Library Supporters Toolkit

Library Supporters Toolkit

"I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries.”

Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Illinois libraries are More Than a Building. They are the hearts of their communities, helping all to learn, reflect, connect, imagine, grow, and thrive. Recently, however, they have come under attack from extremist groups and others who are fueled by their rhetoric. Threats of violence have been directed towards library facilities, library professionals, and library volunteers. These threats pose a danger to the entire community, not only because thousands of people visit Illinois libraries every day, but because the violent suppression of ideas or access to information is a threat to democracy itself.

Yet we also know that libraries are resilient. They comprise an ecosystem anchored in core values of education, access, democracy, and diversity in service of the public good. Communities across Illinois and across the United States know this, and they overwhelmingly support their libraries and trust their librarians.

Now is the time to turn that support into action. 

This toolkit will help you get started with talking points, concrete steps for action, and graphics. Let your community and elected officials know why your library is #MoreThanABuilding, for you personally and for your community as a whole. 

Thank you for being an advocate for libraries and the communities we serve.

Talking Points

Why are Illinois libraries #MoreThanABuilding? The answers are as varied as Illinois residents. These talking points are intended to help you start conversations--with with family, friends, neighbors, and community leaders--and to take action. They can be customized to identify your library and personalized to reflect your own library story.

  • [Library Name] is More Than a Building to me because it gives me dozens of opportunities to connect to programs, services, and information every day.
  • [Library Name] is More Than a Building to me because they champion my right to read and help me [and my family/constituents/friends] connect with the right of all Illinoisans to access information and to engage in inquiry and the free exchange of ideas.
  • [Library Name] is More Than a Building to me because it helps me cut through the noise and find accurate information on topics I care about.
  • [Library Name] is More Than a Building; it is a community of professionals working closely with our community to ensure access for all.
  • [Library Name] is More Than a Building; it is a hub for civic dialogue and democratic engagement on local, state, national, and international issues.
  • Illinois libraries are More Than a Building; they are integral to the fabric of a state that understands its past, thoughtfully engages with the issues of today, and is prepared to tackle the challenges and harness the opportunities of tomorrow.

"Libraries stand for and exemplify something that needs defending: the public institutions that — even in an age of atomization, polarization and inequality — serve as the bedrock of civil society."

Eric Klinenberg, "To Restore Civil Society, Start with the Library"

Take Action

Elected Officials

Sample Resolution

Community Supporters

Organizational Tools for Friends Groups

Need additional inspiration? Every month offers reasons to celebrate how your public, academic, or school library is More Than a Building.

  • January→Resolve to stay on budget during the calendar year with free programs and borrowing from your library!
  • February→Let your personal and social networks know what you love about your library.
  • March→How does your library help you think Green? Building your financial literacy skills? Planning a garden? Learning about solar power? Borrowing and returning books, movies, magazines, and more?
  • April→National Library Week and School Library Month are great times to shout-out your favorite library and librarians. Ask your local officials or school board to pass a resolution in support of the library.
  • May→Ideas are always in bloom at your library. What's new and catching your attention this month?
  • June→What's on your summer learning list?
  • July→As we celebrate Independence Day, thank those who champion your right to read, learn, and think for yourself!
  • August→Back to school season is a great time to remind people about programs offered by libraries for learners of all ages. What is your favorite program or event at your library?
  • September→Celebrate National Library Card Sign Up Month by encouraging your friends and family to get their library cards.
  • October→National Friends of Libraries Week is a great time to thank all those who expand the offerings at your library with supplemental funding and volunteer hours.
  • November→Celebrate your community's veterans who served to uphold the promise of democracy, including Constitutional protections for speech and inquiry.
  • December→During the season of gratitude, take time to thank your local and state officials and remind them that libraries count on their support.

Campaign Graphics

Facebook Cover 

Facebook Post

Instagram Post

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