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Public Information and Communication

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 23, 1999

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Ellen Van Waart
402-471-4004, 800-307-2665

Nebraska Community-Library Advocacy Workshop Planned

Librarians and library supporters from across the state will come together for an advocacy workshop on March 30 and 31 at the York Public Library. Nationally recognized library advocates will join with local library advocates to begin a planning process for an effective library advocacy program. Terry Preston, Friends of Oakland CA Public Library Board member and "pub-adv" e-mail group moderator, and Doris Bass, consultant for publishing and Libraries for the Future, will keynote the workshop. Practical examples of strategies that have been successful across the country will be presented with a hands-on approach to developing local strategies. Participants will go home with a working plan for implementing an advocacy program to help reach local library service goals.

The Nebraska Library Association's Trustees, Users and Friends Section and Legislative Committee, the Nebraska Library Commission, and Nebraska's Regional Library Systems cosponsor this statewide Advocacy Planning Process to build active support for public libraries throughout the state. The project, supported by Libraries for the Future and Friends of Libraries U.S.A., and funded by the Viburnum Foundation, includes all Nebraska libraries that responded to an assessment of local economic and social trends that affect support for libraries. The Community-Library Advocacy Project helps to promote "Libraries for the 21st Century," a campaign initiated by the Legislative Committee of the Nebraska Library Association to improve library service in Nebraska. In addition to advocacy training workshops, local initiatives with South Sioux City Public Library and Bellevue Public Library will be launched this year.

The project establishes models of public library advocacy in communities with low levels of funding, potential for high levels of community support, and current challenges to the vitality of the public library. It works to establish a network of skilled volunteer advocates to conduct mentoring activities with community groups, Friends of Libraries groups, and other library customers. Community-Library Advocacy is speaking out for libraries and organizing people to act in support of libraries to ensure that libraries continue to serve our democratic society. For more information, see the Community-Library Advocacy Project home page at http://www.nol.org/home/NLA/advocacy/.

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As the state library agency, the Nebraska Library Commission is an advocate for the library and information needs of all Nebraskans. The mission of the Library Commission is statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library and information services, bringing together people and information. The most up-to-date news releases from the Nebraska Library Commission are always available on the Library Commission Home Page. Point your World Wide Web browser to http://nlc.nebraska.gov/.

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For more information, contact Mary Jo Ryan.