In March 2017, the Rhode Island Library Association (RILA) invited COLA to help create this 30-second television commercial to air during the month of May. Objective: to show the value of Rhode Island’s libraries, building public interest in and commitment to the life-enhancing services we offer. One Board member contributed $500 on the spot, and the Board quickly voted to match that donation.
In May, the Board learned that the School Librarians of Rhode Island (SLRI) are developing a similar video. Good news! Goal 1 of COLA’s 2017 Strategic Plan is (of course!) advocacy: COLA will advocate effectively for all RI libraries in collaboration with other RI library organizations statewide. The Board immediately voted to contribute $500 to the SLRI initiative, and as with the RILA initiative we encourage individual members to contribute as well.
The cost of scripting, filming, and editing a PR video is more than COLA would be able to fund independently at our current membership level – and then there’s the cost of placing the ads where they will do the most good. We could not do it ourselves.
But COLA has been a collaborative organization from the beginning. In addition to our elected members (the majority of whom should not be practicing librarians), the Board includes voting representatives from RILA, SLRI, and five other associations: the Association of RI Health Sciences Librarians (ARIHSL), the Consortium of RI Academic and Research Libraries (CRIARL), Cornucopia of Rhode Island, (CORI), the Special Libraries Association (SLA), and the URI Graduate School of Library and Information Studies (URI GSLIS). We also have an ex officio representative of the Office of Library and Information Services (OLIS).
This is good from a communication standpoint – how could we advocate for all types of RI libraries without hearing what goes on in them? And it’s increasingly good for collaboration as well.