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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Get Outside the Lines, Mississippi!

By Susan Liles, PR Director

Congratulations to the Mississippi libraries that are participating in this year's Outside the Lines! We're so pleased that fifteen Mississippi libraries are taking part in this year's events. This worldwide program works for those who are committed to engaging with your community to show the relevance of libraries today!

While many people support libraries, they may not understand that advocacy for libraries requires more than a simple appreciation of services. Library advocacy requires a willingness to tell a library's story and to sue advocacy daily to reach the desired outcome... increased funding and greater support! For those libraries that are on board (and those who are thinking about it!) below are a few tips to use during the week of September 11-17.
  • Get your entire staff involved!
    Passionate librarians are a force to be reckoned with! Get them engaged to post on social media and to share information with patrons.
  • Identify your resources!
    Do you have a great contact at the newspaper? Are you connected with the healthcare community in your area? Plan an event for the elders in your area and involve healthcare providers. Invite the media and make a big day of it! This won't cost you anything but a little time. The rewards are big! This is just an example... anything will work!
  • Look for the small things!
    Even if you aren't having an event that week, look for small moments to capture. A child comes in to get their first library card; someone has great luck with a job application; a student does an outstanding report due to the help of your library... those sort of stories make a huge impact.
  • Spread the word!
    Be sure to let your lawmakers know that you are participating in this week-long international initiative to show the importance of libraries today. Invited them to come in to read for storytime that week and take their photo. Post it everywhere... your social media, your website... you get the drift! Be sure to share it with your lawmakers too. Ask them to share it... and on and on and on.
  • Use the hashtags!
    Make sure that all the other libraries involved know that Mississippi libraries mean business when it comes to telling our story. During that week, whenever you post something to social media be sure to use the hashtag - #getOTL and our Mississippi hashtag - #getOTLMS.
If you need assistance in any way, contact Susan Liles at MLC.

Join us later this week for more fun tips that will help you Get Outside the Lines!

This article previously appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of our enewsletter, On the Same Page, the best place to catch important MLC and MS library news.

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