Midwinter 2012 Division Leadership Advocacy Training

When children’s librarians do storytimes, we often choose a theme because it helps us to focus; to choose from all of the engaging books, songs, and activities, the very few that we can use during our half hour. It’s the same with ALSC presidents choosing a theme. Working with a theme helps us focus our energies so that we can help ALSC evolve as much as possible in a one-year term.

The theme I chose for my year was “Communicate Value.” My goal was for every ALSC member to understand and confidently communicate the value of our work. I set this goal in pursuit of professional and personal effectiveness for each member, and to help create a society that views libraries as central and integral partners in maintaining vibrant communities.

One way to effectively communicate value is to have at the ready an "elevator speech" - short enough to be given during an elevator ride - that tells who you are, what you do, and why that's important. Read on for resources to help develop yours!

Advocacy Training Materials

Julie Todaro facilitated the ALSC Leadership Training for Advocacy: Communicate Value! during Midwinter Meeting 2012. The following documents and tools are to assist you in your advocacy efforts.

  • Responsibility Statement: The “job description” or “responsibility statement” or “commitment statement” of members; that is, recruiting and sustaining members is everyone’s job/responsibility.

  • Elevator Content: Information was provided to attendees at the Midwinter 2012 Division Leadership session on giving short speeches about children's librarianship and ALSC.

  • Unique Aspects: Excerpted information from Midwinter that can be used for branding, advertising, outreach, articulating membership value.

  • Target Populations: Examples on how to respond to specific advocacy issues from target populations.

  • Timing and Opportunities: Although the theory is that advocacy can and should take place during most if not all children’s and youth opportunities, there are better times for advocacy.

  • Appendices: Additional advocacy materials.

  • Transcribed working group notes: Notes on discussing advocacy with different individuals.

Survey Responses

The ALSC Board sought to identify ALSC member leadership perceptions of not only ALSC membership benefits and values but also perceptions on children’s librarianship in general as well as perceptions of “home” library activities and issues related to children’s librarians and children’s services. Specifically, the Board sought to identify values, benefits, opinions of ALSC chairs and to that end a survey was designed and delivered online.