Saturday, March 15, 2014

Be a Champ! Effective Advocacy for Youth Services

I'm in Indianapolis at the 2014 PLA Conference today presenting a session with Rhonda Puntney Gould, library advocate extraordinaire. Our session is titled Be a Champ! Effective Advocacy for Youth Services, and it's meant to inspire all manner of youth services personnel to use their storytelling skill set to advocate for their departments, their libraries, their customers, and themselves.

Throughout our presentation, we're talking about a number of outstanding resources that can aid advocates as they go about their work. All of these resources, plus plenty more that we love and recommend, are available on our presentation Pinterest page. Rhonda, Marge Loch-Wouters (who was originally supposed to present with Rhonda, but, life) and I will continue to add to this board as we collect more resources. I do want to highlight a few key resources here, however, to get you started thinking about how you can be your best advocate.

Advocacy Toolkits

Advocacy University - From ALA, this compilation of resources covers everything from how to start being an advocate, to quotable facts about libraries, to strategies for advocating for different types and sizes of libraries.

Pew Internet: Advocacy Tools for Librarians - This site, available through WebJunction, compiles all of those Pew studies that share quantitative data about the use and value of libraries.

Turning the Page 2.0 - This online course from PLA is available in its entirety to get anyone started advocating.

Youth Services Advocacy Facts, Ready to Share

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy - The CLEL advocacy page is overflowing with messages just begging to be shared with administrators, library customers, community members, legislators--everyone!

Growing Wisconsin Readers - Use the excellent information on this site to help craft brief, powerful messages about early literacy and the work the library does to support parents as they help their children develop early literacy skills. Don't forget to check out the resources for librarians for even more good stuff.

Advocacy Support

Everyday Advocacy - This initiative of ALSC gives ideas and bite-size advocacy projects that any youth services librarian--any librarian, really--can implement from the reference desk on any given day of work. This is a new initiative, so more content is added all the time.

Storytime Underground - Looking for a community of folks with whom you can share, commiserate, and swap strategies for effective advocacy of youth services? Peruse the Storytime Underground, a community of youth services advocates who stand fully behind the expertise that is serving children in the library.

Advocacy at a National Level

Every Library - The only registered Political Action Committee (PAC) for libraries, Every Library has made a huge different in election campaigns that could have been severely damaging for libraries all over the country.

National Library Legislative Day - Every year, library advocates descend on their elected officials to make sure they understand just how necessary it is for the communities they represent to have vibrant libraries--and how important it is that their votes reflect that reality.

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What are you waiting for? Tell your story and get advocating!


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