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…

Blogger Jamie Campbell Naidoo

Words Matter: Owning and Learning from Our Mistakes

By Jamie Campbell Naidoo, 2018-2019 ALSC President with Elisa Gall, ALSC Board Member The ALSC Institute this past weekend was filled with excitement, passion, and lots of energy generated by just over 400 children’s librarians, youth services educators, children’s book creators, children’s literature researchers, and other professionals working to promote children’s literacy. The new ALSC logo was also unveiled at the Institute; check it out on the ALSC Facebook page.The conference materials for the Institute described the meeting as an intensive learning experience for attendees. With the theme of All Aboard!: Embracing Advocacy & Inclusion, many of the Big Ideas sessions, keynotes, and individual breakouts addressed equity, diversity, and inclusion work that is ongoing and needed in the field and within ALSC. Check out the ALSC Blog for #ALSC18 entries that highlight some of this exciting work. Speakers also prompted attendees to think critically about ways that they can become…

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…