High Profile Health Libraries

An advocacy toolkit for library and knowledge services

Introduction   –   Making the case   –   Developing champions   –   Where to get help   –   What worked elsewhere   –   References  –   How to contribute


The advocacy toolkit for NHS Library & Knowledge Services (LKS) has been produced as a reference tool for use by all LKS staff, and particularly for those working within or providing services for the NHS. There are a number of references and links which may be of use to LKS staff working within the wider health context. The toolkit can be used as and when required and there is no rigorous order which you need to follow.

So, what is advocacy?


definition from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/advocacy
Public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy
              origin: Late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin advocatia, from advocare ‘summon, call to one’s aid’

LKS Leads have identified the need for an Advocacy Toolkit arising from a number of requests from LKS Managers for assistance as their services come under ever more scrutiny in the current financial climate. This advocacy toolkit is meant to be used as a reference tool to guide you through what you need to know and do including being aware of the issues within your local health economy so that you do not reach crisis point. All LKS staff are encouraged to be positive advocates for the services they provide to provide excellent healthcare and health improvement.

How and when the toolkit should be used

The advocacy toolkit can be used at any time to help ensure the LKS you are providing to your organisation(s) is fit for purpose. Try answering some of these questions:-

When was the last time you reviewed your service?

Are you in touch with all your stakeholders providing them with a proactive customer service?

Have you done everything you can to ensure your service is the ‘go to’ service to provide the evidence base for all clinical and management decision making?

Does the data about your service roll off your tongue easily ie eResources usage; footfall, demographic usage?

Have you got your ‘elevator pitch’ ready for the relevant senior executives in your organisation?

Are your documents to the Board/committees you report into concise and succinct showing return on investment?

This toolkit has been designed to help you answer these questions.

Benefits of the toolkit

The advocacy toolkit will signpost you to a range of tools and resources which you can use to ensure you are operating effectively and efficiently providing best value for money. Of course, if you do reach a point where you need help, you can make use of the many case studies contained within and contact other LKS Managers to talk through their approach; where case studies have been anonymised, you can do this via the LKS Leads.

Further study

University of Toronto’s e-learning course on advocacy: Library Advocacy Unshushed (registration required)


Making the case 

Developing champions

Where to get help

What worked elsewhere


How to contribute