Proving Your Library’s Value: Persuasive, Organized, and Memorable Messaging

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You know the value of your library, but elected officials, donors, community leaders, funders, and other important stakeholders may not. How can you make the library a priority for these groups, who may have preconceived notions about what the library does, as you compete with other important community organizations for funding? In this book from United for Libraries, you’ll learn how to use The E’s of Libraries® (Education, Employment, Entrepreneurship, Engagement, and Empowerment) to quickly demonstrate why your library is essential and worthy of funding, using messaging that is organized, persuasive, and memorable. With the help of worksheets, charts, and prompts, you will learn how to

  • use language designed to win over stakeholders, funders, and partners;
  • craft custom messaging in several formats that is easily accessible and memorable, including elevator speeches, budget presentations, and annual appeals; and
  • create presentations and other materials tailored to any audience based on the sample documents included.

This book's innovative framework can be used by any size or type of library, and by any library advocate, including Friends groups, library staff, trustees, and foundations.

United for Libraries

United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit

Alan Fishel

Alan Fishel is a partner at the law firm of Arent Fox and leads the firm’s Communications & Technology group. He has represented ALA on many matters, including at the Federal Communications Commission regarding the proceeding under which the FCC increased the size of the E-rate fund by more than $1 billion annually. Alan also serves on the United for Libraries board, and he is the chair of The E’s of Libraries® Task Force. In addition, Alan frequently provides training on a variety of topics, including how to improve advocacy and negotiation skills.

Jillian Wentworth

Jillian Wentworth is the Manager of Marketing & Membership for United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. She earned a master's degree in library and information science from Drexel University and a bachelor's degree in English from Hollins University. Jillian has also worked as a librarian, editor, and journalist. She has presented on library advocacy, working with Friends groups and library trustees, and more at national, regional, state, and local library conferences and workshops.