ALA Annual 2019

Advocacy Resources at ALA Annual 2019

Annual is coming up fast! In case you want to brush up on how to best advocate for yourself and your library, here’s a quick rundown of the advocacy-related meetings taking place in DC. The best part? All the meetings listed below are open and included in your conference registration.

Start out your conference on Saturday, June 22 by attending Grassroots Advocacy and Librarians: Using Research Power to Make Change (Recorded Session) to learn more about how grassroots lobbying works. Panelists will discuss the ins and outs of organizing and how libraries provide the resources and services necessary to effectively make a case to government officials and agencies.

Follow up that session with Turning Enemies into Advocates: How Empathy-Based Training Eliminated Barriers Between Youth & Our Staff (Recorded Session), presented by YALSA. This session will explore the challenges front-line staff face when serving teen patrons and discuss to what extent libraries should support youth in the community. The ultimate goal of this session? To help your library provide exceptional service to teens and in turn, make them library advocates.

Even though decisions made by elected officials impact us directly (library funding, operating hours, etc) public librarians may feel like it’s difficult to voice their viewpoints because they work for a government institution. On Sunday, June 23, attend Amplify your voice: Advocacy in the Workplace (Recorded Session) to learn how library workers and unions have advocated and campaigned for improved working conditions, increased funding, and more.

Later that day, you can also join the Advocacy and Legislation Committee in the Networking Uncommons from 2:15-3:00pm to learn more about the committee and advocacy resources. We’ll also be sharing stories of how you can advocate for library everyday, on and off the reference desk.  

On Monday, attend Using Libraries Transform for Awareness and Advocacy (Recorded Session) In this session, learn how your library can use Libraries Transform for marketing, advocacy, fundraising, and more.

Won’t be attending ALA Annual this year? You can still brush up on your advocacy skills! Click here to access a recording of ALSC’s Advocacy for Everyone Webinar where you’ll hear from library advocates across the country as they share their case studies of advocating for libraries on the local, state, and national level.

Sarah Okner is the co-chair of the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee. She is a Youth and School Services Librarian with the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire, Illinois.

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