AASL Advocacy Institute to launch in Reno, Nev.

Contact: Kathy Agarwal

Communications Specialist


For Immediate Release

August 14,2007

AASL Advocacy Institute to launch in Reno, Nev.

CHICAGO – The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will launch its new Advocacy Institute as a full-day preconference during the 13th AASL National Conference & Exhibition in Reno, Nev., October 25 - 28, 2007. The AASL Advocacy Institute will be presented in cooperation with the ALA Office for Library Advocacy.

“Increasing member involvement in local and national advocacy efforts is one of the major goals outlined by the AASL strategic plan,” said Sara Kelly Johns, AASL president 2007-2008. “It is crucial that all decision-makers understand and recognize that school library media specialists and school library programs are essential to teaching and learning. Development of the Advocacy Institute was a major effort to meet member needs for professional development on advocacy.”

The AASL Advocacy Institute will be presented as an all-day preconference on Wednesday, October 24, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Led by experienced presenters Deb Levitov and Nance Nassar, participants will receive information, resources and strategies that will help define advocacy and guide them in the creation of long-term advocacy action plans for their school library media programs. The institute will clarify the difference between public relations, marketing and advocacy and emphasize how each has a place in program planning. Participants will develop action plans that will help them work toward transforming passive stakeholders into active advocates for school library media programs. Registration for this workshop is $179 for AASL members and $284 for non-members.

“We are thrilled to launch the new Advocacy Institute in Reno,” said Carl A. Harvey II, AASL National Conference Committee co-chair. “Advocacy fits in perfectly with the conference theme, The Future Begins @ your library. School library media specialists have to take advocacy messages beyond their libraries and to their patrons - students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community - so that they are out there advocating for school library media programs. Reno is the perfect opportunity for library media specialists to come away with lots of ideas for advocacy in their own communities.

After its launch at the National Conference, the Advocacy Institute will be added to AASL’s portfolio of Regional Institutes; licensed workshops available for nationwide use throughout the profession. More information about AASL Regional Institutes can be found at

Online registration for the AASL National Conference is now open at
http://www.ala.org/aasl/reno . In addition to the advocacy workshop, the conference will feature two other full-day and five half-day preconference workshops, several school and educational tours, more than 100 concurrent sessions, author events and more than 200 exhibiting companies.

The American Association of School Librarians,
www.aasl.org, a division of the American Library Association (ALA), promotes the improvement and extension of library media services in elementary and secondary schools as a means of strengthening the total education program. Its mission is to advocate excellence, facilitate change and develop leaders in the school library media field.