ALA Resources

The American Library Association has been advocating for libraries and the profession for more than 135 years. With that kind of history and expertise comes a monumental amount of resources, information, and tools. The only problem is: having to slog through all that great stuff to find just what you need.

Not anymore. The links here take you to what you need, whenever you need it.

Practical Tools

52 Ways to Make a Difference: Public Library Advocacy Throughout the Year is a master list of resources--many of which are for children and youth activities and events.

The 2011-2012 Special Presidential Task Force on School Libraries provides data and advocacy content specific to threats to school library instructional programs.

Advocacy Fact Sheets provide concise and straightforward guidelines, checklists, and tips for getting started as an advocate and building a network all the way to lobbying and working with the media.

Communicate Value! Advocacy Training provides documents and tools from an advocacy presentation during ALSC’s 2012 Midwinter Division Leadership Meeting. Julie Todaro, Dean of Library Services, Austin Community College, facilitated, “Communicate Value!” to assist attendees with developing compelling messaging to assist with their advocacy efforts.

Frontline Advocacy Toolkit
Every day librarians and library workers around the country serve at the “front lines,” providing critical services to their community. Most don’t even realize the opportunities and potential they have to advocate for the value of libraries and their own value on a daily basis. This toolkit, created in part by frontline public and school librarians, helps empower all levels of library staff to become better advocates for their libraries and themselves.

Dr. R. David Lankes's (Syracuse University, Information School) presentation, “Making a New Promise to Our Communities,” focuses on libraries, advocacy and communities. David’s recent book, The Atlas of New Librarianship, was the winner of the 2012 ABC-CLIO/Greenwood Award for the Best Book in Library Literature.
 
United for Libraries is the ALA Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF). Help your trustees, friends group, or foundation speak out on behalf of your library by capitalizing on the advocacy resources from this national network. Your library supporters won't want to miss the Citizens-Save-Libraries Power Guide!
 
Our YALSA colleagues may work with teens, but ALSC members can still capitalize on this resource-packed toolkit filled with no-nonsense ideas for developing your advocacy message, using web tools, building partnerships, and meeting with elected officials.

Taking Action

Legislative Action Center
ALA’s Washington Office has a beat on all the legislative issues affecting libraries. And supporting those issues couldn’t be easier—the Legislative Action Center does most of the work for you. Issues are clearly and concisely described; talking points and simple steps for action are provided. You’ll even find suggested language for letters to your representatives. And your legislators’ contact information is only a click away. Relay just the right message to your representatives using the action center.

Talking Points

Add It Up
This site is a treasure trove! Everyday advocates can make a strong case for their library at every stage of a child’s life using Add It Up’s talking points. There are specific, separate points supporting public and school libraries and they are organized by age/grade level: 0-5; Kindergarten to Middle School (6-12); and Teens (13-18).  Even better, each and every statement is backed by “quick stats” supporting that point.

Quotable Facts about America’s Libraries
Did you know that Americans spend nearly three times as much on candy as they do on public libraries? Download the wallet-sized version of ALA’s Quotable Facts and you’ll be armed and ready with clever quotes to help you make your case for libraries.