Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee, Guest Blogger

Connecting At-Risk Youth to Community Literacy Initiatives—This is Advocacy

When meeting basic needs like rent or medicine becomes a challenge, books are a luxury that few families can justify.  Librarians can be powerful advocates and allies for at-risk youth, supporting literacy initiatives for the homeless and housing insecure both within the library and in the wider community.

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Did You Know This is Advocacy? Early Literacy Programs

If you are anything like me, the first time someone asked you to be an advocate for the library you pictured attending some kind of librarian rally event, writing letters to congressmen, and making super scary presentations to library administration and other stakeholders. While all of these things are certainly advocacy, they were intimidating and sounded like they might take more time than I had. However, after becoming acquainted with Everyday Advocacy and doing a lot of thinking, I realized a lot of what I did every day was actually advocacy. Today, I’ll share an example of an early literacy program that I think of as developmentally appropriate advocacy. In 2014, as a result of a random article from the internet and encouragement from many librarian friends, I gave Baby Storytime caregivers washable markers and oil pastels to use to decorate their babies’ faces (read more about the activity here)….

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Did You Know this Is Advocacy: In the Schools

It’s a busy time of year for library advocates, with National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) right around the corner on May 2–3. Even if you don’t have the time or the resources to head to Washington for the day itself, you can participate in Virtual Library Legislative Day (VLLD) activities during the week of May 2–6 (for details, check out the Everyday Advocacy website). Advocacy Begins at Home As the excitement over NLLD and VLLD build, however, it’s important to remember that big, visible campaigns like these are only one small piece of advocacy, and that much, much more is being done on the ground everyday by librarians simply doing their jobs. Ultimately, advocacy means convincing others of the value of library services to children, and we can all do that just by providing great service—and by ensuring that our bosses, administrators, boards, etc. know about it. As a solo school…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee, Outreach, Uncategorized

Did You Know This is Advocacy

At the recent Midwinter Meetings in Boston, new ALSC Competencies for Librarians Serving Children in Public Libraries were officially announced. The changes reflect the way members of ALSC are accomplishing our work. One of those changes is the creating of a new Outreach and Advocacy section. We are very excited that advocacy has been highlighted in this way! Advocacy is definitely a core part of the services librarians have the opportunity to provide to children and their families every day. As the Advocacy & Legislation Committee discussed our work for the upcoming year, we hit upon the idea of highlighting how librarians might be engaging in advocacy without even knowing it. In fact, as we were discussing our advocacy stories, one of our members said, “I don’t have an advocacy story,” and then went on to talk about her after-school programs in her school library, staying open so children have…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee, Call to Action, Child Advocacy, Legislative & Legal Issues

Time to Contact Your Senators #ESEA

Thanks, in no small part, to all of your calls and emails, the House of Representatives passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which will reauthorize the ESEA if approved. As mentioned in his blog post about the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) last month, ALSC President Andrew Medlar gave us the heads-up that this second call to action would be critical to ensure that a reauthorization includes these hard-fought school library provisions. Now is the time for the final push! The Senate is expected to vote early next week and it is critical that both of your US Senators hear from you. Ask them to, “vote YES on the ESSA Conference Report” and take a moment to let them know how librarians and school libraries positively impact children’s lives and communities. Visit ALA’s Action Center to locate your Senators and stay up to date on this historic vote….