Institute 2014

Making Advocacy Awesome @ #ALSC14

Making Advocacy Awesome @ #ALSC14

My first program of the conference was led by the awesome triple-threat team of Jenna Nemec-Loise, Helen Bloch, and Katie O’Dell. They jam-packed their session with information and inspiration to turn us all into powerful advocates for libraries and children’s services.

Jenna Nemec-Loise started us off with a tour of the excellent & comprehensive resources on the ALSC Everyday Advocacy Website: www.ala.org/everyday-advocacy, and described the elements of advocacy:
Be Informed
Engage w/ Community
Speak Out
Get Inspired
Share Your Advocacy Story

Helen Bloch talked about “building the foundation,” or having the groundwork already done, the relationships already established, etc. so that you are ready to advocate for your library at any time- to respond to crisis or to seize an opportunity.
Think about advocacy in terms of Who, What, Where, When, Why, & How.
Who- budget deciders, possible allies, local media
What- Demonstrate the value of the library and of children’s services
Where- Advocacy takes place both inside & outside the library
When- All the time
Why- the work we do is important!

Katie O’Dell explored the roles of advocacy- for administrators, frontline children’s staff, as a partner of other organizations, & more.

After the panelists’ presentations, we formed breakout groups:

Jenna Nemec-Loise led a group in developing example elevator speeches, using a 3-step process:
Identify a group you serve, list one service or program you provide to them, & describe it in terms of why that’s important. This was mine:
“I help childcare providers find & use resources to transform their centers into rich learning environments.”

Katie O’Dell walked the group through her excellent planning form for developing an advocacy campaign (posted online here: http://www.ala.org/alsc/sites/ala.org.alsc/files/content/NI14Handouts/MakingAdvocacyAwesomeProjectManagertemplate%20%281%29.pdf)

Helen Bloch led a brainstorm to identify actual and potential allies to help spread and support the library’s advocacy message.

We finished by banging the drum loudly as we cheered for advocacy and went forth to change minds and save the world!

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