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From the Editor
Twitter & I: An Everyday Advocacy Love Affair
I’m no Charlotte Doyle, but I’ve got a true confession: I’m in love with Twitter, and I don’t care who knows it.
(OK, that’s not true, actually. I want you and all our ALSC colleagues to know it.)
Twitter and I first met at National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) 2013 when YALSA suggested we join forces to spread the word about critical legislation affecting teens and libraries. I was a little shy at first, but Twitter was the easy-going sort. We were fast friends in no time, and it wasn’t long before Twitter and I became synonymous with Everyday Advocacy. Thus, our love story was born.
If you haven’t met Twitter yet, now’s the time for introductions! It’s the quickest, easiest way I’ve found to embrace my role as an Everyday Advocate, and I bet you’ll feel the same way once you try it.
Need more convincing? Here are three ways to be an Everyday Advocate in just 140 characters:
• Support IMLS inclusion in the 2015 House budget. Paul Ryan (R-WI) thinks libraries and museums shouldn’t receive federal funding. Tweet @RepPaulRyan to let him know you think otherwise.
• Participate in Virtual Library Legislative Day (VLLD). Can’t make it to Washington, D.C., for NLLD 14? Tweet U.S. representatives and senators from your own community about issues and legislation affecting local children, families, and libraries.
• Get involved in Take Action Tuesday. Follow both ALSC (@alscblog) and me (@ALAJenna) for the latest Take Action Tuesday news from the Advocacy and Legislation Committee. Tweet about your efforts using #TakeActionALSC and #EverydayAdvocacy.
Read on for more details on these issues and how you can make a difference today. And please, sign up with Twitter. You’re going to fall in love, Everyday Advocacy-style.
ALSC Everyday Advocacy Website & Electronic Newsletter
Everyday Advocacy Spotlight
Virtual Library Legislative Day 2014
Starr LaTronica, ALSC President
Youth Services/Outreach Manager, Four County Library System (Vestal, NY)
National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) takes place this year on May 5-6. This is a great time to get involved in advocacy both within your community and beyond it!
As most of us can’t physically travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in NLLD, I’ve invited the ALSC Advocacy and Legislation Committee to lead the charge in getting our members involved with 2014 events. Over the next few weeks, the committee will provide you with the resources and encouragement you need to participate from your own library community.
And how, exactly, can you do that? Through Virtual Library Legislative Day (VLLD) activities during the week of May 5-9! Here’s how the Advocacy & Legislation Committee plans to ensure your successful participation in VLLD 14—even if you’ve never done it before:
- Draft a letter template for you to personalize and send to your U.S. representatives and senators;
- Create talking points you can use when calling your U.S. representatives and senators;
- Craft ready-to-post social media messages (e.g. sample tweets, Facebook posts, etc.)
- Collect and organize contact information for U.S. representatives and senators, including e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and social media handles; and
- Make it all accessible and easy to use!
Watch ALSC-L, the ALSC blog, and social media outlets as the Advocacy and Legislation Committee makes these great VLLD available for your efforts.
Remember, the Everyday Advocacy website is filled with tips, tools, and techniques to support your advocacy efforts every step of the way. Use these wonderful resources to become a stronger advocate on NLLD, VLLD, and beyond!
Awesome Advocate Profile: Matt McLain
Matt McLain, Chairperson, ALSC Early Childhood Programs & Services Committee
Manager, South Jordan Branch, Salt Lake County Library Services
What does Everyday Advocacy mean to you?
It’s always important to seek out opportunities to share my library's message with the community. What’s even more important is finding out what the library can do for the community. Observing and listening to the needs of your patrons presents a golden opportunity for the library to step in and help transform their lives. Being an advocate means making the library indispensable to your community.
What's been your proudest advocacy moment?
I love being able to help introduce libraries as community partners. I’ve had the opportunity on several occasions in meetings or open houses with other organizations to encourage them to work with their library. I tell them that libraries make great partners. And it's almost like a light bulb turning on as they say, "Oh, yeah! The library!"
Several years ago, I was attending meetings to coordinate the efforts of several arts and science organizations to put together a festival of hands-on exhibits for children. It became apparent to me that these people were all experts in what they did, and they knew other experts who wanted to share their knowledge and talents.
I had a small moment of panic when I realized there was nothing I could do to contribute to the festival. Then I realized that we had the space where they could hold festival, and that was a significant contribution. Knowing that the library's role was to provide the space, I did everything I could to arrange set-up for the event, making sure the partners could just arrive and set up their exhibits without having to worry about tables and equipment.
As we were trying to come with a name for the event, one of the partners suggested the "Library Square Festival of Science and Art", which everyone agreed upon. The festival was a great success and repeated several more times. Best of all, the library received much of the credit, even though we didn't provide any of the content.
What advice or wisdom can you share with other Everyday Advocates?
Being an advocate means sharing your library's message with everyone you can, but it’s equally important to listen.
