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 Early Childhood Programs and Services committee

It’s Just Stories, Isn’t It?

At some point working in a children’s library setting, this may happen to you. Whether it’s the library board, the city council, an administrator, or even one of your customers, they will observe a story time program, be suitably impressed by your event, and ask quite innocently about what exactly you are doing. To the uninitiated, what happens in the room is fun and entertaining. A great place to be in and of itself, but we all know there is lot more to it. Admittedly, in one way or another, these questioners are the ones who pay for what we do, so this provides a great opportunity to inform and enlighten. It’s time to break out your best elevator speech that lends method to the madness. Here at the library, during our infant, toddler, and preschool programming we build a foundation so when young children are taught to read, they…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Advocacy from home

May 4-8th  was National Library Legislative Week (NLLW). Traditionally, National Library Legislative Day entails representatives from libraries across the country going in person to Washington, D.C. or to state capitols in order  to lobby congressmen and elected officials for funding. Unable to visit in person, the ALA expanded the day to a week-long advocacy effort, offering daily advocacy activities and trainings online. 

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Advocacy in the Age of Uncertainty

To borrow a line from Hemingway, how did my library life change in the last month? Two ways: gradually and then suddenly. COVID-19 has radically changed what I think and feel about my job at the library, and I bet it has for you as well. When our programs were cancelled, I accepted it and kept going. When our doors were closed, I bustled with new ideas: I could create an online storytime. I could use our social media to broadcast much-needed information on school lunch distribution and local ordinances. When the mom of one of my book club kids wrote to ask if we could do a digital book club, I added it to my mental checklist of Proof of the Library’s Value. Information I could use to show how necessary we are, in this time of crisis. Data I could show to stockholders once the dust all settled….

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Share Your Patrons’ Success Stories

We know that libraries are more than just books. They’re places to learn, create, and find community. But many of our stakeholders don’t have a clear idea of what the library offers, or why it’s important. Although we can regale them with statistics on how much money the library can save a taxpayer, or how many children attend our early literacy programming, it’s more convincing for them to hear personal stories from the patrons themselves. Alameda County Library, in the Bay Area of California, uses their “Tell Us Your Library Story” campaign to do just that (full disclosure: this is my library system!). For this campaign, library staff recorded interviews with real patrons and created videos to share their success stories. One patron shared how she invented a product for nursing mothers and tested her design on a library sewing machine. Another patron achieved her dream of earning her high…

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 Mary R. Voors

Everyday Advocacy Member Content Editor Needed

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) seeks a member content editor for its Everyday Advocacy website and “Everyday Advocacy Matters” newsletter. The mission of Everyday Advocacy is to educate youth services librarians on the importance of advocacy and to provide them with tools to assist in articulating their own value within the library profession and community. Applications for this position are due February 4, 2019. The EA member content editor prepares, solicits and curates material for the EA website and provides complete copy for four quarterly issues of the “EA Matters” newsletter. Full details, including duties, qualifications and compensation are available online at the Everyday Advocacy website. ALSC membership is required for the position. Candidates should send a cover letter, resume that includes management, writing and web publishing experiences, and two writing samples. Familiarity with web publishing and web content management is required. Applications are due February 4…