Library Advocacy Toolkit

About this resource

This toolkit contains messages and graphics you can use to raise awareness of the impact of public libraries in communities across Georgia. It also includes archived webinar resources and elevator speech cards that can help you prepare for engaging legislators, public officials, in other community leaders.

Public Library Advocacy – General Talking Points

  • Our public libraries have stepped up during the pandemic to support their communities in new and different ways during the pandemic, and technology played an important role.
  • In many areas of Georgia, libraries are filling the gap for individuals and families who do not have computers or internet access at home. Libraries in every community offer this equipment and broadband, This has become a lifeline for people who need a place to conduct telehealth appointments; attend virtual job interviews; apply for jobs or benefits online; even access COVID test results.
  • Georgia’s public libraries are frequently the only places in rural communities to offer reliable access to fast Internet connectivity. Some are also the only available public meeting space in town, and remote access to meetings has become critical.
  • Georgia’s public libraries have Makerspaces around the state. These spaces not only provide opportunities for people of all ages to engage in fun creative activities, they are also learning hubs where children can build critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and aspiring entrepreneurs to explore and develop ideas for business.

Library Technology – Main Statements for Legislative Support

Use these general statements/ideas when talking to legislators, community leaders, or the general public about the need for funding for library technology.

Ongoing Advocacy Statement:

Public libraries depend on annual technology funding from the state legislature to provide critical access to information for Georgia’s most vulnerable populations, supporting community members with free workforce development, telehealth options, and lifelong learning resources.

FY2023 Advocacy Statement:

Library technology funding from the state legislature was not provided in the current fiscal year and federal pandemic relief will run out in Fall 2022, leaving Georgia public libraries without the ability to meet the technology and connectivity needs of Georgians made critical by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Library Technology – Talking Points & Supporting Statements

Use these specific talking points to explain how funding impacts library technology projects.

Providing up-to-date technology meeting the unique needs of urban and rural libraries:

Annual state bond funding has allowed public libraries to implement $14 million dollars worth of technology and over 35,000 pieces of new hardware statewide. These additions give libraries the infrastructure to help Georgians get online to get jobs, learn new skills, and apply for and monitor government benefits.

Consistent growth to support a rapidly changing tech landscape:

Georgia public libraries now have on average 435 mbps in internet speed. This matters because the Internet is the primary way people search for jobs, apply for jobs, interview for jobs, learn new workforce skills, and discover new opportunities for professional and personal growth. High-speed internet is critical for helping Georgians stay connected and competitive in a fast-changing world.

Providing fun learning opportunities for patrons of all ages:

Makerspaces, such as 3D printing and virtual reality, are available in 59 percent of Georgia public libraries. These activities are not only fun, but they help students build critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as allow aspiring entrepreneurs to explore and develop ideas for business.

Pivoting quickly to provide support during the pandemic:

360 public libraries across the state now provide 24/7 Wi-Fi access to assist the public with staying connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What can libraries do with additional funding?

Public libraries use funding to support important community projects. For example, public libraries were an integral part of the 2020 Census campaign by purchasing 1,582 dedicated computers for the public to take the questionnaire online.

Library Technology – Advocacy Graphics

These graphics highlight some of the impact of library technology funding. Right-click, download and share them on your library’s website and social media.

Graphics are 700px * 700px and 700px * 1300px.

georgia public libraries provide wifi access
georgia public libraries provide access to public computers
georgia public libraries provide access to hi speed internet
all georgia public libraries offer high speed internet
over 10,000 public access computers are available in public libraries throughout georgia
24/7 wireless connectivity is available at many libraries across georgia
over 10,000 public access computers are available in public libraries throughout georgia
over 10,000 public access computers are available in public libraries throughout georgia

Archived Advocacy Webinar Presentations

Webinar: How to Be the Best Library Advocate

This webinar provides strategies for engaging stakeholders and promoting the value of public libraries.

library advocacy webinar

Strategies: How to Be the Best Library Advocate

These slides provide insights for talking with legislators and promoting the value of public libraries.

library advocacy webinar

Library Brochure Impact Postcards

Share these postcards to help your communities understand the benefits of a public library card, as well as highlight Georgia public library impact by the numbers. You can download copies (documents are 8.75″ x 5.75″) or request physical copies.

Request Physical Postcards
about gpls postcard thumbnail
library card postcard thumbnail
by the numbers postcard thumbnail

Elevator Speech Messages

Use these cards to develop and share messaging about your library’s impact. Individual cards are standard business card size (3.5″ x 2″). The “Library Elevator Speech Card” card is 3″ x 3″.

Here is a pdf of all of the cards.

library elevator speech card
library elevator speech card
library elevator speech card
library elevator speech card
library elevator speech card
library elevator speech card

Sharable Impact Statements about Georgia’s Public Libraries

Use these statements in tweets and social media to highlight the impact of Georgia’s public libraries.

Be sure to use these tags in your social media posts: #GeorgiaLibraries

At the library, children can discover and imagine, older adults and those with disabilities can be introduced to accessible technology to maintain independence, job seekers can develop new skills and students can prepare for life beyond high school.

4.3 million Georgians have a library card, and our libraries lend 96,000 items daily –almost as many different items as are carried by Walmart.

Georgia Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (GLS), our “talking book” and large-print library, has more than 430,000 annual checkouts, and users who are physically unable to visit a library can obtain materials freely by mail.

More than 10,000 public computers provide high-speed broadband access to help people find employment, learn new skills and stay connected with their communities.

More than 2.5 million Georgians attend free public library programs each year. We also coordinate the statewide Summer Reading Program, which provides free educational and cultural enrichment activities to prevent a drop in reading skills during the summer months.

Georgia public libraries’ Archival Services and Digital Initiatives has facilitated the addition of more than 600,000 images to the Digital Library of Georgia allowing free, online access to primary sources on local history.

The annual 26 million in-person visits and 44 million website visits to Georgia’s public libraries far exceed the number of visitors to many of the state’s other attractions – combined!

Strategic partnerships with state parks, museums, and other attractions have provided hundreds of hours of free programming for public library patrons while saving Georgia families money.

Public libraries support students and curriculum at all educational levels, from early literacy to college.

Public access computers and free wifi bridge the gap for Georgians who do not have
broadband at home, allowing them to complete job applications, training courses, and access e-government resources.

Libraries impact local economy and workforce development by providing resources to build marketable job skills, hosting computer training, and more.

Georgia’s public libraries are the heart of their local community; they are innovative places that help people achieve their goals at any stage of life.

Sharable Benefits of a Library Card Graphic

Download and share this image to let patrons know about some of the great benefits a library card provides.

Be sure to use these tags in your social media posts: #GeorgiaLibraries

Sharable Social Media Graphics

Share these graphics on social to make your patrons aware of the many benefits of their library card.

Be sure to use these tags in your social media posts: #GeorgiaLibraries

Customizable Sharable Social Media Graphics

Add your library’s logo and information and share these graphics on social to make your patrons aware of the many benefits of their library card.

Be sure to use these tags in your social media posts: #GeorgiaLibraries