You already have all the common sense needed to run a group. These checklists are just to help you save time and ensure the basics are covered. They are deliberately detailed, if not comprehensive. Decide which tasks are most essential or practicable for your group.
GET STARTED CHECKLIST
Make concrete plans to do something.
If you are forming to run a campaign, your initial aim is clear.
First actions might include raising awareness or raising money – especially sponsorship for the establishment of the group and its initial programme.
Ensure people are designated to do all the tasks necessary.
Lack of clarity about who promised to do what can be disastrous.
Work with the library staff.
Get to know what are the pressures on the staff, their loyalties to the council, and the priorities they are working to. Mutual understanding is essential.
Make plans to create – and maintain – interest in the group. See COMMUNICATE!
DAY-TO-DAY RUNNING CHECKLIST
Decide how often you will have meetings. Review this from time to time as circumstances change. Will some meetings be just for the organisers/committee/steering group, or will all of them be open to all members?
Some sort of action or event should take place at least once a month to keep the campaign in the public eye and members involved.
At all meetings, however informal, a clear record should be kept – either minutes or a simple action plan – specifying clearly: what is to be done, when, by whom. At the first possible meeting, review the checklist of tasks below.
ORGANISATION TASKS CHECKLIST
Set up a distribution system (physical and/or virtual) for information (details of next meeting? urgent campaign news? minutes? newsletter?). For offline members, set up a telephone tree.
Design and print an application form for new members.
Ask the library to display it.
Ask the library to give you a designated notice-board space.
Contact new members to invite them to get involved.
(If someone local has joined The Library Campaign nationally we can pass on their details to you, with their permission.)
Find out from new members – the easiest way is to ask on their application form – what activities they are willing to undertake and what resources they can offer:
e.g. Mr. Bloggs will type/ bake cakes/ petition/ man stalls/ take part in non-violent direct action/ has a computer/ can make photocopies/ works at the bakery/ lives next door to a TV star/ belongs to local tenants association…
Keep an up-to-date inventory of these resources. Keep a list of shops/ notice-boards willing to display your posters. Keep a list of friendly local businesses willing to give you raffle prizes/ buffet food & drink or other help in kind. Make banners, placards, bill/sandwich boards or information displays to be used at public events. Keep a scrapbook of what happens nationally and locally.
COMMUNICATION TASKS CHECKLIST
Inform all members of the date/place of the next event or meeting (if possible with an agenda).
Put together a newsletter (paper, email or both) with local news, diary dates, articles, or content for others’ newsletters.
Print posters/leaflets for any special event or campaign meeting.
Distribute/put up posters/leaflets.
Put a specific person in charge of the media – it’s a specialised job!
Inform the local media of meetings and/or events.
Tell The Library Campaign:
(1) anything interesting you are doing,
(2) news of local or national importance (e.g intended closures).