Library Marketing for Public Libraries from the Ohio Library Foundation
Marketing training on the web for public library staff

Module Promotion PROMOTION


Public Relations

Image & Branding

Press Releases

Advertising & Direct Marketing

Publications, Displays, Signage

>Friends, Advocacy




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Module Planning planning

Module Product product

Module Internet internet

Module Ohio ohio



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Library Supporters

Friends, Advocacy, Legislative Issues, and Fundraising

Friends of the Library

Community members who know and support what you do and who are willing to share that knowledge with others are a tremendous resource for library public relations. Does your library have an active Friends of the Library organization? A Friends group can be a major factor in successful marketing of the library: 

A stated purpose of the Ohio Friends of the Library is to "communicate the purpose and needs of libraries as institutions of lifelong learning to citizens, administrators, and government leaders."

Advocacy and Legislative Issues

Marketing requires communicating not only with users of your library, but with those who can change how libraries function. The library needs supporters, and especially needs supporters who are willing to speak out on behalf of the library -- library advocates.

Marketing requires an understanding of library advocacy. Be aware of issues locally and nationally that affect libraries -- and be prepared to communicate library needs. In Ohio, the Ohio Library Council's Government Relations Committee "studies all legal and legislative matters of concern and interest to libraries and librarians in the state, disseminates information concerning these matters to the membership, and makes recommendations for legislation to the Ohio Library Council Board to be submitted to the Ohio General Assembly. The committee assists the OLC staff and the Board of Trustees in working with the General Assembly during any of its sessions by attending hearings and advising on pertinent matters." The following resources are available:

National Advocacy

ALA's Public Information Office tracks legislation and offers information and resources for advocacy and help in dealing with legislative issues. Materials for conducting an advocacy presentation, training materials, information for dealing with the press, and other ideas are available. ALA's Advocacy Center provides a Library Advocate's Handbook.


Libraries need supporters and advocates. Libraries also need funds! The need for fundraising often drives marketing initiatives. When the need for funds is critical, the need for following a thorough marketing process and devising an outstanding market plan is also critical.  Involving Friends groups and aggressive advocacy are key elements of executing a successful fundraising campaign.

Libraries often need help from community supporters such as Friends groups, for marketing, for fundraising, and for advocacy. Libraries must stay informed of legislative issues that impact libraries and be prepared to speak up.


Read the first few pages of OLC's Library Advocacy: A Handbook for Ohio Public Libraries - [PDF].

  • Talk to your supervisor, if necessary, to find out what  your library is doing about advocacy.
  • Describe what you personally could do.
  • In your library marketing plan from Module 2, would the Friends of the Library be helpful in promoting your product? Describe how.



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Advocacy and funding resources

Explore other sites on the Web for additional information.


Friends programs