Annual Report: CILIP Partnership to Support Libraries in the U.K.
In 2019 we were thrilled to launch Libraries Deliver, an innovative international partnership with the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP) to help librarians across the United Kingdom build political support in Parliament and improve future funding for libraries by local councils. This partnership harnesses the skills and networks of both organizations. Together, through the LibrariesDeliver.uk campaign, we work to create real political and funding changes for libraries.
The Libraries Deliver campaign launched on July 3rd at the CILIP conference in Manchester with the LibrariesDeliver.uk website and social media channels being introduced to the profession and the public. The EveryLibrary Institute brings our extensive experience with pro-library digital and social media campaigns. CILIP brings its legitimate policy agenda for libraries and institutional reputation as the library association for the UK. The impact of the campaign has been significant and is being felt across the UK political landscape.
Download the entire 2019 Annual Report today!
Our focus is on identifying, cultivating, and empowering library supporters. When the UK general election was called for mid-December we expanded our focus to launch VoteLibraries.uk, a targeted campaign to reach voters, candidates, and national political parties with a #votelibraries message. To voters across the UK we asked that they consider the candidates and policies at stake in the election and “take the pledge to #votelibraries”. To candidates, we asked them to go on record and put libraries as a central point in their campaigns. And to the political parties, we asked them to include a positive policy statement about library funding in their party manifestos. Voters from all across the UK responded and many posted “If you plan to knock on my door, plan to talk about libraries” messages at the doorsteps. Dozens of candidates went on record in their constituencies that libraries matter. Most significantly, all four national pollical parties included a pro-library policy position statement in their manifestos. With the election of a new Conservative government on 19 December, the Libraries Deliver partnership will continue to focus its attention on holding the government to its promises about libraries. In 2020, we plan to continue the VoteLibraries.uk campaign to focus on local councils and mayors from all parties.
The long-term goals for the Libraries Deliver campaign is to build wide public support for libraries and librarians through activism and affirmative actions. Within the first six months of the Libraries Deliver campaign (July – December 2019), over 15,000 people have joined the Facebook page, over 1,000 people are engaged with it on Twitter, and 4,200 people have taken an action like contacting their elected officials or candidates. Other campaign highlights to date include fielding an Open Letter to the Chancellor about funding priorities, supporting the roll-out of the Case for Support at the House of Lords with The Big Issue, and building momentum for the Bobby Seagull’s “Manifesto for Libraries” project with CILIP.
Donate today to help us support libraries in 2020.
As the national library association, CILIP has a long-term and robust public policy framework that people are interested in supporting, when engaged. Our role is to power that engagement and teach CILIP leaders and other library stakeholders what we know to work from our experiences here in the states. Over the projected 3-year run of this partnership, our goals include:
- Developing digital infrastructure and services which allow public libraries and local support groups to build grassroots networks of advocates and supporters;
- Training public library leaders and staff in the skills needed to run effective local supporter and influencer campaigns;
- Developing and testing effective UK-specific messaging to enhance engagement with and support for public libraries from the general public;
- Cultivating a cohort of donors and volunteers who can power the Libraries Deliver campaign over the long term.
Our hope is to build capacity within CILIP for sustainable advocacy and activism while learning from our colleagues about developing effective policy frameworks and expanding professional alignments. The first year of the Libraries Deliver campaign is being funded by the Arts Council England (ACE). In 2019- 2020, our non-election advertising, and outreach are primarily focused on reaching the public in England about their libraries. Our training program to build political literacy skills is likewise focused on library leaders in England and non-lobbying activities by local campaigners. Without ACE funding this project would not exist. We are truly grateful to ACE for having the vision to build new capacity for the future of libraries by engaging the public. It is a natural extension of their mission concerning libraries. ACES is an “arm’s length” agency of government, so uses of the funding are appropriately ring-fenced. As campaign partnerships grow and funding sources are diversified beyond 2020, we look forward to Libraries Deliver expanding its supports to include the devolved nations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland and to broadening our portfolio to include direct supports to local campaigns and campaigners.