Paula S. W. Laurita is the Executive Director of the Athens-Limestone Public Library in Athens, Alabama. She was a school librarian for ten years before making the switch to Public Services. Now, she is currently running for an open council seat for ALA! Throughout her career, Paula has constantly advocated for libraries and library services. Her work convincing her community that they needed a new public library epitomizes these efforts. Thanks to her incredible advocacy and use of best practices, the community of Athens, AL gained a beautiful 40,000 square foot library facility at the end of 2014! I was first influenced by Paula Laurita and her accomplishments when I attended her ALA webinar titled, “Marketing and Advocacy: Explaining Libraries to Elected Officials.” The three biggest takeaways I took from Paula, when working with elected officials, were these three rules: 1.Stay POSITIVE. 2. It’s not about you. It’s about the SERVICE to…
Considering the current state of affairs in the United States, advocacy for library services to children may be more vital than ever before. The ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee would like to make sure you have all the tools and resources you need to be excellent advocates for yourselves, your libraries, and children and families in your communities.
I’ve finally made it back to Ohio, and I am so energized by all of the wonderful work I saw happening over the last few days at #alamw17. My last afternoon in Atlanta, I listened to an ALSC Board of Directors meeting where the ALSC Valuation and Advocacy Research Task Force presented their report and recommendations. For those of you (like me) who are not / were not aware of the Task Force, they were charged two years ago to:
When Siobhan Reardon became President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia in 2008, she asked Sara Moran, her Chief of Staff then and Vice-President of Strategic Initiatives now, to manage government affairs and launch a legislative advocacy campaign. Sara Moran took on the challenge and still maintains her advocacy relationships, and I have been continuously impressed with her expertise, ability, and positive attitude. Some activities are ongoing, some annual, and some just when the time is right! Recently, I asked Sara about this initiative and her experiences. Can you give us an overview of your advocacy work? We approach local and state advocacy work with the overarching idea to make it as easy as possible for legislators and politicians to participate and stay involved. We regularly visit legislators in session and we are in frequent contact with local offices. We send them information and photos that legislators can…
Learn more about local advocacy through an interview withSusan Polos, a school librarian for the Bedford Central School District in New York, who worked to save librarian positions in her school district.
Part of the charge for the Advocacy and Legislation Committee is to empower ALSC members in their advocacy efforts. We aim to do this, in part, by sharing stories from the field, stories of other librarians doing advocacy work on a local or state level.
No surprise to anyone who watches television, reads the newspaper, works in a library, or listens to music on YouTube, the US Presidential Election is in 22 days. While the overwhelming majority of Americans are focusing solely on influencing the outcome of this important election, other matters of importance are still happening in Washington and require the voice of each and every one of your library advocates.
In the coming months the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation committee will be highlighting resources which may be useful to you in your advocacy efforts. Today’s resources is Take Action for Libraries, found right on the ALA website.