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

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…

ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 “Absence tells a child that their stories don’t matter” – Aisha Saeed

Micah Bazant's "Everyone Is Welcome Here" poster

Today’s ALSC Mini Institute session “Passing the Mic: Muslim Voices in Children’s Literature and Lessons Learned in the Pursuit of Equity and Inclusion” offered highly personal and deeply moving accounts of what it felt like to grow up either invisible in popular media and books or, even worse, seeing your religion and culture reviled or ridiculed when they were mentioned. Authors Hena Khan and Aisha Saeed, and Zareen Jaffery, Executive Editor of the new Simon & Schuster imprint, Salaam Reads gave suggestions for anyone who wants to make sure that Muslim children feel welcome in our libraries. One important step is visibly indicating that your institution is a caring and safe space, for example through displaying books, programming and posters such as this one: Aisha Saeed shared a delightful story of her young son’s joy upon discovering Hena Khan’s It’s Ramadan, Curious George. As a huge fan of all things…

Call to Action

Spring 2016 #EAChallenge: Championing School Libraries and School Librarians

The Spring 2016 Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC) entered its third week on Tuesday, March 15, with this Take Action Tuesday prompt: Champion the importance of school libraries and school librarians. Read on to find out how Skye Corey, Rosemary Kiladitis, and Stacey Rattner took on the Week 3 challenge with a few small—and even some huge—steps that make a big difference for students of all ages! Skye writes: At the heart of Everyday Advocacy is the belief that small steps make a big difference. As part of this week’s challenge, I took the small step across the road to visit the neighboring middle school librarian. We had a great conversation, and I left with a page-long list of practical steps that I could take to support the work that she does. From MakerSpace outreach programs at lunch, to weeding help, to coming up with a better system of exchange for when students return public library books to…

Call to Action

Spring 2016 #EAChallenge: Introducing Everyday Advocacy to a Colleague

The Spring 2016 Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC) entered its second week on Tuesday, March 8, with this Take Action Tuesday prompt: Introduce Everyday Advocacy to a colleague. To help them tackle this challenge, all Spring 2016 EAC cohort members received three advocacy buttons with tip sheets and three Everyday Advocacy one-page flyers to share with library colleagues and community members. Read on to find out how Rose Hopkins-LaRocco, Angela Petrie, and Mary Voors took on the Week 2 challenge and won big! Rose writes: This week’s Take Action Tuesday Challenge was to introduce a colleague to Everyday Advocacy. We were given Everyday Advocacy buttons and tip sheets and were asked to give these to colleagues and start a conversation. I gave one button to my supervisor and another to my coworker. They were both thrilled to get them and immediately put them on. They both noted how easy it is to get caught up…

Call to Action

Spring 2016 #EAChallenge: Writing a Diversity Elevator Speech

The Spring 2016 Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC) kicked off on Tuesday, March 1, with this Take Action Tuesday prompt: Write a diversity elevator speech using value-based language. Spring 2016 EAC cohort member Gayle Pulley enjoyed the experience of organizing her thoughts and beliefs into this concise statement on the importance of diversity in library service to children: It is my responsibility as a librarian to provide all children with access to a diverse collection of materials and programs. The library gives them the opportunity to discover the world they live within, not merely an exclusive reflection of their own community. Exposure to diversity allows all children to develop into informed, responsible, and respectful global citizens. In reflection on her Week 1 experience, Gayle writes: Making the art of advocacy an essential practice is an effective tool in communicating the library’s important impact. Composing an elevator speech was a perfect first step in preparing for those…

Call to Action

Spring 2016 #EAChallenge: Take the Plunge with Us!

Take a deep breath, Everyday Advocates: We’re plunging headfirst into the Spring 2016 Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC), which starts today! Even if you aren’t part of our 15-member cohort convening from March 1-22, you can still get in on the action. Here’s how: Check out the Take Action Tuesday blog on the Everyday Advocacy website to join our cohort in four weekly challenges; Add yourself to the EAC community on ALA Connect and follow the rich discussion between cohort members; and Promote the EAC on social media using #EAChallenge and #TakeActionALSC. Need a little inspiration before taking the plunge with us? Meet Colleen and Cathy, two members of our Spring 2016 cohort. While initially hesitant about participating in the EAC, children’s librarian Colleen Cochran is eager to learn how becoming Everyday Advocate can help her reach current and potential patrons. Already confident in her advocacy role, library media specialist Cathy Collins looks forward to learning new…