Proving our worth: the elevator pitch

International Librarians Network

Garland Building elevator operators by Angle Torres. Used under CC-BY-NC-ND. Garland Building elevator operators by Angle Torres. Used under CC-BY-NC-ND.

One of the tools we can use to articulate the worth of our libraries is the elevator pitch. This can be a powerful tool to make a quick and memorable point.

The idea of the elevator pitch comes from an imaginary scenario where you are sharing an elevator ride with someone that you want to impress, be it your boss, a senior figure in your funding body, or a stranger that might become a strong advocate (or even donor) for your library. You’ve got somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes to tell this person something that they will remember, and make them want to seek you out and find out more. What do you say?

Literature on this topic suggests that, in that tiny time frame, you need to cover:

  • Who you are
  • What you, your department, your…

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