On Thursday, May 25 we had our first Postcard Party in the Park! (It was really TWO parties, as we hosted a lunchtime event, and another one in the evening.) It was great to see so many library people, and we collected a lot of postcards to mail to our legislators and other stakeholders. And we had a lovely day out by the river at Munsinger Clemens Gardens, with sunshine, flowers, and a surprisingly large number of rabbits dashing around. So it was a complete success!!
The story of Munsinger Clemens Gardens is a love story, as you can see in this statue of Bill and Virginia Clemens – admiring the rose garden she loved. This was the perfect setting for us to chat with our library people and to share some good library facts with stakeholders. We love libraries, and want to see them thrive!
We set up our sign, to direct traffic back to the tables where we were setting up. There are so many great things to do in this garden, we wanted to be sure our library people could find us.
We got a table all set up and ready for action before our library advocates stopped by! We brought postcards we created with library facts printed in different designs, addresses for all our state and federal legislators, some facts about libraries and their value to the community, and sample text to get everyone started in working out what to say. (It’s nice to use a postcard; you can just give a couple of facts and be done!) Not in this picture: there were also mini-cupcakes, cookies, and some healthier snack options. We know that advocacy can be hard work, so we wanted to be sure everyone was sufficiently fueled for the day ahead!
We had a steady stream of visitors to fill out postcards – and to enjoy chatting about libraries! CMLE and ECRL Board member Wendy Kafka even recruited a friend to come and do some advocacy work for libraries! It was so fun to have this chance to chat about libraries, and all the great things libraries do. All of us who work in the library field know that we provide so much value to our communities; and it is fun to have this chance to advocate and talk about our values to stakeholders who are not familiar with all our work. (Yes, a few people who were just happily visiting the gardens also got to hear about the value of libraries! They seemed pleased.)
Thanks to everyone who turned out for our first event! We had a great time, we collected a lot of postcards to mail to stakeholders, and we had such fun chatting with people about libraries!! This is the best kind of advocacy work: when we have fun, we share ideas, and we help all kinds of people to learn more about the work we do and the incredible value we provide!
We will definitely be hosting more of these postcard parties, and want to move around our twelve-county CMLE area. Do you have a fun place we could meet to write out postcards?? We want to go there!! Email us with your suggestion, or fill out the form below, and we will get things set up!
One small advocacy fact you can use when you talk to people outside the field about our value:
For every $1 invested in Minnesota public libraries, an average of $4.2 in value is returned to the community.
That’s a pretty amazing Return on Investment (ROI)!