Meeting with Council Members
Stay on Message
- Talk about the significance of the requested items
- Convey impact of loss
- Give specifics- have "hard" numbers
- Tell a "story" - say how service is affected by the changes
- Some kinds of anecdotal stories are better in a meeting than on paper
- Councilmembers from all Districts need to hear the message from everyone
- Ask them this question: "Can you support this?" Try to get that commitment.
- If the answer to the above question is "No" ask what needs to be done to make a "Yes" answer possible.
- The more bodies, the better for visits. Even one or two people are good if they "report back"
- Have specifics that you want to achieve.
- Have a uniform message.
- Ask for everything you want (you may not get it all, so go high).
- Recruit as many kinds of groups and people as possible. Library support is community-wide; make that clear. Bring in neighbors, colleagues, civic groups, whatever, all are good.
Leave something behind that conveys the gist of your presentation to the Councilmember or staffer. This serves as a reminder of your talking points and can also give more depth to topics that you didn't have time to elaborate on.
Convey, if you can, a willingness to bear the tax burden for library service; a willingness to see the Council override the tax cap, if need be. It is easier to justify going all out for something that a wide base of the community supports money-wise.
Final spending affordability guidelines come up before the end of April, after the State budget is set. Try to act before this, if possible. It gives the Council an idea of what is important to the community, i.e. where they should spend.
Compiled and prepared by Paulette Dickerson firstname.lastname@example.org v.19Ap09