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Storytimes matter. How to tell the story.

As Children’s Librarians we almost all plan and facilitate a storytime. We work hard to engage our audience, model early learning practices for caregivers, and embed early literacy tips. Sometimes we do this multiple times a week. It’s a lot of work and it matters. In my short time with the Advocacy and Legislation Committee, I’ve thought a lot about how internal and external advocacy can help promote the work we do in our storytimes. Luckily, the University of Washington’s Information School has a tool for us! The Valuable Initiatives in Early Learning that Work Successfully (VIEWS2) project provides free training and advocacy tools that will help us improve the quality of our storytimes and promote their value – both inside and outside our organizations.   Valuable Initiatives in Early Learning that Work Successfully The Information School initiated the VIEWS2 research project to ask if research could confirm the early…

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Why is Net Neutrality so important to kids, libraries, consumers?

Per the ALA web site Network Neutrality (or net neutrality) is the concept of online non-discrimination. It is the principle that consumers/citizens should be free to get access to—or to provide—the Internet content and services they wish, and that consumer access should not be regulated based on the nature or source of that content or service. Information providers—which may be websites, online services, etc., and who may be affiliated with traditional commercial enterprises but who also may be individual citizens, libraries, schools, or nonprofit entities—should have essentially the same quality of access to distribute their offerings.” The current roiling controversy around Net Neutrality began with the new administration’s appointment of Ajit Pai as head of the FFC in April and his almost immediate call to make significant, deep changes to existing Net Neutrality regulations. Pai insisted that the internet (and access to it, should be no longer considered a public utility…

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I still get asked how much it costs to get a book from the library

It’s true. Twice this year I have been asked this question. Just recently I was attending a wedding and a friend from college asked me, “I know this might be a dumb question but…how much does it cost to rent a book from the library?” It really took me by surprise. Did I show it? No way! I seized the opportunity to nicely and enthusiastically educate my friend, using the following points: -“Library books are always FREE to checkout! Isn’t that amazing!? Going to library programs and events are always free too.”   -“The only time you might have to pay the library is if you turn a book back in late after it’s due.”   -“HOWEVER, with EBooks and audiobooks online you never have to worry about that, because they check back in automatically!”   It was great seeing things click and the lightbulb go off in my friend’s…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Advocacy Discussion at ALSC Membership Meeting

The ALSC Advocacy and Legislation committee Co-Chairs, Africa Hands, and I, were ask to lead an activity at the ALSC Membership Meeting on Monday of the 2017 Annual Conference. Africa developed a list of six resources and topics for small groups to discuss during the meeting. This post is a recap of that discussion. You can see notes from the breakout discussions in the photos, as well as my brief introduction to each topic. Each discussion was facilitated by an ALSC Board Member (thank you!!!) using the guiding questions provided. Share your responses to guiding questions in the comments!  1)      Thunderclap Think of this as a campaign signal booster. Or a go fund me for social reach. In other words, you start a campaign and awesome people donate their social reach to support and boost your campaign. Example: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/45168-banned-books-week Guiding questions: Have you participated in a Thunderclap campaign? What are…

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Meet Lori Rivas, Library Advocate

I met Lori Rivas at National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) 2017 and knew instantly that I wanted to share her story with the ALSC community. Lori is a library consultant with Southern California Library Cooperative (SCLC). She received the WHCLIST Award, which recognizes non-librarians for their advocacy work and supports their participation in NLLD. I hope librarians and non-librarians alike are inspired by Lori’s tireless efforts to support libraries in her community. Lori brought her son Eli (pictured here) along to NLLD. He told her, “all these librarians are so nice! It makes me think that maybe I should be a librarian, too.” Looks like we got another one! Please give an overview of your advocacy experience. For 20 years, I home-schooled my children, depending on public library resources and programming. In 2010, our city, Santa Clarita, CA, proposed contracting with a private company for the management of our public…

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Advocacy & Legislation Co-Chairs Go To Washington – #NLLD17

Greetings ALSC community! It’s Africa and Kendra, co-chairs of the Advocacy and Legislation Committee. Two weeks ago we participated in our first National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Advocacy and Legislation Committee. In addition to meeting fellow committee member, Susan Kusel, and the ALSC leadership team (Aimee Strittmatter, Nina Lindsay, and Andrew Medlar), we met amazing library advocates from across the U.S. whom we’ll profile in future blog posts. Rather than write a traditional blog post about our experience, we recorded a conversation in which we recap our time in D.C. and offer takeaways from the experience. Have a listen and, if you also attended #NLLD17, share your takeaways in the comments. Thanks, ALSC! Want to learn more about National Library Legislative Day priority issues? Check out the issue briefs online. Library advocacy doesn’t stop with #NLLD17. Use these resources from Everyday Advocacy to continue advocating…

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Preparing for VLLD

The ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee recently distributed a survey to learn which of the existing advocacy resources are helpful and your current go-to resources for advocacy information. With Virtual Library Legislative Day (VLLD) approaching (May 1-5, 2017), the committee wanted to know what was already useful and whether members were aware of the resources already available before developing even more resources. What we learned from the survey is that an overwhelming number of respondents (90%) have not participated in a VLLD. Two common reasons for non-participation (besides lack of support from library administrators) were lack of awareness about the event and lack of time. This post aims to address both of these issues and put you on the path to participating in VLLD. Admittedly, the advocacy and legislation sections of the ALA website are overwhelming especially if you’re just getting started with advocacy work. So what do you need…