We all know at least one advocacy fact to be true: advocacy season never ends! As children’s librarians and support staff, we are often the first to advocate for children and their right to read, right to access, and more. ALSC’s Public Awareness Committee is proud to announce the completion and unveiling of nearly two years of work: the Championing Children’s Services Toolkit!
The toolkit was envisioned by 2016-2018 PAC chair Christy Estrovitz and work began on the project in September 2017. PAC co-chairs Mary Schreiber and Skye Corey continued to develop the project, leading to its completion in June 2019.
Our hope is that you’ll find this toolkit useful in your advocacy conversations with stakeholders from public officials to library administration. Championing children’s services means highlighting your good work and all the important connections you build with your community! Here’s what you’ll find:
Championing Children’s Services Toolkit: This PDF is the whole kit and caboodle featuring 8 ‘Because Statements’ geared specifically toward underscoring the impact of your work. Each Because Statement is supported by an informational paragraph (with sources for more reading!) and promotional or programming ideas to try out in your library.
Championing Children’s Services Video: Meg Medina joins librarians and library patrons in a video describing the role librarians play in developing important relationships, advocating for children, and the immense value they add to the community.
Because Statements: All the Because Statements in one place! You can use this editable one-pager as a handout to support all your advocacy efforts throughout the year. On the reverse, there are statistics from the Pew Research Center and ALA.
PowerPoint Template: This template features the Because Statements as well as some great suggestions for filling in your library’s specific stats and information. This would be a great tool to use during presentations to your library administrators, local community board, or other stakeholders.
Printable Postcards: Not all advocacy conversations have to be in person! Print out these postcards and leave them out for library patrons to use, distribute them around the community, or fill them out yourself — the possibilities are endless! For added ease, pre-label the addressee portion with your local elected official’s contact information with an address label.
Example Infographic Early Learning and Development Standards in Libraries: Who doesn’t love calming shades of teal and blue? Use this infographic, adapted from The Ohio Department of Education’s Birth Through Kindergarten Entry – Learning and Development Standards to jump start conversations about what learning looks like in your library.
We hope you’re as excited about this toolkit as we are, and we’d love to hear how you’re using it! Drop us a line in the comments below.
This post addresses ALSC Core Competencies I. Commitment to Client Group and V. Outreach and Advocacy.
Alexandria Abenshon, Library Manager (and children’s librarian at heart) at the New York Public Library, is writing this post for the Public Awareness Committee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.