At the American Library Association's Fall 2011 Division Leadership Meeting, the Association for Library Service to Children's Executive Committee explored two mega-issue questions:
- How can ALSC educate policy makers on the importance of children's service?
- How can ALSC assist youth service librarians to articulate their value within their profession and the community?
The group brainstormed possible activities, with the education of ALSC members about the importance of advocacy as the highest priority.
At the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, the ALSC Board of Directors approved the establishment of an advocacy website and electronic newsletter promoting "20-minute Advocacy." On May 1, 2013, ALSC launched Everyday Advocacy (www.ala.org/everyday-advocacy).
The purpose of Everyday Advocacy:
- Educating ALSC members about the importance of advocacy;
- Educating ALSC members about their roles in advocacy;
- Making advocacy seem important, feasible and not scary; and
- Motivating website users to try new techniques.
The goals of Everyday Advocacy:
- To empower librarians and library staff to go out and make a difference in their libraries, their communities and beyond;
- To raise the comfort level of youth services librarians in the arena of advocacy;
- To develop powerful advocates for children and library service to children;
- To provide a basic toolkit and other resources to address various advocacy circumstances; and
- To provide a go-to resource for both day-to-day advocacy and crisis advocacy.
The audiences for Everyday Advocacy:
- Primary: ALSC members/children’s librarians; and
- Secondary: Any advocate for children and libraries.