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Step 2: We're Ready: How to Get Started

There are several steps you can take internally and externally to ready your library and your community for the upcoming vote. This preparation will poise your library for success.

1. Create a matrix to examine voter groups in your community. The matrix, referred to as The Magic Quadrant, will allow you to assess: A) How much support you already have and 2) How much additional support you will need to win. This activity will form the basis of your campaign strategy.

2. Consider doing a community survey through the library. You can gather some valuable information and use the results later in favorable ways to support your vote campaign. For example, as a result of the survey, the community may request "more meeting space" or "more children's programs." As part of your campaign messages, you can reiterate the community's request for these items and that additional money is required to meet these demands.

3. Identify internal supporters for your vote: staff, trustees, friends, and volunteers.

4. Begin building a campaign team. The team should be driven primarily by trustees and volunteers.

5. Gather statistics to support your case.

6. Get your fiscal transactions in order. Make your budget reports transparent, easy to understand, and available to the public. Establish reliable bookkeeping procedures and consider CPA oversight.

7. Make your "Annual Report to the Community" a public relations piece. You can post it on your library's website, hand it out as a bookmark, or organize a community mailing to raise public awareness about the library's contribution to the community.

8. Begin developing messages for your vote. These are three or four key points you will use to convince the public about the necessity of your vote. To develop messages that resonate with your community, you may want to conduct a focus group, issue a survey, or talk with a trusted person who is well connected in your community.

Point to Ponder:

"We always do a survey before the vote. There is a psychological value to a survey. It sends the message, "we asked you and this is what you wanted."
-Patti Haar, Director, Patterson Library, NY

Continue to Step 3

Contents

Part 1: Facing Your Fears
Part 2: Frequently Asked Questions About Library Votes
Part 3: Determine if You are Ready for a Vote

- Step 1: Are We Ready
- Step 2: We're Ready: How to Get Started
- Step 3: Ready-Set-Go: Putting the Pieces in Place
Part 4: Lesson Learned from Library Votes: Words from the Wise
Part 5: Additional Resources to Help You with Your Vote
Part 6: Voter Matrix/Magic Quadrant

 

 

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.

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