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 Kathia Ibacache

Is Access to Information ever Complex?

People might believe that access to information is a right for most U.S. citizens, with the exception of incarcerated persons. For some people, especially in urban areas with easy access to public libraries, personal computers, internet access, and educational institutions, access to information is a matter of every day practice. However, is access to information ever a complex issue? Access to Information In theory, the public’s understanding of access to information is correct as expressed in the American Library Association’s mission, which states the role of libraries is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” Nonetheless, what happens in communities in rural areas where transportation is scarce and people lack access to computers, the internet, books, and a public library? Then, access to information becomes problematic….

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Get ready for National Library Legislative Day 2018

Hello, Friends! It’s time once again to make plans for National Library Legislative Day (NLDD). This year’s two-day event will be held on May 7th and 8th in Washington, DC. For those unfamiliar, NLLD brings together librarians, trustees, and other library supporters to advocate for library funding and support for library issues. Attendees attend a day-long advocacy training and briefing on the legislative issues, then put their skills to work the following day on Capitol Hill. Registration for the in-person event has closed; however, you can still participate virtually from your home or office. Register to participate at home and you’ll receive all the information and tips to get in on the action. This year, the Advocacy and Legislation Committee is asking librarians and other library supporters to participate virtually by creating your own Libraries Transform ‘Because statement’ and sharing your statement and a photo on social media to extend…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

An Advocate at the Kid’s Desk

As a relatively new librarian who is also new to ALSC’s Advocacy and Legislation Committee, I am still learning the role of a librarian advocate. I’ll be honest, it often feels overwhelming. I’ll add that this feeling may never dissipate. There is a lot to think about. From local to state and federal stakeholders, I often feel my perch at the kid’s desk isn’t the place where real advocacy happens. How can I rally support for libraries at all levels? It’s not just a question I ask myself as a member of this committee. I am sure it’s a question we all pose to ourselves. So today, I’ll keep it simple. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that we advocate library services every day and we do it from our desks in the kid’s area. Let’s keep it up and consider being more intentional in our everyday advocacy. ALA provides a…

Blogger Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Why is Net Neutrality so important to kids, libraries, consumers?

Per the ALA web site Network Neutrality (or net neutrality) is the concept of online non-discrimination. It is the principle that consumers/citizens should be free to get access to—or to provide—the Internet content and services they wish, and that consumer access should not be regulated based on the nature or source of that content or service. Information providers—which may be websites, online services, etc., and who may be affiliated with traditional commercial enterprises but who also may be individual citizens, libraries, schools, or nonprofit entities—should have essentially the same quality of access to distribute their offerings.” The current roiling controversy around Net Neutrality began with the new administration’s appointment of Ajit Pai as head of the FFC in April and his almost immediate call to make significant, deep changes to existing Net Neutrality regulations. Pai insisted that the internet (and access to it, should be no longer considered a public utility…

Blogger Lisa Nowlain

The Tougaloo Nine

The past few weeks have been violent and frightening. I’ve been trying to think about what I can do as a youth worker in the political and social context of our country, and ALSC has been providing some great resources as has SLJ. It can be helpful to look back in our history as a profession and think about how our profession is not neutral and we need to be active about where we are now. This American Libraries article, Desegregating Libraries in the American South, deserves a second look. Below is an image of the Tougaloo Nine, who sat-in at the all-white Jackson (Miss.) Public Library. When they were marched to the courthouse, a crowd of 100 black supporters were pistol-whipped and bitten by dogs, helping to galvanize desegregation in Mississippi. While purchasing diverse books and finding ways to put them into children’s hands is an important aspect of…

ALA Annual 2017

Membership Meeting and Leadership & ALSC at Annual

I’ve been employed with ALSC for just one month and Annual came so fast! Before I could even blink, hotel confirmations were in, material was printed, and trunks were packed. Prior to my employment with ALSC, I knew about ALA as an organization, but I truthfully did not have much knowledge regarding Annual Conference. It’s mind blowing the amount of work that gets put into this; from staff, to members, to volunteers.  A large portion of my professional background comes from the YMCA. I worked for both the YMCA of Greater New York and the YMCA of Metro Chicago. A common thread that I find between both YMCA associations and ALSC is this aspect of inclusivity. Both the YMCA and ALSC (also ALA as a whole) put diversity and advocacy as organizational objectives. I’m very excited that during two key ALSC meetings we will be discussing these topics. During the…