone a leader
  • First impressions
  • Id walk over nails to get to your library…

Priorities and Values A Collective List
  • Health
  • Environment (Green)
  • Science/Math
  • Civility
  • Genealogy
  • Safety (online, gangs)
  • Technology
  • Literacy
  • Computer Literacy
  • Financial Literacy
  • Travel
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Intergenerational
  • Cultural Center
  • Community Center
  • Education
  • Economic Advancement
  • Quality of Life

  • The activities of educating or instructing or
  • Information about a subject matter
  • Knowledge acquired by learning
  • Activities that impart knowledge
  • The process of acquiring knowledge
  • An enlightening experience

Our UMBRELLA Education
Under the Education Umbrella
  • You! (ALL staff, plus volunteers, Board, Friends)
  • Collection (print, electronic)
  • Childrens classes and events
  • Teen classes and events
  • Adult classes, seminars and events
  • Cultural Center
  • Community Center
  • Signature initiatives

You might prefer three umbrellas
  • Education
  • Economic Advancement
  • Quality of Life

What Can We Crow About?
  • Innovation
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • Signature Programs
  • Partnerships
  • Lets share some examples!

Be a Shameless Self-promoter!
Suggested Phrases
  • We are a pillar of education.
  • We are a cornerstone in the education process.
  • We are partners in education.

What are other words that work?
  • Which do you value more?
  • Which do you support more?
  • a used car
  • a certified pre-owned vehicle
  • drilling for oil
  • exploring for energy

What Does Storytime Mean?
  • To someone who works in a library?
  • To someone who does not use the library?

Its a Self-fulfilling Prophecy
  • We become what we say we are.
  • Lets speak BIG!
  • We are a world-class library.
  • We are a pillar of education.
  • Our staff is second to none.
  • We are relentless about providing exceptional
    customer service.

The Elevator Speech
  • Who are we?
  • What do we do?
  • Why does it matter?

The Ten Rules of Effective Language
  • Simplicity use small words
  • Brevity use short sentences
  • Credibility is as important as Philosophy
  • Consistency matters
  • Offer Something New
  • Sound and Texture matter
  • Speak Aspirationally
  • Visualize
  • Ask a Question
  • Provide Context and explain Relevance

Getting Involved Broader Benefits
  • Heightened visibility for the library
  • Building the librarys reputation for excellence
  • Helping to create the indispensable library
  • Part of the community engagement process

Representing the Library
  • Be informed
  • Be ready with modified elevator speeches for
    questions such as
  • Tell me what you do?
  • Is the Internet replacing the library?
  • Is the book on its way to extinction?
  • Arent you in direct competition with bookstores?

Libraries Mean Business
  • We save you money.
  • We save you time.
  • We serve you directly.
  • We serve you indirectly.
  • We serve you through giving and visibility

Why Partner?
  • Capitalize on strengths and expertise
  • Gain visibility
  • Leverage funding (enhances credibility with
    government and taxpayers)
  • Establish new or expand existing programs
  • Attract more outside funding
  • Get new customers
  • Double the marketing
  • Attract other partners

First Two Questions
  • Whats in it for us?
  • Whats in it for them?

The Five Factors
  • Supplementas opposed to replacethe programs of
    other organizations
  • Advance vision and mission
  • Outline administrative authority (funding
    sources, obligations and expectations)
  • Benefit the organizations equitably
  • Evaluation

Short-term Partnerships
  • Handshake agreements
  • Less commitment
  • Recommend at least e-mail confirmation of details
  • Typically one-shot collaborations

Long-term Partnerships
  • Formal agreements work best
  • Incorporate the five factors
  • High degree of commitment

Long-term Partnerships Take Time
  • Seed idea initial vision
  • Connect with key players assess interest
  • Discuss with key library staff (who will lead?)
  • Inform Board
  • Involve staff (more ideas/gain support)
  • Determine costs / needs
  • Seed idea begins to grow
  • Set forth a plan / determine launch date

Engage the Community
  • Celebration to launch
  • Signing ceremony/press conference
  • Invite elected officials and community leaders
  • Remarks Library board president, partnership
    representatives, mayor/county executive, governor
    (request proclamations!)

Why might we decline a partnership opportunity?
  • Draw an audience?
  • Accomplish what we expect?
  • Funded?
  • Commitment?
  • Imbalance?
  • the Whats in it for us? and
  • Whats in it for them? factors

Recommended Reading
  • The Thriving Library Successful Strategies
    for Challenging Times, by Marylaine Block (2007).
  • Words that Work Its Not What You Say, Its
    What People Hear, by Dr. Frank Luntz (2007).

I love e-mail
  • Valerie J. Gross
  • 410.313.7750