Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Make Time for Library Advocacy in 2021: Tips for Connecting with Your Elected Officials

The start of a new year is a great time to set new goals, work on new projects, and begin advocating for libraries! Reaching out to share information about your library and voicing your opinions on legislation that impacts libraries can lead to tangible benefits in terms of funding and community support. However, getting started in advocacy often can feel intimidating and overwhelming. To help, Justin de la Cruz, Chair of the Committee on Library Advocacy, and Joe Thompson, Chair of the Committee on Legislation, have answered some questions you may have so you, too, can advocate like a pro!

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Hindsight is Twenty-Twenty: Reimagining Public Libraries in 2021 and Beyond

Anxious. Tumultuous. Confusing. Cut-off. These are words that come to mind when reflecting on the past year. But with three days left, the end of 2020 is in sight. But we are not yet out of the woods. The COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating economic repercussions will be felt through 2022. Millions of Americans lost jobs this year, and now, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium ending on December 31, 30 to 40 million Americans are at risk for eviction. So once things are back to “normal,” they still truly won’t be. School libraries will serve children whose families have been impacted. Public libraries will serve families who have been impacted. Recovery will take time. Our committee took time at each virtual meeting to discuss the pandemic and its impact on our communities. Before the pandemic, mobile hotspots, e-resources, pop-up libraries,  virtual meetings, and more existed in public…

Administrative and Management Skills

Virtual Giving Campaigns

Libraries big and small need the support of their communities. In pre-COVID times, fundraising could run the gamut from a book sale to a large Gala with a keynote author. This is yet another area where libraries have had to pivot to the “new normal”.  Cindy Sharek, Director of Donor Relations for the King County Library System Foundation, shares how they’ve adapted.  How are you using Virtual Campaigns?  The KCLS Foundation participates every year in three giving days.  Library Giving Day (April 23) GiveBig (May 5-6) Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1) In 2020, these were even more important to our fundraising for the year. All three were virtual and we had great results. We used email campaigns, social media posts, and direct mail to spread the word. We were able to put together a strong match pool for Library Giving Day and raised over $110,000 between GiveBig and Library Giving Day….

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Spotlight On: School Age Programs & Services

Once again, the Public Awareness & Advocacy Committee is excited to share another exciting ALSC committee with you! Again, why are process committees cool? They create valuable programs, publications, and resources for youth librarians. After all, while we love our book awards, we also love our toolkits, webinars, best practices, and networking opportunities… and all of this value is for members, by members!  Previously, we spotlighted the Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee. Here is another exciting committee to keep an eye on (and maybe consider volunteering for next year). The co-chairs of the School Age Programs & Services committee, shared some insight into what it’s like to serve on this committee. Can you share a brief history of the committee?  Because of the rotating nature of committees, it can be hard to pin down when and how a specific process committee was formed. Sierra, who is…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Helping Libraries Affected by Natural Disasters

When my small coastal town of Orange Beach, Alabama was hit by Hurricane Sally in September, we were all a little surprised by the magnitude. Surely after everything 2020 has thrown us, we won’t get a hurricane too?! Luckily, our library suffered little damage and we were able to open back up quickly with the help of generators (we didn’t have power for several days). Dealing with a hurricane got me thinking: what can other communities do to help libraries that have been affected by natural disasters? This year alone we have seen wildfires, hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and earthquakes. How can libraries help their communities and help libraries recover from natural disasters? The first stop is the American Red Cross. They have the disaster relief infrastructure that allows for quick and easy assistance. Donating time and money can go a long way to help those affected. ALA has resources through…

Blogger Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee

Spotlight On: The Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers

  ALSC has several process committees and task forces that members have the opportunity to serve on.  The Public Awareness and Advocacy Committee is shining a light on all of these groups to let membership know why these groups were formed, what they are doing now, and how our members can join or show support for the work each group is doing.  This month, the co-chairs of The Library Services to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers Committee, Joe Prince of Bowling Green State University and Jaime Eastman of the Plano Public Library, were kind enough to respond to some questions about their committee’s work.   Can you share a brief history of the committee?  Although established in 1964, the Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee had, until recently, been tasked with administering Candlewick Press’ Light the Way Grant. This commitment required a lot of our time and focus, though…

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!