Advocacy Tools & Issues in Library Services

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Advocacy & Issues in Library Services

Library staff often have little time to advocate for their libraries or libraries in general. Yet, our very existence depends on our users finding and expressing value in what we can provide. On top of that, it can be tough to keep up with what we need to know about hot topics and issues that arise in library work. Below you'll find advocacy tool kits and curated resources for a variety of topics, with additional topics being added as new circumstances arise. Help retain and improve library services, by using these resources with your library staff, patrons, and trustees.


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Censorship and Book Challenges in Libraries

Added January 2022

Illinois Heartland Library System supports AISLE in opposing attempts to censor or remove books from school libraries. Read the full statement and find resources on book challenges and intellectual freedom in school and other libraries.


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Census 2020 and Illinois Libraries

Added December 2019

The 2020 Census is just around the corner, and IHLS, Illinois Complete Count Commission, and the Illinois State Library are asking libraries to do their part in making sure as many people are counted as possible—and it's imperative we do so to help ensure Illinois gets the federal funding we need. Here's why it matters and what Illinois libraries can do.


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COVID-19 Updates & Resources for Illinois Libraries

Added April 2020

There's so much to know about COVID-19, so IHLS staff have put together a resource guide to make it a little easier.


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E-Resources: Embargoes and Restrictions on Library Access to New E-Titles

Added September 2019

In the last several months, publishers of e-books and e-audiobooks have been changing the way they license content and imposing excessive restrictions on access to new titles. This is on top of the existing trend of library-targeted, time-limited licenses and licensing costs that can be up to six times higher than for an individual. Both the American Library Association and the Illinois Library Association list equal access to information as a core value, and ALA includes equal access to information as a core value of librarianship. While some restrictions are an expected reality, the new licensing models impose restrictions that make it far too difficult to ensure access to information for all. Limited access for libraries means limited access for library patrons, including those who count on our services the most. GET THE E-CONTENT TOOLKIT


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Legislative Meet-Up Days

Added December 2020

Illinois Library Association has arranged a spring series of legislative events as opportunities for you to meet with your state and federal legislators and speak with them about issues affecting you and your library. Library trustees, directors, and staff from public, school, and academic libraries are encouraged to attend and participate. Three of these meet-ups are in central and southern Illinois.


ILA Bigger Than a Building Campaign logo

Library Value Part 1: ILA's Bigger Than a Building Campaign

Added May 2020

With most Illinois library buildings closed to the public, it’s more important than ever to convey the message that libraries are still working to serve their communities. Our patrons, as well as decision-makers, need to know that we’re bigger than our buildings. 

Illinois Library Association’s Bigger Than A Building campaign is designed to help the library community quickly convey information to its constituencies during the Illinois Stay at Home executive order. Resources are growing. Please check back often. GO TO ILA'S BIGGER THAN A BUILDING ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN TOOLKIT



Library Value Part 2: Proving Your Public Library's Value to the Local Community

IHLS member public libraries now have a tool will help you share your library’s value at a glance. Use it to communicate the importance of the library to customers, trustees, community leaders, and other stakeholders. It is as easy as plugging in numbers. Or, further customize it with colors, fonts, and text that match your library's branding. GET THE INFOGRAPHIC TEMPLATE