Frontline Advocacy for School Libraries: How to Add that Personalized Touch Sabrina Carnesi Virginia Learning4Life Coordinator Crittenden Middle School Newport News, Virginia email@example.com
Who is ‘front line’ in the school library?All school library personnel arefront line:• Certified School Librarian• Clerk• Volunteers• Technology Support Specialist(TSS)• Technology Curriculum Instructional Specialist(TCIS)
Here’s what we know…• Legislative advocacy needs to come from others• No one hates libraries• We can provide service & information
To Whom do We Advocate?* Parents / School Alumni Associations / Community Members* Site administrators* Teachers* Other School Librarians• Legislators• School Board Members• Accreditation Agencies• Feeder schools (above and below)* 4 major stakeholders in a school library program – AASL, 2008
Comfort level of advocating?“Who am I to talk to these people?”“I’m just a clerk”“I’m the only library person in my school – no one wants to listen to me”“I don’t want to offend someone”
First Step: learn how to…BRAG!• Great shameless self-promoters know that if they don’t toot their own horn, no one will: – Brag!: The Art of Tooting your own Horn without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus (2004, ISBN - 9780446692786) – http://networkinghq.wordpress .com/2010/02/16/how-to-brag- about-yourself-without-turning- others-off/
Second Step: Get Organized1. Generate a brochure or flyer to hand out to your stakeholders2. Create promotional pitches addressed to the stakeholders using the elevator speech or the bragalogue format3. For more professional presentations when you wish to garner help and support for your library program, organize your library data with the annual “School Libraries Count” survey or “A Planning Guide for Empowering Learners”FORWARD
• Excerpt from California School Library Association’s “Best Sellers” brochure that is applicable to Virginia school librarians at http://bestsellers4schoollibraries.csla.netBACK
SampleSTANDARD 4 ~ AUDIENCE: PARENTS Based on Common Belief #1 – Reading is a window to the world. I know you want your child to have a successful life. And so do I. We both believe that reading is the key to learning for life and developing new understandings. I invite your support for our afterschool book club by allowing your child to participate. (46 words) N. Silcox – Arlington City Schools November 2009BACK
•“School Libraries Count” is an online longitudinal survey available to the public thisyear from January through May of each year.•All that participates receives a printout of their individual library‟s raw data and how itcompares to similar libraries throughout both the state and nation.
• “A Planning Guide for Empowering Learners” is a program evaluation, planning, implementation and advocacy tool that will ensure school library program planners go beyond the basics to provide goals, priorities, criteria, and general principles for establishing effective library programs. • The guide includes a revised School Library Program Assessment Rubric, a tool that allows school librarians to assess their program on 16 different sets of criteria.” • There is also an online version available which produces bar and pie graphics of your library data: • View these webinars to learn “How the assessment rubric informs your planning process,” “The planning process and getting your school community involved,” and “Using the Planning Guide with „School Libraries Count!‟ personalized results to advocate for your school library program.” http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/planningguide/planBACK ningguideresources.cfm
How does this work for you?• Talk to people you see every day: tell them something interesting about your job or your program.• Invite them in: don’t make the library hands-off.
Third Step: Show don’t Just Tell Make Your Advocacy Campaign one of Action!• Become more involved (if not already) with staff development and with the school improvement planning team!• Don’t forget to say Thank You to all that are involved in the life of your program!
4 Key Messages of your Advocacy Campaign Should Be:1. Students deserve equitable access to libraries.2. The New Standards provide a blueprint for strong school libraries.3. School librarians collaborate with others to provide instruction, learning strategies, and practice in using the essential learning skills needed in the 21st century.4. Students need to develop skills in sharing knowledge and learning with others, both in face-to-face situations and through technology5. A strong school library = a certified librarian and a full time clerk supported by substantial and consistent funding.