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Play Offense, Not Defense: Have Soundbites Ready for Tough Situations

Increasingly, library workers find themselves in situations like these:

• You have to convince stakeholders or politicians not to cut funding.

• The library collection is being discussed (or derided) at a public meeting.

• You need to talk with nonusers, or even protestors, without becoming defensive.

• People make social media comments that accuse staffers of unsavory actions.

• Someone claims, "We don’t even need libraries anymore because everything is online."


Since these instances are increasing, you must prepare to handle them. And it’s dangerous to wait until you’re in the situation to try to give a safe and effective response on-the-fly. Here’s a better gameplan:

• DON’T get goaded into responding defensively or saying something that can be twisted to use against your library.

• DO go on the offensive by preparing strategic talking points now, so you’ll be ready to respond in a positive, thoughtful way.


Once you learn the strategy for choosing just the right words, you can prepare a value statement, soundbite, or elevator speech for every question and occasion, so you'll always be ready with the perfect comeback! This session will include examples of excellent statements to inspire you.


Play Offense, Not Defense: Have Soundbites Ready for Tough Situations


$25 per person for 4+licenses

  • Kathy Dempsey wrote the popular how-to book The Accidental Library Marketer and founded her own marketing consultancy, Libraries Are Essential. Her work is dedicated to helping librarians and information professionals promote their value and expertise in order to gain respect and funding. Kathy has been the Editor of Marketing Library Services newsletter for 30 years. She's a member of the New Jersey Library Association, and Founding Chair of the Library Marketing and Communications Conference.

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