Statistics for Advocacy

The best advocacy efforts tell a story about how real people and families are helped by using the library. Once you have shared specific, real-life examples, statistics can show the big-picture impact of your library’s services by providing information that is easy and quick to understand. Sometimes library trustees and staff need to "convince" others that the library should or should not do something. One way to strengthen your case is through the careful use of statistics to highlight a community need or provide evidence of growth or change. By comparing library statistics over time, you can spot trends and create posters or documents to convey messages quickly. You may be able to justify current or expanded programs and services by historically comparing:

  • annual library visits,
  • annual attendance to library programs,
  • annual use of meeting rooms,
  • annual circulation of materials,
  • annual public use of compuers, copiers, and fax machines.

Resources for gathering statistics are on the Collect & Use Statistics and Create your Annual Report pages.

Statistical data is only one part of sharing the library's story. Parkland's advocacy toolkit can help you share the transformative power that libraries have on residents in your community.