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ACRL Libraries Transform Toolkit: "Because" Statements for ACRL

Developing Because statements

The ALA's Libraries Transform Campaign was developed in order to spread the word about the impact libraries and librarians make. As part of that campaign, "Because" statements were generated to help libraries promote their services and resources in a way that would resonate with their audiences: http://www.ilovelibraries.org/librariestransform/. 

Since that time, ACRL has made plans to adapt this campaign in a way that resonates with membership needs and goals. One of the linchpins of the campaign are the "Because" statements which are meant to allow libraries to communicate with stakeholders in a sound-byte manner, quickly encapsulating the essence of a particular issue of importance. As developing these statements is not always an easy task, this toolkit provides both examples as well as ALA's formula to create your own!

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Creating your own

ALA has created a "Because" statement template to help you develop your own statements under the following guidelines:

  • Establish your goals: Start out with a clear sense of what you’re trying to accomplish with your custom Because statement. Consider the overarching goals of your library or library group, as well as how public awareness and advocacy tactics like Because statements might help you advance that mission. What kind of outcomes would you expect to see from a successful Because statement?
  • Consider your audience: The goal you select will help you write, research, and promote the most effective Because statement for your organization. Be sure to consider what audience you’ll need to target in order to meet these public awareness and advocacy goals. Whose attention are you hoping to capture? What kinds of messaging will most resonate with that particular group?
  • Develop your argument: Once you have a goal and an audience in mind, you can formulate the argument at the core of your Because statement. Aim for a provable claim about how libraries add value or solve a problem for the communities they serve. Make sure this claim resonates with what your target audience cares about and will persuade them to help you meet your predetermined goal
  • Keep it short and snappy: Once you’ve come up with an evidence-backed idea about why libraries transform, it’s time to craft an impactful wording that will resonate with your audience and advance your goals. Keep it concise and catchy; alliteration, rhyme, and wordplay can help make a statement memorable

Share your suggesed Because statements

Sample statements

  1. Community/Social Justice
    • Because...the library is about helping your community 
    • Because...learning is a social movement
    • Because...the library is changing too
    • Because...marginalized populations deserve an equal voice
  2. Learning
    • Because...student learning is about crossing thresholds of knowledge
    • Because...the library is an essential part of the student experience
    • Because...information shouldn't be locked behind a paywall
  3. Research
    • Because...researchers need help managing their data too
    • Because...research impact is more than just a number
  4. Innovation
    • Because...creativity is not just a noun
  5. Technology
    • Because...creating a virtual world can be just as exciting as the real one

ALA Libraries Transform "Because" statements

                                                                      

                                                                      

Images taken from the ALA Libraries Transform Campaign website: http://www.ilovelibraries.org/librariestransform/