Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Readers Advocacy: Book Talking Your Library

National Library week may be over, but the Advocacy and Legislation Committee wants to help you keep the party going at your library. Picture books set in the library highlight the joy and importance of reading. For young children these books guide conversations about familiar experiences and reinforce the relevance of a library in their lives. In short, these books advocate for the library. Below is a limited selection of picture books celebrating the library. Create a display or book talk these titles and let your families inspire their own advocacy for libraries at home! What are some of your favorite picture books that celebrate all things library? Comment below and help our list grow! A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker. Illus by Kady McDonald Candlewick Press, 2014 A curmudgeonly bear does not want to go to the library. After all, he as seven perfectly good books at…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

National Library Week Provides Countless Advocacy Opportunities

National Library Week is coming right up, celebrated this year April 7-13 with the theme Libraries = Strong Communities. As you are no doubt aware, since 1958, the American Library Association has set aside this special week every year in April in order to highlight library efforts throughout the nation. Melinda Gates chairs the week this year. Events As part of National Library Week’s festivities, the State of America’s Library Report will be released and will include the Top Ten Frequently Challenged Books of 2018, as published annually by the Office for Intellectual Freedom. Also that week, on Tuesday, April 9, National Library Workers Day (NLWD) is celebrated and provides an opportunity to recognize the hard work of all library employees. Wednesday, April 10 is National Bookmobile Day and Thursday, April 11 is Take Action for Libraries Day. Naturally, having a week dedicated to highlighting our efforts on a national…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

AmazonSmile as Easy Fundraising Opportunity

Like it or not, everyone is shopping at Amazon these days. Okay, not everyone. But you get the point. We might as well get used to it. Not only that, we might as well take advantage of it. At least, we might as well know our options. Libraries operate on increasingly tight budgets. And we advocate on a regular basis for greater funding. Sometimes, we get it. And even when we don’t, we’re increasingly clever with how we spend what we have to effectively reach all of our patrons. We’re good at what we do. Still, a few extra bucks never hurts. Enter AmazonSmile. An easy way to earn a few cents on eligible purchases which, depending on supporter’s purchasing habits, may add up to substantial donations. After all, as of October 2018, according to their site, AmazonSmile’s charities have earned more than $105 billion. Here’s how to sign up,…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Because Children’s Libraries Are Community Investments

I often hear about the importance of advocating for youth services to the rest of the library; however, youth services librarians are also excellently poised to help their communities recognize the lasting, positive outcomes of investing in their public libraries. It was good news last year for American libraries when President Trump signed a bill that increased the IMLS budget by about $2 million. However, an updated study by ALA and OCLC, From Awareness to Funding: Voter Perceptions and Support of Public Libraries in 2018, found that most voters don’t realize how much public libraries are not funded by federal sources like IMLS: “86% of public library funding comes from local government sources; yet, 59% of voters think most library funding comes from non-local sources.” This is a problem when voters show less financial commitment to their local libraries than they did a decade ago: “only 58% of respondents are…

ALA Midwinter 2018

Advocacy Resources at ALA Midwinter 2019 and Beyond

The Midwinter Meeting 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 Seattle. The best part? All the meetings listed below are open and included in your conference registration. Start off your Saturday with Breaking Down the Barriers to Advocacy for School Libraries.Part of the Symposium on the Future of Libraries, attendees can join ALA Policy Corps for a conversation surrounding political advocacy for school librarians. Attendees will also learn how to connect with local legislators and break down barriers that stand in the way of effective advocacy efforts.   For the first two years of the Trump Administration, librarians have been politically active and energized. But with a new Congress, what happens next? Libraries & Public Policy After the Midterm Elections & the Midpoint of the…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Community Storytimes Support Library Advocacy

I work in an urban environment, nestled tightly into a downtown grid, separated from many communities where families live. We face an assortment of barriers, most notably parking expenses and easy public transit access, that limit the availability of our kids area for those families who live in our service area. Barriers to access such as these are well known to many of you, I am sure, and they amplify the need to reach out into surrounding communities. This outreach is a part of our daily lives. And, hey, it’s also library advocacy! We meet families where they are. Through our programming we highlight the importance of early learning for families and community partners. We’re building relationships with stakeholders who gain a better understanding of our role in their lives and develop support for the library in the communities we serve. Although there are many ways we program throughout our…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Advocacy Resources: Helping You Tell Your Library’s Story

Midterm elections are right around the corner. For many of us, that means library advocacy is at the forefront of our minds. The ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee wants to make sure that you feel empowered and informed so you can advocate for yourself, your library, and the children and families you serve. Yes, it can seem daunting. But advocacy is something we library folk already excel at: sharing information and building relationships. Advocacy is all about helping your patrons and elected officials better understand your library’s role and value to community. But how do you start organizing all of that information? How do you tell your library’s story in a clear, engaging way? There are so many wonderful resources available to help you get started. However, it can feel overwhelming to slog through everything to find what you need. ALA’s Everyday Advocacy focuses specifically on library services to youth…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Summer Reading is Library Advocacy

Greetings from your Committee on Advocacy and Legislation! It’s August. For many public librarians that means an end to summer reading. Our daytime rush of readers slows and we begin our fall outreach into the many schools we serve. It’s a wonderful time of year, one full of high-fives and celebratory applause for the hard work our readers have done all summer long. Let’s reflect the achievements of our readers and its obvious link to advocacy work, both for us, the teachers, and the school librarians we serve. Highlights of my summer include the sense of accomplishment on the face of a reader who has finished their requisite number of books or pages. It takes determination for these kids, even when it’s fun. And if your library is like mine, the number of readers meeting their goals each year is growing. It’s obvious that for many kids our summer reading…