Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Libraries Make Communities More Resilient in Times of Adversity

In times of crisis, when budgets are tight, often public libraries are seen as expendable. While our advocates know the value of libraries, it can be hard to convey their importance as an essential service, especially to government officials who are not library users and only see libraries as repositories for things. However, libraries’ greatest strengths are in the connections we make with the people we serve. We are a critical part of the social infrastructure of our communities, and our role in this infrastructure helps our communities be more resilient through hardships and adversity. Social infrastructure is a term that refers to the spaces and organizations that support and grow social connections. These can be parks, recreation centers, playgrounds, schools, churches, daycares, and, of course, libraries – places where people can meet up with their friends and create new ones, learn, share ideas, and feel connected to their neighbors…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Connecting with Library Voters During COVID-19

In an attempt to find out more information and how I could make a positive impact, I attended the Library Advocacy and Funding Conference (LAFCON), hosted by EveryLibrary. LAFCON was extended from September 14 – 16, to the entire week, and there were still too many interesting presentations to take them all in. What made this conference unique was that all the presenters were from outside organizations. Their unique perspectives help frame advocacy in a larger context and deepen my understanding. Let me share some of my favorite take-aways from LAFCON. They Like Us, They Really Do! 

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Faith Restored: Sometimes It Helps to Go Old School

“Scramble” is the best verb to describe what doing my work has felt like for the last six months; one scramble after another, responding to community needs and challenges. That scrambling took its toll and wore me out this summer. Last week, on the precipice of a new, uniquely chaotic school year, I was desperate for inspiration. What even is children’s librarianship now, amidst the multiple pandemics in which we find ourselves and our communities embroiled in today?  I decided to start where I always start when I’m feeling overwhelmed — with cleaning my workspace. Sifting through old files, I found a folder labeled “Librarianship – History”. I’d apparently tucked away several articles on the history of children’s librarianship.  Nowhere in this modest collection were there any articles specifically on librarianship during viral pandemics or social upheaval. But there was one that drew my eye. In 1999, Drs. Betsy Hearne…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Introducing ALSC’s New Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

For those of you who may be less familiar with ALSC’s internal committee structure, it may come as a surprise that, beyond award committees, it takes a lot to run the children’s division of ALA. ALSC relies on volunteers and ALSC leaders to develop research, make toolkits, provide professional development opportunities, award grants, plan conferences, recruit and retain membership–and write blog posts here!