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 Library Service to Underserved Children and Their Caregivers committee

Congratulations to the 2018 Light the Way Grant Winner

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has announced that New Carrollton Public Library is the recipient of the 2017-2018 ALSC/Candlewick Press “Light the Way: Outreach to the Underserved” Grant. As the winner of the grant, the library will receive $3,000 for their Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families program. Literacy & Library Skills for Refugee Families started in April 2017. The program was initiated during a time when the library, (located in New Carrollton, MD), was being renovated. With the encouragement of  library administration, Program Coordinator, Meisywe Cavanaugh, decided to start visiting  a community housing center about five miles from the main library. Cavanaugh found that there was a large population of refugee families and young children living in this area. Currently, families who attend the library program are from: Afghanistan, Syria, Bhutan, Myanmar, Ethiopia and other Arabic speaking…

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 Advocacy and Legislation Committee

Advocacy & Legislation Co-Chairs Go To Washington – #NLLD17

Greetings ALSC community! It’s Africa and Kendra, co-chairs of the Advocacy and Legislation Committee. Two weeks ago we participated in our first National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Advocacy and Legislation Committee. In addition to meeting fellow committee member, Susan Kusel, and the ALSC leadership team (Aimee Strittmatter, Nina Lindsay, and Andrew Medlar), we met amazing library advocates from across the U.S. whom we’ll profile in future blog posts. Rather than write a traditional blog post about our experience, we recorded a conversation in which we recap our time in D.C. and offer takeaways from the experience. Have a listen and, if you also attended #NLLD17, share your takeaways in the comments. Thanks, ALSC! Want to learn more about National Library Legislative Day priority issues? Check out the issue briefs online. Library advocacy doesn’t stop with #NLLD17. Use these resources from Everyday Advocacy to continue advocating…

ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 “Absence tells a child that their stories don’t matter” – Aisha Saeed

Micah Bazant's "Everyone Is Welcome Here" poster

Today’s ALSC Mini Institute session “Passing the Mic: Muslim Voices in Children’s Literature and Lessons Learned in the Pursuit of Equity and Inclusion” offered highly personal and deeply moving accounts of what it felt like to grow up either invisible in popular media and books or, even worse, seeing your religion and culture reviled or ridiculed when they were mentioned. Authors Hena Khan and Aisha Saeed, and Zareen Jaffery, Executive Editor of the new Simon & Schuster imprint, Salaam Reads gave suggestions for anyone who wants to make sure that Muslim children feel welcome in our libraries. One important step is visibly indicating that your institution is a caring and safe space, for example through displaying books, programming and posters such as this one: Aisha Saeed shared a delightful story of her young son’s joy upon discovering Hena Khan’s It’s Ramadan, Curious George. As a huge fan of all things…

Call to Action

Spring 2016 #EAChallenge: Championing School Libraries and School Librarians

The Spring 2016 Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC) entered its third week on Tuesday, March 15, with this Take Action Tuesday prompt: Champion the importance of school libraries and school librarians. Read on to find out how Skye Corey, Rosemary Kiladitis, and Stacey Rattner took on the Week 3 challenge with a few small—and even some huge—steps that make a big difference for students of all ages! Skye writes: At the heart of Everyday Advocacy is the belief that small steps make a big difference. As part of this week’s challenge, I took the small step across the road to visit the neighboring middle school librarian. We had a great conversation, and I left with a page-long list of practical steps that I could take to support the work that she does. From MakerSpace outreach programs at lunch, to weeding help, to coming up with a better system of exchange for when students return public library books to…

Call to Action

Spring 2016 #EAChallenge: Introducing Everyday Advocacy to a Colleague

The Spring 2016 Everyday Advocacy Challenge (EAC) entered its second week on Tuesday, March 8, with this Take Action Tuesday prompt: Introduce Everyday Advocacy to a colleague. To help them tackle this challenge, all Spring 2016 EAC cohort members received three advocacy buttons with tip sheets and three Everyday Advocacy one-page flyers to share with library colleagues and community members. Read on to find out how Rose Hopkins-LaRocco, Angela Petrie, and Mary Voors took on the Week 2 challenge and won big! Rose writes: This week’s Take Action Tuesday Challenge was to introduce a colleague to Everyday Advocacy. We were given Everyday Advocacy buttons and tip sheets and were asked to give these to colleagues and start a conversation. I gave one button to my supervisor and another to my coworker. They were both thrilled to get them and immediately put them on. They both noted how easy it is to get caught up…