Listen to what your community leaders are saying. Listen to people in the grocery store, the parks, and anywhere you go. Look to make a difference in ways that don't fit into the traditional library mold. Try to identify barriers that might prevent you from being a good partner in the community and work to turn these barriers into opportunities.
Finally, advocacy isn't scary. You are already an advocate every time you talk about your library, every time you present a story time, and every time you visit a school. Continue to be passionate about your work and everyone will know you are an advocate!
From the ALSC Advocacy Committees
It’s raining April showers and spring committee appointments! Why not get involved by volunteering for one of ALSC’s eight child advocacy committees? Take a peek at ALSC Committees: A Guide to Participation
for more details on getting started, and find the volunteer form on the ALSC Committees page
(it’s a Word document toward the bottom).
Check out these ALSC blog posts for the latest from the Priority Group I committees:
Advocacy and Legislation Committee
Toni Bernardi, Chairperson
Intellectual Freedom Committee
Heather Acerro, Chairperson
Library Services to Special Population Children and Their Caregivers
Africa Hands, Chairperson
Public Awareness Committee
Debra Gold, Chairperson
News You Can Use
House Budget Dismisses Role of IMLS
No doubt you’ve heard the murmurs and roars: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) thinks Congress should end its investment in libraries and museums.
On April 1, Ryan denounced the role the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) plays in supporting literacy and lifelong learning for all Americans. Visit District Dispatch, the official blog of the ALA Washington Office, for more facts, figures, and action steps.
Ready to take it one step further? Sign the petition
asking the White House Administration to release a statement that funding libraries and museums is a core federal responsibility.
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El Día de los niños/El Día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day)
There’s still time to coordinate a neighborhood event for Día, an annual celebration advocating literacy for all children regardless of linguistic or cultural background. Snap up this opportunity to cultivate partnerships with local schools, businesses, and community organizations!
Take Action Tuesday Recap
On Tuesday, February 25, the Advocacy & Legislation Committee launched Take Action Tuesday, a weekly day of engagement to help you learn, share, and make a difference for libraries and library services to children in your community.
Over the last six weeks, the committee has challenged you and your ALSC colleagues to take simple yet effective action together on the same day for the youth and families you serve.
Didn’t get a chance to start the challenges from the beginning? No problem! Here’s a recap of the weekly prompts so you can catch up:
- February 25—Spend 15 minutes talking with your supervisor about your role as an Everyday Advocate.
- March 4—Grab a colleague and start an Advocacy Wall in a central staff area of your library.
- March 11—Start drafting your library's elevator speech using ideas from your Advocacy Wall.
- March 18—Identify one new stakeholder in your library community, and make the call!
- March 25—Get in touch with your state's National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) coordinator.
- April 1—Learn more about how you can invest in Virtual Library Legislative Day (VLLD) 2014.
If you’re a Twitter user, consider following both ALSC (@alscblog
) and Everyday Advocacy Member Content Editor Jenna Nemec-Loise (@ALAJenna
) for the latest Take Action Tuesday news. We hope you’ll spread the word and tweet about your efforts, be sure to use #TakeActionALSC and #EverydayAdvocacy when you do!
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The Importance of Diversity – Programming & Collections
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is pleased to announce the release of The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children white paper. This paper was written for ALSC by Jamie Campbell Naidoo, PhD
, and adopted by the ALSC Board of Directors on April 5, 2014.
ALSC encourages you to read and share this white paper with colleagues, administrators, and other library stakeholders. Use it as a tool to advocate for additional resources that ensure your library’s programs celebrate cultural diversity and provide opportunities for developing bridges of understanding all year long.
The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children white paper is available on the ALSC website
Take Your Child to the Library Day
Looking for a fun way to merge library advocacy with family engagement? Look no further than Take Your Child to the Library Day!
Since 2012, libraries across the country have been celebrating this event on the first Saturday of February. Participating libraries honor this special day with events, programs, and displays welcoming children and their families to the library—some for the very first time.
April is School Library Month
Wait, isn’t this an AASL thing? You bet it is! During April, connect with your local school library media colleagues to find out how they’re celebrating this year’s School Library Month (SLM) theme, Lives change @ your library®
. Don’t let this awesome opportunity for school-public library cooperation and library advocacy pass you by!
Visit the AASL website
for more information on the history and goals of SLM.
Lives change @ your library®: National Library Week 2014
Why celebrate National Library Week (April 13-19)? Among countless other reasons, it’s an awesome advocacy opportunity! Use this annual celebration to share the impact of your library’s programs and services with community organizations, business owners, lawmakers, and other library stakeholders.
The National Library Week web page
is filled with resources to help you maximize your efforts. You’ll find downloadable PSA scripts, proclamations, press releases, and even a You Tube video with a message from this year’s Honorary Chair, Judy Blume.
Advocacy Corner in Vegas, Baby!
Held in the ALA Member Pavilion on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the Advocacy Corner is a series of short presentations on a variety of advocacy-related topics. Be sure to check the online conference scheduler as June approaches for the 4-1-1 on this advocacy fun.