Step 3: Ready, Set, Go: Putting the Pieces in Place

1. Brainstorm a list of individuals and groups who can be called upon for support during your campaign. You may want to utilize these individuals in the following ways:

  • Identify at least two people who will be "champions" in the community and actively support your case. These individuals should be known, respected, and willing to speak openly about their support for the library and provide high-impact quotes for public relations materials.
  • Organize community presentations. Arrange for a few volunteers to visit community groups and make presentations on behalf of the library's upcoming vote. This helps to raise awareness, create goodwill, and short-circuit possible misinformation surrounding your vote. Ensure that presenters are capable public speakers, thoroughly supportive and knowledgeable of the proposal. Make sure that they are adequately prepared to answer questions and that they work from the same script.
  • Create a "Friends & Allies" group, or an email list of 10-20 well-connected patrons who will support your cause. You can get them initially by asking for their support and then making them an "insiders group." You can then email them updates and ideas to circulate within the community that support your case.
  • Consider organizing a "Vote Yes Committee" or "Citizens to Support the Library" group who will be able to actively advocate and ask people to "vote yes" on your behalf. This group may consist of supportive community leaders, businesspersons, library friends and volunteers.

2. Solidify the messages that will form the basis for your campaign.

3. Develop a strategy for your vote. Determine proactive steps you can take to ensure your vote's success.

4. Develop a public relations strategy. Generate a list of activities that your library will do to effectively reach the groups most important to your vote's success. These may include public meetings, special programs, bookmarks, or direct mailings.

5. Develop a timeline for your vote efforts.

Point to Ponder

"Libraries need to understand the value of strategic planning before they do a vote. Preparation is required."
- Judi Smith, Board President, East Fishkill Community Library, (Hopewell Junction) NY

Continue to Part 4


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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