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Advocacy Through Programming

When considering how to best advocate for services and programs offered by public libraries in our current environment, which includes a proliferation of information and digital access to multitude of sources, I tried to answer the questions: To whom is this program or service of value? How are we changing the landscape of our communities? How are we advancing the mission of public libraries to fight oppression and inequity? With those questions in mind, I will walk you through a small program that had big impact in our community and sent a strong message of our values and the tenets in our community. Remember that advocating is not only done by messaging, advertisement, or campaigns. We advocate every day through relevant services, programs, and collections. Creating strategic community programs and showing how essential libraries are to children and adults is a great way to advocate for libraries. In 2016, like…

ALA Midwinter 2018

Refine your advocacy skills at 2018 ALA Midwinter

The 2018 ALA Midwinter Meeting is right around the corner. Before you get too far along in planning your schedule, I want to highlight the advocacy-related meetings taking place. The fun begins on Friday, Feb. 8th, with the Advocacy and Intellectual Freedom Bootcamp and Advocacy Training Institute. At these two ticketed events, organized by ALA’s Office of Library Advocacy and Office of Intellectual Freedom, you will learn proven strategies to effectively implement an advocacy plan for your library and garner the support of your community. After learning the nuts and bolts of library advocacy, sit in on a committee meeting. Both the Committee on Library Advocacy and PLA’s Legislation and Advocacy Committee meet on Saturday morning followed by an afternoon meeting of the UNITED Legislation, Advocacy & Intellectual Freedom Committee. All three meetings are open and included with full conference registration. You can find these and other advocacy-related meetings in the…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Interview with Patrick Sweeney of Every Library

Patrick “PC” Sweeney is the Political Director at Every Library, a 501c4, dedicated to  helping libraries with campaigns, elections, and any political arena where library funding is at stake. Patrick’s first library job was a school librarian, and claims it was the best job he ever had. Nichole Brown conducted the following interview with Patrick on November 8, 2017, where we discussed advocacy and children’s services. NB: Tell us about EL’s recent campaign on November 7th. PS: EL worked with nine libraries on ballot initiatives and seven won! Some of the highlights are that the Rochelle Park, NJ establishes a new library system….   NB:  … that means some jobs are opening up? PS: (laughs) Yup they got the funding! Also, Moniteau County was going to have to close libraries with this ballot measure the citizens were able to prevent that from happening. Our website has all the details. NB: Congratulations…

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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…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

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…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

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…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

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…