"For my first vote, I approached it like a librarian and gave the public tons
of information. Then I learned that they get overwhemed easily and the information gets twisted. It is much better to put out bits of information in soundbites and to have talking points that are repreated continuously. "
- Denise Medeiros, Director, Dartmouth Public Library, MA

What are messages?

Messages are key phrases or soundbites you develop to convince the public about the necessity of your vote. Acclaimed media coach, Susan Harrow, defines these messages as "memorable sentences packed with meaning." She recommends that each sentence be "short, to the point, and able to be spoken in less than 10 seconds."

It is best to first decide upon a general slogan for your campaign and then to craft three or four supporting messages which further strengthen your case. This worksheet provides more structure for completing this task.

Key components of strong library messages:

  • EMOTIONS: Draw people in on an emotional level.
  • VALUES: Speak to people in ways that reflect the values of the library and their values.
  • ACTION: Spur voters to action!
  • RESPECT: Respect taxpayers.

Message Development Resources:



This toolkit was created on behalf of the 2005-2007 Getting to Yes (GTY) project. GTY is funded by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Home | Public Library Catalog | Calendar | Contacts | Services | Bulletins | Member Libraries | MHLS Board of Trustees | Web Site Index

Administration & Management | Resource Sharing & Millennium | Reference & Collection Development | Library Programming | Professional Development | Marketing, Advocacy & Funding | Youth Services | Trustee Resources