Libraries have been losing support, measured by willingness to fund, for the past 25 years. The reasons mostly have to do with conservative “framing” of taxation. So a new style of advocacy is needed, one based on neuroscience and a reframe of the social construct. Now more than ever, we need to tell the library story in a way that isn’t all about us, but underscores our value.
LaRue is the former executive director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, and the Freedom to Read Foundation. Author of “The New Inquisition: Understanding and Managing Intellectual Freedom Challenges,” LaRue was a public library director for many years (including a 24 year tenure as director of the Douglas County Libraries in Colorado), as well as a weekly newspaper columnist and cable TV host. He has written, spoken, and consulted on leadership and organizational development, community engagement, and the future of libraries.