More Than a Building Toolkit

More Than a Building Toolkit

In recent years, a spotlight has been fixed on libraries. The Illinois library community has risen to the occasion, remaining steadfast in our mission and in meeting the needs of our communities, while working with officials and policymakers to ensure that we can continue to uphold the core values of librarianship.

Speaking with a unified voice, the Illinois library community is a powerful beacon for the profession. That is why ILA has introduced More Than a Building. On the heels of threats, book challenges, polarization, and attacks on the profession, librarians have repeatedly shown resilience and dedication. 

Illinois libraries stand together. 

The resources available for the library community are intended to support a professional community of care and wellness. This toolkit, and its partner for library supporters, are intended to provide a rallying cry to all of Illinois: libraries are the hearts of our communities. Not because they are repositories of books, but because they are reflections of the aspirations, challenges, and accomplishments that comprise the human story . . . and because they are led by professionals and dedicated volunteers who are committed to core values of serving the public good, freedom of inquiry, access for all, and diverse and inclusive stories.

The toolkits contain key messages, sample talking points, ideas for action, graphics, and social media posts. Let's take that spotlight and shine it on the countless ways that libraries of all types and across the state are More Than a Building.

New to advocacy? Use ILA's Ready, Set, Advocate guide for a primer on effective advocacy and how to get started. View more advocacy resources at the end of this toolkit.

Key Messages

  • Illinois libraries are cornerstones of democracy.

  • Illinois libraries are hubs for learning, exchange, and opportunity.

  • Illinois libraries are professionals working in partnership with their stakeholders to build strong communities.

Sample Talking Points

  • Illinois libraries are More Than a Building; with in-person, community-based, and digital services, we connect with hundreds of thousands of people every day.

  • Illinois libraries are More Than a Building; we are champions for the right of Illinois residents to access information and to engage in inquiry and the free exchange of ideas.

  • Illinois libraries are More Than a Building; we are communities of professionals working in close coordination with stakeholders, upholding professional values in service of the public good.

  • Illinois libraries are More Than a Building; we are hubs for civic dialogue and democratic engagement on local, state, national, and international issues.

  • Illinois libraries are More Than a Building; we 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.

  • Illinois libraries are More Than a Building; we provide information, instruction, programs, and services that expand opportunities for individuals and communities.

  • Illinois libraries are More Than a Building; we help people develop the skills necessary to be informed and empathetic consumers and creators of information.

Take Action

Everyone in the library community is an advocate, whether they realize it or not. Research has shown that perceptions about libraries are connected to individuals' perceptions of library staff and their connectedness to community. Every day offers opportunities to connect with and inform your community.

Within your own library or organization, make a plan. Tap into the varying levels of experience and different strengths of staff and volunteers. Use a planning tool like the American Library Association's Advocacy Action Plan Workbook or Advocacy Planning Matrix. Most importantly, be sure that everyone in your organization is speaking with a unified voice.

Social Media

More Than a Building enables libraries of all types to engage with their stakeholders about the many ways that their own library--and all Illinois libraries--are integral to the fabric of our communities. Social media is one way to spread the word. Below are sample posts that can be tailored for your library and combined with the graphics in this toolkit. 

  • These visitors know that [xxx] Library is More Than a Building. It is where their joyful reading journey begins! [photo of storyhour or class w/campaign logo]
  • Tonight's lively discussion about the proposed construction of a new highway highlights how [xxx] Library is More Than a Building. It is where democracy happens in [xxx] County! Thank you, Council members [aaa], [bbb], [ccc] for leading the conversation. [photo of event w/campaign logo]
  • More Than a Building, [xxx] Library is your passport to other destinations! Join our foreign film club and let us know where you'd like to travel next. [photo of flyer w/campaign logo]
  • For Rose, [xxx] Library is More Than a Building, it's where she gets the tech support to stay connected to her grandkids in Atlanta. [photo of patron w/phone or tablet]
  • More Than a Building, [xxx] Library is about opportunity, as these recent graduates of our Digital Skills for Next Century Jobs class can attest. [photo of digital skills program grads w/certificates]
  • More Than a Building, [xxx] Library is about building community engagement even in difficult times. Last night's conversation on [topic] drew more than 100 neighbors [or students] together to learn, share, debate, and engage. [photo of event]

Social media posts can also correlate with celebration weeks and promotional events. Visit the American Library Association's Social Media Toolkit for tips on using social media for advocacy.


You're welcome to integrate your library's logo into the graphics. Please right click to save the images. If you have issues saving the images, please contact Tamara Jenkins at to request a copy of the graphic(s). 

Facebook Cover 

Facebook Post

Instagram Post

X Header

X Post


Other Advocacy Resources

Illinois library organizations offer a wealth of resources that can help you strengthen your advocacy and engage more deeply with the library community's work to support patrons and champion the right to read.

Return to More Than a Building home page

iREAD Summer Reading Programs

Since 1981, iREAD provides high quality, low-cost resources and products that enable local library staff to motivate children, young adults, and adults to read.

Visit the iREAD website »

Latest Library JobLine Listings

Browse all JobLine listings »